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Retail HR Guide - How Technology Has Evolved Since Covid-19

The retail industry has - and continues - to grapple with ever-changing conditions in light of the pandemic from temporary and permanent store closures to mask-wearing, social distancing, and heightened health and safety guidance. 

In our new report, the ‘Retail HR Guide - How Technology Has Evolved Since Covid-19’, we uncover how the rapid acceleration of automated technology has impacted the retail industry, spotlighting how HR teams must adapt to attract, grow and retain their employees.

Retail retention rates remain one of the lowest in the UK

The ongoing disruption of the pandemic has directly affected staff engagement, with many retail workers looking for a more stable job, or to change the industry completely. Either way, people are looking for more flexible options post-Covid.

Many forward-thinking companies such as Superdrug and Pets At Home demonstrated employee-centric values throughout the pandemic, and as competition increases, retailers must now work harder to retain their talent. 

This requires employers to focus more on flexibility, engagement, training and development, and wellbeing measures to keep their workforce and drive growth as a retailer. 

Workers have more needs that must be met post-pandemic

Employees are experiencing new pressures in addition to the fears of job loss and redundancy. Whilst furloughed staff have lost confidence having been out of the loop for so long. This has contributed to a nationwide mental health crisis, with one in five adults experiencing depression in early 2021. 

50% of respondents consider flexibility to be more important after Covid-19, ahead of salary, benefits and culture, particularly for millennials

The workforce shortage, combined with the rise of eCommerce and click and collect services, has also meant that full-time staff are overworked across multiple departments. This has highlighted a need for customised learning opportunities to upskill workers who can move horizontally within the company. By investing in development rather than recruitment, retailers can not only cut costs but engage and retain employees who would otherwise be tempted by competitors.

Technology deployment has quickly advanced as a result of COVID-19

In answer to these challenges, digital tools such as Microsoft Teams, employee scheduling solutions and advanced wellness platforms have been rapidly utilised. Each of which promotes a more connected, flexible and caring environment that boosts retainment.

Retailers must therefore embrace digital innovations and automated workforce management solutions to better manage both employees and their business’s complex needs.

Read the full report about how automated technology can solve the retail staffing crisis by downloading our report below.

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