Front-line employees have long been the unsung heroes of the retail industry. However, the COVID-19 pandemic shone a spotlight on the efforts of retail associates and encouraged brands to place more emphasis on employee experience. Understanding what workers want and need to excel at work leads to better efficiency, retention, engagement and much more.
Recognizing the need is one thing, but how can brands put plans in place that will lead to a better workforce? A recent NRF webinar hosted by Nudge COO Jordan Ekers and featuring Tania Walsh, manager of digital communications strategy at telecom company Telus, and Kathryn Williams, manager of retail communications at Michael Kors, aimed to answer this question and more.
Get tips and advice on what initiatives and programs to implement to see a true impact on your retail employees.
Culturally inspire your workforce
“Find ways to communicate mission, vision and values across your entire organization to capture the hearts and minds of your workforce so they become brand advocates,” Ekers said. By providing employees a better understanding of the organization they work for, they will be more engaged. Walsh emphasized the power of “why” and that providing context to employees will inspire trust and action.
Connect roles to greater purpose
Bringing together your workforce in a way that allows employees to understand their role and how it fits into the broader organizational objectives provides a sense of purpose and belonging. In a recent research report, Nudge found that 58 percent of associates said a sense of purpose makes them feel more motivated and engaged. Recognition is a large part of providing purpose to employees, and is one of the three drivers of retention. “Calling out fantastic work … is reminding associates that at the end of the day, they are the reasons why we do what we do,” Williams said.
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Tactically enable employees with digital tools
Front-line managers and associates can get more work done more efficiently with digital tools. Walsh highlighted her company’s focus on personalization and how it utilizes different worker personas to target communications. By creating novice, average and master personas, Telus can direct information to employees based on their tenure, job functions, knowledge and skillset. This helps reduce the noise and allows employees to gather the most relevant information. “We want to build in that personalization so they’re getting the most out of it,” Walsh said. “They’re spending less time reading but getting more out of it.”
NRF members can exclusively watch the full conversation with NRF On Demand here. Thank you to our sponsor Nudge.