The retail industry presents a unique HR calling. Turnover can be high, while staffing requirements vary season-to-season and sometimes week-to-week. With that fluid workforce, you still must remain compliant and put forth a trained and skilled workforce that helps your company achieve its business goals.
Front line employees may often be the seasonal or newly onboarded worker, and they are the people that interact directly with your customers—often influencing the way customers view your company. That puts pressure on human resources to ensure all employees are well-trained and well-versed in the company’s values and goals.
This all may sound daunting, but the challenges HR faces in retail present an opportunity. Retail HR organizations can provide real business value to their organizations by improving retention rate, educating employees, remaining compliant, and harnessing the power of employee data. To help achieve those goals, we’ve broken down five key steps that can help your HR organization become a competitive advantage for the business:
Rapidly onboarding and training new hires: High turnover rates and seasonal hiring necessitate that your organization is efficient in its recruiting, onboarding, and training functions. This is where self-service technology can help—if employees and managers can perform HR transactions on their own in a user-friendly system, that takes the burden off HR personnel to process and perform many onboarding and training tasks.
Engaging employees across a diverse and dispersed workforce: Your workforce is large, and often spread across many departments and locations—potentially around the world. Keeping employees engaged will help retain the best workers, as well as make your place a more attractive place to work. Building a standardized communication process for the entire company, as well as providing easy access for employees to engage with the company and their managers is key.
Align all employees—including seasonal and contractors—with business priorities and brand messaging: You may have an employee that only works with you in November and December. How do you align them to the goals of your company and the brand messaging? This needs to be considered when building out training programs and training content. It also means that training material should be easily accessed and assigned in a way that optimizes an employee’s educational experience. There are software options to help take some of the difficult work out of the training process, such as SAP SuccessFactors Learning combined with Rizing LMS Planner.
Improve compliance and security with a decentralized HR model: It can tough to unify HR processes across multiple locations. However, regulations and security risks are still there to be dealt with. The challenge for retail HR teams is to create an environment where individual locations can handle regulatory and security issues without intervention from a centralized overseer. That’s the only way for these challenges to be handled quickly and effectively. Education is important, and security and compliance should be embedded in your training programs.
Leverage analytics to support business decisions: HR data is an asset that offers your company the chance to transform in the digital age and find an edge in an increasingly competitive market. Managing data and effectively analyzing it can help you identify important employee trends that will help create happier, more engaged, and better trained employees who stick around for longer. HR is seemingly one of the last frontiers in analytics, but tools like Rizing Lyra and SAP SuccessFactors People Analytics enable HR professionals to analyze and visualize data without deep knowledge of statistics and statistical programming.
A well-oiled set of HR processes and technology can lead to real progress in managing human capital. In Retail, that often means being fast, and offering something that is easy for a wide range of employees to adopt.
The rise of cloud HR software such as SAP SuccessFactors provides the user-friendly base on which to transform your HR department into a business asset. It allows for self-service across the board, enabling employees and managers to conduct the every-day HR tasks, freeing up HR employees to dig deeper into the data and find new and better ways to do things.