Reinvention is a constant in the retail sector. To stay competitive and relevant, retailers must continually evolve to keep pace with changing consumer behaviours. When Covid-19 hit, the need for reinvention and transformation accelerated, becoming an imperative for survival in the new world.
Central to customer experiences are interactions with retail employees. Retail workers are the industry’s front line – they are often the first point of interaction for in-store conversations. The way an employee feels in their role often reflects the level of customer service they deliver – disengaged employees can negatively impact the customer experience, while happy, engaged employees equal happy customers. Research shows that a five per cent increase in employee engagement leads to up to a three per cent jump in sales growth.
To thrive in today’s new retail world, retailers must recognise the critical role of an effective people strategy to enhance customer experience.
Empowering the retail workforce with technology
Retail organisations have always faced challenges in attracting talent and reducing turnover, as jobs in the industry are often seen as temporary, short-term work. To change this perspective, retailers need to invest in their people the same way they do for their customers, through modern workforce technologies such as a unified human capital management (HCM) system to optimise their employees’ work experience.
With a unified HCM system, retail organisations can streamline their processes throughout the employee lifecycle. For example, new hires can easily come in and manage their onboarding requirements through online forms, creating a single complete record for the employee. Other information such as learning, performance, time and attendance, and schedules are kept in the same record, reducing manual interventions, and increasing data accuracy and integrity since there is no need to pass it across disparate systems. With a single source of truth, retailers will have a complete view of their organisation and access to real-time data, helping them manage compliance, identify trends, and make informed decisions, ultimately efficiently managing their people.
In today’s fast-paced environment, the retail workforce expects the same consumer-grade experience from their employers. Shifting to an online, mobile-enabled HR solution gives employees immediate access to the information they need right at their fingertips. Through a mobile app, tasks such as clocking in or out, setting schedules, checking payslips, and filing leaves can be done on the go. This gives employees control over their data and lets them manage their work-life the way they want it. In addition, managers can respond just as quickly through the same app, therefore minimising time spent on transactional tasks, allowing the teams to focus on strategic growth opportunities.
Retail’s cautious reopening
While retailers in Asia are optimistic about the industry outlook, they need to be prepared for further disruption. As the retail industry cautiously reopens, it is clear that old employee strategies will no longer work. Instead, retail organisations need to leverage real-time, data-driven intelligence powered by the right HCM technologies to make informed business decisions, encourage agility and motivation within employees, creating an unforgettable customer experience.
Learn more about how Ceridian can help retailers learn, adapt, and evolve to whatever the future holds
About the author: Rob Squires is VP Regional Head of Sales, Asia and Japan at Ceridian.