With staff planning software attuned to the needs of retail, the industry can improve employee experience for both workers and managers.

Bricks-and-mortar retailers have experienced massive change of late, from the rise of online shopping, to Brexit, to the pandemic. Now, employees are leaving the industry in droves, with attrition rates far higher than in other sectors.

The situation appears unlikely to change any time soon. In fact, according to a Retail Trust study, 20% of workers intend to quit. This figure rises to one third among big retailers, Poor mental health is a big factor.

Therefore, finding ways to engage, retain, and make the most of the employees you already have is a top priority.

One important yet underestimated strategy is to optimise scheduling activities, giving managers and employees a better handle on staff planning and shifts.

How shift uncertainty hurts retail employee engagement

Research consistently shows that unpredictable shift patterns have a negative impact on retail workers.

A Harvard Kennedy survey of more than 5,000 retail and food service workers found that employees who face unpredictable scheduling practices experience higher levels of economic insecurity, stress, and exhaustion. They also have lower access to affordable childcare.

Another study, conducted over 35 weeks at clothes retailer Gap, also linked ‘unstable scheduling’ to low productivity and poor customer service.

While poor planning has a negative impact on employees, the opposite is also true:

Better staff planning drives up engagement and productivity.

When more stable scheduling was introduced as part of the Gap study, productivity rose by 5%. Better customer service also led to sales increasing by 7% due to higher conversion rates and bigger basket values.

With the retail sector struggling to retain workers, effective scheduling is critical to business success.

Relieve managers’ admin workloads

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Replacing unpredictable systems with more stable scheduling can also make a big difference to store managers’ admin workloads. Too many shift rotas are still worked out using Excel spreadsheets before being printed off, emailed, or Whatsapped to team members.

This kind of manual process is inevitably time-consuming and cumbersome. It makes it tricky to accommodate change easily. It also makes it harder to ensure equitable allocation of shifts to different employees, risking unfairness and potential HR headaches.

These days, we all use apps in our lives and know how simply and smoothly they can and should work. Both managers and their staff expect better. They should be able to easily manage and swap shifts, request and approve leave, and review the number of hours worked, all from the comfort of their smartphones.

Make everyone happier with better staff planning software

Our integrated smart workforce management system improves productivity, profitability, and happiness. Whether you’re assigning shop floor rotas or managing warehouse teams, keep your workforce on track with our robust scheduling and workforce management solution.

With our automated system, your organization’s pay policies can be applied to the employee’s schedule and working hours, resulting in timely and precise compensation, ultimately boosting employee morale, retention, and engagement while reducing payroll errors and associated expenses.

The integrated time and attendance solution also connects with our payroll applications. It removes the need to log shifts or other associated errors, such as under- and over-payments, on spreadsheets, ensuring that staff are automatically paid correctly.

Discover more about Zellis’ award-winning payroll software for retail here.