Earlier this month, the Speakap team attended LeapHR: Retail in Austin, TX. Leaders from across the industry come to connect and discuss critical topics, such as how to engage the modern retail workforce.
Speakap co-founder Erwin van der Vlist led a breakout session, sharing the new approaches that cutting-edge retailers are taking to transform both employee productivity and customer experience. He highlighted how Speakap customer Rituals Cosmetics has used technology to grow its customer-focused brand.
Besides Erwin’s session, the event saw keynotes, speaking sessions and workshops from some of the US’ leading talent and technology experts, all focused on the critical topic of motivating the retail workforce to exceed employee and customer expectations.
We picked up on the following three methods that any Retail HR Manager should put in place when seeking to help their organization prepare for the future of retail.
1. Focus on the employee experience
Each day, retailers rely on their employees to achieve macro and micro results. Employees must be consistently trained and empowered to help retailers achieve strategic goals, like improving operational efficiency and engaging with customers. Leverage technology to enable employees to create that meaningful and sustainable impact.
A recurring theme throughout LeapHR: Retail was the idea of systematizing thoughtful employee support around work actions and information. Many sessions touched on even automating transactional elements of HR. Intuitive and in-the-moment mobile tech can speed up outstanding employee experiences, leaning into tech to create a more human-centric operation.
2. Build a workplace for the future
The hottest topic at the event was addressing the needs of the millennial and Gen Z employees who increasingly dominate retail. While there are significant differences between millennials and Gen Zers, both are conditioned to connecting through mobile and expect employers to do likewise. A strategic advantage could lie in providing two-way employee communications and content delivery via mobile technology.
With the right communication technology in place, organizations can train employees, identify top performers and support and retain talent, building for the future.
Some speakers highlighted the role of IT. Organizations should leverage their CIO to improve retail employee efficiency and satisfaction, they argued. This is especially true in the multi-unit environment where cloud-based technology provides the ability to speed up staff onboarding and daily capabilities while ensuring consistent employee behavior around food preparation and customer service, for example.
3. Your company culture is your brand
In the days of social media, live broadcasting stories and sites like Glassdoor, it’s now impossible to separate your company culture from your brand. Both need to be excellent to thrive.
Good staff communication plays an essential role in that. But excellent and mobile retail communication technology can help you to not only spread your company culture in terms of messaging but also to train and inform your employees, to establish goals and processes. Doing so can turn your retail employees into your first lines of customer care and product feedback.
We hope these insights into the findings at LeapHR:Retail prove useful and insightful. These are exciting times in HR. We look forward to providing readers of the Speakap blog with more of the highlights from upcoming industry events.