Agilyx Insights

Written by Oliver Pritchard
on July 13, 2018

 It's no secret that the retail industry is constantly evolving. Just look at what has happened in the past 10 or even 5 years? Online shopping, discount department stores and pop up retail shops, to name a few, have significantly changed the way retail organisations operate

Organisations now need to exceed customer service expectations instead of simply meeting them. Retail organisations depend on customers coming back by advocating for their brand to spread the word and bring in more customers. But how can you offer great customer service when your staff is not motivated, or when you can’t roster enough people during peak season? Is your organisation able to adapt based on changing customer demands?

Choosing between an integrated or disparate HR and Payroll system can have a significant impact on your employees. At the end of the day, they are the ones interacting with your customers and trying to meet those demands to the best of their abilities. Read on to learn about the three key HR challenges in the retail industry today and how an integrated HR and Payroll solution can help.

1. 35% of retail employees feel disengaged with their work, leading to high turnover and lower quality customer service

Have you ever asked yourself how many of the employees in your organisation are truly engaged? Have you ever wondered how disengaged employees have an impact on your business and turnover?

There are many reasons that lead to this disengagement. One of the most important is the lack of recognition of talented staff, who may feel frustrated and end up leaving the company.

Quantum Workplace’s Employee Engagement Trends Report shows that disengaged employees lead to higher staff turnover, lower sales and worse customer service.

Many studies have also proved that high staff turnover has a direct effect on customer experience and customer loyalty. Retail organisations are constantly trying to get loyal customers that purchase often, spread the word and bring in other customers that will, in turn, become loyal. But how can you do that if customers keep seeing a new face every time they enter your store?

2. Retail’s inconsistent rostering, multiple employee contract types and different commission structures result in a complex payroll process

The retail industry is a unique workforce that is made up of casual, seasonal, part-time and full-time retail employees, full-time head office employees, contract distribution channel workers and everything that falls in between. As a result, payroll and employee record information becomes highly complex.

Payroll calculations for full-time or salaried staff require less effort than the calculations for part-time staff, which need to take into account considerations such as the use of time attendance records, flexible working hours/shifts and rostering. An HR system that lacks automation and communication with your payroll solution makes these processes endlessly complicated and time-consuming.

The process proves to be more difficult in retail because of the high percentage of sales staff and complex commission calculations. Over 80% of a retailer’s headcount is sales staff, which results in significant amounts of additional work due to intricate commission calculations (e.g. store, team and even individual specific) being performed each month.

3. The struggle of seasonal staff and constant organisation restructuring changes

The seasonal increase and decrease of employee headcount can be a real challenge for retail organisations. With all of the mayhem that comes with this teeter-tottering of employees, how do you ensure your clients are receiving the best service possible to satisfy their customer experience?

Retailers need to ensure that their offerings are agile enough to deliver on promises made to a new age of ever-demanding customers. The retail calendar is full of spikes such as Black Friday, Christmas, January sales, Valentine’s Day, Easter and Halloween, so the employee schedule is never consistent.

Focus is wrongly centred around survival when attention should be switched to how the retailer can adapt accordingly during these times of high demand. Retail organisations with disparate systems are often not able to plan for future organisational changes because they do not have the visibility to see what impacts these changes will have. How do you know how many people you need in your shops for the holiday season? Can you move staff around different stores to meet the busy season requirements? Retail organisations struggle to change quickly due to the need to make changes countless times in multiple systems.

To learn how an integrated HR & Payroll system can help you deal with these challenges, click the download link to the right for the full e-guide.

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