For small business retail owners, the tug-of-war between creating a great customer experience and building a sustainable, cohesive team is not easy, and one often comes at the expense of the other. You know you need to devote more time to retail HR, but you’re not sure how.
Unlike other industries, high turnover in retail means you don’t get as much return on investment (ROI) from recruiting, onboarding and training new employees, and a limited and inexperienced workforce makes onboarding new hires a bigger challenge. And post-pandemic, you need to provide impeccable customer service to compete with retail stores Advantages of e-commerce.
Arming yourself with effective retail HR strategies that will help you build a strong team and make your business more resilient is the best way to tackle the biggest retail industry challenges of 2022. So let’s explore how to do it.
Homebase helps you create a great place to work.
What is retail HR?
Retail HR is the set of tasks and responsibilities associated with managing employees in a retail business.
Although every retail business is different and has its own unique problems and goals, Retail HR typically deals with optimizing recruitment, onboarding, training and development processes so that your workforce can provide the best possible customer experience and help you meet your sales objectives.
Why is HR important in retail?
HR is important in retail because, unlike other industries, The need for retail owners and managers to hit sales quotas means they are constantly monitoring sales data and giving feedback to their customer-facing staff throughout the day. So, without HR resources to support retail workers, It is easy for them to burn out quicklyEspecially if they don’t share your passion for your business.
If you take the time to do retail HR right, it can help you:
- Find top quality retail talent Those who can handle work at a fast pace and are not intimidated by complex customer service issues.
- Train your team to make an offer the best Customer experience.
- Create a healthy work culture Built on constant feedback, praise and recognition.
- Develop your staff professionally Hence they develop excellent retail skills which they can use to advance their careers.
5 Common HR Challenges and Solutions
Creating a positive employee experience in a retail environment can be a challenge, but when you get it right it’s very rewarding and has a satisfying impact on your bottom line. Let’s take an in-depth look at some of the biggest HR retail challenges facing business owners and managers in 2022.
1. Employee retention
The retail turnover rate is approx 60% And with recent mass layoffs shrinking an already tight labor market, employee retention is currently a major concern for retail owners, even for those There was not high turnover in the past.
Turnover in retail is not new – it’s been a major problem for years and has a lot to do with:
- Low hourly pay and fewer benefits Compared to other industries
- Long hours, high stress, and high burnout
- Little room for improvement
- Employees who may only work part-time
- A traditionally young and inexperienced talent pool
But recruitment and Employee retention The reasons are not lost on retail managers and owners who want to build a talented, reliable team that will last for the long term. Here’s what you can do to make your business more attractive to both job seekers and existing employees:
- Offer a more competitive employee package when sourcing candidates. If you can’t afford a higher hourly rate, consider bonuses and incentives — eg Primary access to wages Or tuition reimbursement — you can offer to motivate them.
- Train staff thoroughly, but then trust their abilities And be open to their feedback and ideas.
- See how you can offer more Flexibility in schedule For a better work-life balance.
- Easy to use Homebase tools Onboarding and training — as well as our tools for it Increase employee happiness – To make the recruitment process smoother and more motivating for new hires.
2. Company culture
Everyone in your retail company needs to work together to maintain a healthy work culture, but leadership sets the tone. If you’ve ever experienced a dysfunctional workplace, this probably comes as no surprise to you 76% Employees have or have experienced a toxic boss.
In a dysfunctional workplace, managers and employees can fall apart toxic behavior For example:
- Micromanaging employees
- Using fear or intimidation to get results
- Microaggressions such as harassment, offensive jokes, or tone policing
- Gaslighting employees with statements such as, “I think you are overreacting” or “I never said that.”
Dealing with this type of situation can have a very negative impact on your company culture, but HR processes and policies can play a big role in downsizing. If you think your company culture needs improvement, here are some steps you can take:
- Get a pulse check on your employee culture Ask your staff to fill one out Team survey. In this survey, you can ask the question, “How much support do you feel from your manager or team leads?” and “Is your professional development path clear to you?”
- introduce Healthy workplace Fundamentals of culture How to be a more empathetic manager like a system for employee rewards and recognition and training.
- Use Homebase communication tools To track employee performance, provide feedback easily and increase employee engagement.
3. Employee scheduling
Predictable schedule More important to employees than most managers realize. Always creating a consistent schedule in advance can be a challenge, especially in retail when peak sales periods of the week don’t always coincide with employee availability.
This is why some managers find it easier to schedule with little or no advance notice, so employees don’t have time to defer or ask for different hours.
The best way to solve this common HR retail problem is by using a Scheduling tool This gives you:
- Create schedules consistent with sales forecasts and labor goals So you will have enough staff for each shift and be able to explain the decision to schedule specific hours to staff.
- Check your staff’s availability, time off, and schedule conflicts before You create your schedule.
- Share your schedule quickly and easily Including automatic text notifications that let your team know as soon as your schedule is released and lots of advanced notifications.
- Communicate with team members about schedule conflicts and transfer swaps
4. Seasonal demand
High consumer demand and increased traffic around the holidays often create the need to hire seasonal help. But it also presents an ongoing challenge for retail managers who have a short window of time to hire, onboard and train new employees and prepare them for the busiest, most challenging time of year to work in retail. It is more difficult to make temporary employees feel like they are part of the team and motivate them to meet their sales goals.
We recommend devoting more time and attention Seasonal retail workers You bring to your team by:
- Proper verification of seasonal applicants and Ensuring they understand the unique challenges of seasonal work Before they take it.
- Providing incentives to new seasonal workers Like discounts or higher hourly wages.
- Show your appreciation by praising seasonal workers profusely And celebrate their victory.
- Keeping in touch with reliable seasonal workers And asking them to come back in the future. You can also give them a specific incentive if they work for you again next year.
5. Team communication
Coordinating day-to-day retail tasks and keeping your team motivated to achieve daily or even monthly sales targets requires a lot of communication.
But you also need to communicate related to Team communication — Tell your employees when they should touch base with you, your preferred channels of communication, and — in emergency or emergency situations such as illness, sudden change needs, or last-minute vacations — what procedures they should follow.
Consider using a Team communication tool It enables you to:
- Send unlimited messages To give your team real-time updates about schedules, salaries, wages and other essential information.
- Avoid cracks and anything falling through Keep all your contacts together in one place.
- Get automatic updates when team members are late or don’t show up for a shift.
How Homebase helps retail businesses with HR
We know you didn’t start a small retail business because you love HR processes or enjoy doing repetitive administrative tasks. And we understand that many local businesses don’t have the resources to hire an HR manager to help.
But we know you want to create a positive experience for your customers and employees and build a brand you’re proud of. Homebase is the only all-in-one, cost-effective people management tool designed to help small businesses easily automate their HR processes for hourly employees – e.g. Recruitment and Onboarding, schedule, Salary, Team communicationAnd consent. With a tool like Homebase, you can save your creative, problem-solving energy for the work that really matters to your retail business.
Homebase helps you create a great place to work.
HR retail FAQs
What are the top challenges for retail HR?
Some of the top challenges retail HR professionals face are:
- Retaining employees and avoiding turnover
- Training and onboarding of employees with little or no experience
- Cultivating and maintaining a great workplace culture
- Especially employees scheduled on weekends, holidays and other irregular hours
- Seasonal staff required to cope with high customer demand
- Communicate expectations with employees
What are some of the jobs of HR in retail?
The objective of retail HR is to recruit, onboard, train and maintain a great team of employees who will improve the customer experience, meet sales goals and help run the retail business effectively.
So, while retail HR may seem like an unnecessary consideration for sales-oriented business owners, it’s actually crucial to growing your business. Some important functions of retail HR include:
- Recruiting and hiring employees
- Onboarding and training of new hires
- Schedule your employees
- ongoing salary
- Making sure your business complies with local and state laws
- Creating a culture of feedback, appreciation and continuous improvement
Does Homebase have HR features?
Yes, Homebase has HR features and our platform makes it easy for small business owners with no HR experience to focus on growing their business and managing their people. Our HR features include:
- Recruitment and Onboarding
- A mobile time clock app
- Team communication
- Employee happiness