Solve the most common communication problems in the retail industry

Give frontline workers and their managers tools to connect and learn.

Physical retail stores work well when employees are informed and engaged. When salespeople understand everything from new products and promotions to standard operating procedures and company-wide policies, they are better able to represent the brand and sell effectively.

However, conveying information to employees and communicating with them on a regular basis can be tricky. Deskless workers often struggle to connect with management and superiors, who may be unable to ensure their teams are fully informed. Additionally, the nature of retail and shift work means that not all employees will receive news at the same time, so retailers often rely on a chain of communication to ensure everyone stays up to date. .

This is a challenge for everyone involved, with employees potentially feeling out of the loop, managers and leaders wondering why employees aren’t aware, and talent development professionals have the impression of not having the tools to reach and develop them. people.

Create a dedicated channel for communication

Continuing advancements in enterprise software are giving stores, as well as training and development professionals, managers and owners, the ability to streamline communication and learning. Modern labor management and task resolution tools with communication capabilities allow retailers to create dedicated communication channels. This facilitates the flow of information for managers who may not have the bandwidth to share updates with their direct reports and ensures that no information slips through the cracks. These tools make sellers feel engaged, connected, and equipped with the updates they need to do their job well. In addition to seamlessly connecting employees to head office news, the integration of modern technology through an app in the retail space provides easy access to training and other important information. With a little extra time in their shifts, managers can connect with staff in meaningful ways and create more powerful employee experiences.

Often, store associates have to leave the sales floor to receive messages and other information they need to do their job. Often, communication tools such as staff bulletin boards or company portals can be accessed in a back room or in the manager’s office. While staff retrieve information in this way, they are unable to help customers. Alternatively, employees receive messages before or after work, which means they spend more time keeping up to date with company communications.

When the talent development team coordinates with other departments to centralize communications, employers give employees a place to access the information they need to do their jobs, saving them from frantically rushing for updates. important days buried in long threads or on a piece of paper circulating in the staff room. Using an interface such as an app, employees can easily access documents containing best practices, standard operating procedures, and upcoming product promotions. Additionally, many apps include a comprehensive search engine, which makes content and answers easily findable and available when needed. And, when accessed on a company-approved smartphone or tablet—tools that require minimal training because employees already use them in their daily lives—employees can retrieve communications in-store or on the go, giving them keeps you on the same page as the rest of the business.

Teach via the communication tool

In addition to vital company announcements, talent development professionals can offer small, easily consumable training and development materials – in the form of videos, photos and interactive media – that facilitate learning and produce better results.

TD teams can use the communication app for onboarding. New employees can download the tool to their phone and immediately gain insight into the company’s mission and values ​​and become acclimated to products and standard operating procedures. Training videos shared through the app can help employees learn more about product design or company branding.

The metrics these platforms offer allow developers or talent managers to see whether employees or team members have read company announcements, training materials, and conversations, including training and demos. on the use of the platform itself. For example, managers can see if the employee has logged in to catch up on updates they may have missed since their last job, which can improve the employee’s performance.

Leverage your workforce management tool

Talent development professionals can leverage a workforce management tool to deliver just-in-time insights, improve employee engagement and morale, facilitate better customer service, and give managers more time in their schedules to interact with their direct reports.

When workforce apps are installed on a mobile device in-store or on employees’ personal devices, staff access relevant information on the sales floor without missing out on opportunities to interact with customers. Information about promotions, sales tips and product details are instantly accessible to employees, allowing them to transfer their knowledge directly to customers and improve overall store performance and sales.

Workforce management and task solutions also help retail managers implement company-wide changes by enabling management to interview employees at the store level. and feedback information upstream to decision makers, who can then create processes for better in-store experiences for both employees. and customers, which ultimately leads to increased productivity for staff and increased sales for the business.

And training and development professionals can integrate workforce management and task solutions into the retail space to streamline training, enabling sales staff to be more productive and engaged. during his shifts. After implementing a workforce management tool, a company sent about 75% fewer emails to stores about tasks.

Opening the lines of communication and allowing employees to send direct messages to colleagues and superiors allows them to initiate relevant conversations, giving employees and managers the opportunity to ask questions or respond directly with comments, helping staff to maximize their time at work. For example, store associates can communicate with co-workers or superiors and gain valuable historical information about what sales pitches, products, or checkout promotions customers are responding to or not responding well to.

Shining a light on business inefficiencies, the past year and a half has forced businesses to pivot and adapt to new ways of working. The harsh realities of the global pandemic have shown the need for business leaders to practice a more human-centered management approach and equip employees with the tools to get the job done more efficiently. Modern workforce and task management solutions with internal communication capabilities provide the tools for staff to have better work experiences and thrive in their roles.


Conclusion

Benefits of the manager. Streamlined communications can free up time for managers to connect with staff and improve one-on-one relationships with their direct reports.

Benefits for front-line employees. Using tools that employees already know and have at their fingertips (their smartphones) gives employees the information they need to do their jobs, improves their engagement, and makes it easy for them to provide feedback while feeling more connected.

Organizational returns. Empowering employees with tools and information to better serve customers means increased revenue and customer loyalty.

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