In retail, much like in any other industry in the modern business world, your employees are your most valuable assets. Your goal should be to raise productivity as much as you can and maintain high productivity levels in the workplace in order to ensure customer satisfaction, boost sales and repeat business, and achieve numerous other marketing, sales, support, and expansion goals.
That said, there is no denying that maintaining high productivity levels during these trying and worrying times is a difficult task. Now that employee mental and physical health is suffering, and that many are dealing with personal and family issues, it’s time for retail leaders to step up and provide the guidance and assistance people need to thrive at work.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some smart tips that will allow you to maximize productivity in your retail business in 2021 and beyond.
Focus on employee well-being
Assuming that you have already optimized your hiring and onboarding processes, we can focus on elevating productivity right off the bat. Your first order of business should be to address the prevalent problems that your employees are facing, and tend to their most basic needs – health and security. Keep in mind that people can’t be productive or happy at work if their minds are elsewhere, if they are plagued by other personal problems, and if they are fearing for their livelihood.
Now is the time to reassure your staff that their jobs are secure and that they needn’t fear getting laid off. Next, instruct the leaders in your company to prioritize employee mental health. Your leaders should take a personalized approach and talk to every employee regularly to check how they are doing, if there is anything they need, and if anything troubles them.
Inspire your employees to give honest feedback so that you can take a personalized approach to helping them elevate their mental health. Because remember, a happy and carefree employee is a productive one.
Use the right employee management tool
Employee management is so much more than manual oversight nowadays. It’s important to use technology to your advantage in order to get a comprehensive overview of your operation, so that you can guide and assist your employees whenever possible.
As a leader, you need to take a proactive role in employee management, and use a comprehensive tool to oversee your store(s) and your staff. This tool should also allow you to automate time tracking and clocking, organize shifts and rosters, and communicate with your employees.
Use relevant data to your advantage
Another crucial pillar of a productive workforce is, simply, data. Having the right information at the right time enables you as a leader to optimize your decision-making process, and focus on fine-tuning various areas of your business. On the other hand, if you just wing it, you will invariably let a mistake slip through the cracks.
For example, if you want to maximize the productivity of your marketing staff and stop wasting money, then utilizing reporting software is one of the best ways to generate actionable reports and act on relevant insights and KPIs. The same goes for your other departments and in-store staff. Use dedicated software to compile data, identify bottlenecks and money-wasters, and make better decisions by allocating resources towards attainable goals.
Equip your staff with the right tools
Just like you should use the right software to lead your workforce, so should your staff use the right digital tools to do a better job. Technology is transforming the modern retail environment, and it’s important to invest in digital transformation in the workplace in order to empower your employees.
The key here is to help staff from various departments automate repetitive tasks and processes and focus their talent and expertise on mission-critical goals. Luckily, there’s plenty you can automate in retail nowadays, ranging from support to order processing, all the way to CRM and inventory management.
Nurture a positive workplace culture
Lastly, always remember that a positive company culture has the power to transform your brand. Building a workplace culture on the pillars of equality, transparency, honesty, co-dependence, and trust is one of the best ways to build a motivated employee collective.
However, sending a memo is not enough, because as a leader you need to spearhead this initiative and lead by example. Make sure to communicate and exemplify these values in the workplace, and motivate your employees to internalize these values as well.
Maintaining and elevating productivity in retail is more important than ever before. By focusing on your employees’ well-being and using the right tools for the job, you can improve morale across the board and streamline your processes to create a thriving and engaged workforce in 2021.