Store associates are the face of every retail brand, yet they are often the most disconnected from the technology that could help them do their jobs better. While some organizations are doing a fine job keeping up with today’s technology innovations to support their field teams, most aren’t. Many of these employees are falling back on consumer messaging apps just to collaborate with teammates. Not having the right tools to handle the basics is not only frustrating for employees, but it also exposes your business information to security and privacy threats. Not to mention, companies with highly engaged workforces outperform their peers by 147% in earnings per share (Gallup, 2018), which is why it’s especially critical for retail and any industry with frontline workers to improve their engagement.
What engagement can do for your frontline workers and your bottom line
With a turnover rate of almost 60% for retail companies, making positive strides in frontline employee engagement is crucial to overall success. That means ensuring frontline employees feel passionate about their jobs, are committed to the organization, and put discretionary effort into their work. In order to achieve this, you need to create a culture that facilitates engagement at all levels from the frontlines to the back office.
A recent survey on the state of employee engagement by Saba found that:
- Nearly two-thirds of employees don’t believe they have an effective platform to engage with the business and share their input.
- Just 22% of employees say their organizations are very effective in providing easy access to training and development.
It’s clear that having technology in place to support employee engagement is an important part of the equation. Today’s employees thrive in agile, collaborative environments that allow all them to receive adequate training, exchange ideas, support one another, get feedback on performance and raise issues to management.
While those working in corporate often have access to these technology resources, making sure that frontline workers can leverage these same tools is essential. After all, they are the public face of your business and the quality of the services they provide to customers directly impacts your bottom line. And teams with high employee engagement have better customer engagement, greater productivity, better retention, and 21% higher profitability, according to Gallup. With numbers like that finding tools to boost employee engagement should be on the top of every retail company’s list.
Improving engagement through technology
Some of the tools that can help facilitate engagement include:
- Intranets – Having a hub where the employee can access company news, training tools, forms, org charts, HR information, provide feedback and more is essential. Your intranet tool should not only allow employees to access information but should also provide analytics and insight on usage to measure engagement and evaluate the success of the tools you have in place.
- Mobile Apps – Empower your employees to work from anywhere, anytime with mobile apps that employees can access from any iOS or Android device. While not everyone has access to a computer, most have access to a smartphone. These tools allow you to provide access to information frontline workers in the field instantly.
- Messaging Tools – With collaboration high on employee wish lists messaging apps allow you to foster bottom-up and peer-to-peer communication. Employees can pose questions and start conversations with colleagues quickly and easily to facilitate collaboration.
Digital workplace tools can help boost productivity, improve communications, unify your workforce and foster engagement for positive results that can be felt across the organization.
Not sure where to start?
From grocery stores shifting to limited hours, restaurants moving to take-out only options and brick-and-mortar being forced to e-commerce; the world of retail is rapidly changing. This all brings growing concern over critical factors like employee safety and morale, supply chain stress, and inventory management. How do you address these concerns and prepare for what’s to come?
Join our upcoming panel discussion co-hosted with members of LiveTiles, Provoke Solutions, Intactic and Microsoft, on April 21st to:
- Hear straight from industry experts on issues affecting the retail industry
- Define the new normal through specific examples and use cases
- Understand how you can enable productivity during uncertain times
- Gain insight on the behavior change required at all levels of a retail organization
- Learn new ways to engage employees and increase trust and morale