Employee Communications is more Important that ever Before

Employee communications has taken a back seat especially when it is needed the most.

The in-store experience is new and unprecedented, even for employees.

The scenario has called for added measures to be taken in creating a safe environment.

Contactless retail in the form of self-scanning and scan-and-go is fast becoming a norm across retail outlets.

These measures might involve new tools, technologies and processes. A basic training might have to be provided to retail workers in this regard.

The presence of safety measures, COVID policies and weary customers AND workers requires that employers up their communications game.

Workers need to be engaged and motivated more often than not.

New protocol and policy has to be communicated to the entire workforce with feedback based assurance that every individual has read and processed the protocols.

Two way channels of communication are imperative in order to address worker concerns and grievances on a timely basis.

Tips on Communicating with Retail Workers through Uncertainty

To stay on top of operations, most businesses have been prudent with reaching out to customers, but not so much with employee comms.

Retailers have a lot of worker related concerns at the moment – furloughed employees, new roles and strategies like curbside pickup and so on.

You want to ensure employees are on-board with company regulations and their individual tasks.

There’s only one way to deal with the situation – relentless (employee) engagement!

  • Leadership Comms

Employees need to be taught how to safeguard their well being.

They also need assurance and hope for the future.

Engaging retail staff with timely leadership messages is a good step in the right direction.

It helps to send out regular and lengthy messages from leaders such as CEOs, MDs or their equivalent.

Video communication is more effective in this case as it is personable and more reassuring in times of crisis.

Video content is also easy to assimilate and can be consumed by a large cross-section of people.

Another option is to list out common FAQs and send it out as company wide messages through multiple channels like email, intranets and mobile comms platforms.

  • Back to Work

It might be necessary to recruit people for timely sanitization of the workplace or shop floor.

Minimum wage or hourly workers might have to be brought in for this purpose.

These workers should be given access to the company comms tool, and a brief training on the same.

Send out regular health surveys and daily feedback surveys to keep your workforce safe. Employee well-being should be the top priority!

Scheduling, shift rosters and other logistical details might have to be reworked and communicated accordingly.

Best practices to maintain safety such as hand washing and sanitizing, social distancing and so on have to be periodically engrained through crisp and routine messages.

  • Using a Multichannel Approach to Communication

Social media and email campaigns to communicate with customers can be used for employees as well.

Additionally, the company website can be updated with crucial information like reopening dates and other store policies.

Moreover, putting out messages that are personable and compassionate shows employees and visitors that you genuinely care!

E-mail is still a powerful communication medium

Send emails to single points of contact (SPOC) like managers and team leads who will be able to relay these messages to their teams and subordinates.

Digital communication channels like intranets and employee apps are the most ideal way to reach out to frontline retail workers on the shop floor.

Use a mobile communication tool to create two way communication channels between the retail worker and their employer.

Staffing Up Stores and Warehouses in time for the Holiday Season

‘Tis the season to be (kinda) Jolly!

Adding to the already abundant array of issues in retail is the up and coming holiday season.

The holiday shopping rush might be more subdued this year around.

Even if brick-and-mortar operations are on hold, online stores need to staff up with workers to pack and ship products.

The spike in demand of a seasonal nature demands only temporary staff to be brought on board.

It’s important to hire these seasonal workers as soon as possible, before the competition laps them up.

You could also switch your hourly and part time workers to full time for the season.

You can source candidates through agencies or look for college students looking to make some extra cash during the holidays.

Irrespective of how you find your seasonal workers, some level of training is mandatory.

Customer service is key during the holiday season, and most of your new found staff members are likely to be first timers in the retail industry.

It helps to develop sound training modules for workflow, scheduling practices and technology, safety measures (COVID related), shop floor rules and customer service behaviors.

Training related communication should be simple, crisp and covers all the bases.

Checklists are great tools during events like these.

Businesses could convert training lessons into simple checklists that workers can understand and follow easily.

Checklists also minimize errors and increase process efficiency.

Digital checklists go a step further by giving supervisors options to evaluate task progress in real-time.

You can use scheduling apps to set shifts and worker schedules too.

Notifying and preparing staff for important, high volume dates is extremely helpful.

Historically, there is evidence of a spike in retail sales just before Christmas.

Being aware of when customers are likely to splurge on a specific category of products helps businesses prep employees and create schedules and shifts accordingly.

Ultimately, worker safety is of utmost priority during these trying times.

At no point in time should businesses take chances or compromise on the safety of their employees.

Be it full-time staff, supervisors, or temporary seasonal workers – the onus of ensuring that all of them are trained and aware of best practices and safety protocols are on the employer.

Experts are predicting a second wave during the fall season.

Therefore, businesses should be all the more vigilant to worker health and safety while managing the surge in demand during the upcoming holiday season!

If you’d like to know how Groupe.io can help you engage your retail workers during the Holiday season, please write to us at info@groupe.io!

You may also reach out to us for a product demo of our employee communications app for frontline workers!

Get tips on how to keep your deskless workers engaged during the holiday season.


Holiday Season Guide

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