When we talk about workforce planning in retail, we are aware that we are faced with a unique reality: it is a mix of full-time, part-time, seasonal and even occasional. Not to mention the employees who are present in the headquarters and deal with administration, marketing, purchasing, supplier management, human resources and customer support.
This means that resource management and planning is really complex.
Retailers, like all organizations that want to stand out from the competition, try to create agile business models and to do so they are aware of the need for equally flexible personnel management.
This is where the climb begins. Workforce planning has always been one of the biggest challenges for retailers. As you know, it is no joke to find the right balance in this area, taking into account sales data, consumers, visits depending on the time and day of the week, revenue forecasts, promotions… Staff cannot be overburdened, but at the same time it is necessary to meet the needs of customers.
Here comes the workforce planning
Having an efficient workforce planning means being able to balance the needs of employees with those of business. But not only. Market players are able to find a work life balance, balancing work efficiencies, costs and margins, keeping the consumer experience as a central point.
At this point we can say it out loud: good resource planning is essential for a retailer. Being subject to regulations such as health and safety, but also to additional shifts, training, illness, holidays, details of various contracts, generates different bridles for the HR department. This is mainly because making mistakes also means increasing costs and having direct impacts on the loyalty of the same staff.
A good workforce plan takes into account the various nuances that color the retailer’s landscape and the details that are needed to meet needs from both directions. It can also bring to light any gaps in personnel, skills and training.
It also means that a retailer is able to do more with less.
But how to do it? To make a workforce efficient and valuable, complex spreadsheets and poor communications should be avoided, in favor of a digital solution that allows staff to be aligned in real time, offering access to data even to employees who are enabled. This increases the level of transparency and simplicity in the management of shift changes and changes, and allows you to adapt to situations smoothly.
According to Bain & Company, workforce optimization and personnel planning is one of the focal points of organizations today. It allows, in fact, to face the volatility of the question and to react to the variable volumes of the consumers. In addition, unproductive hours can be reduced to a minimum, and employees with cross-qualifications can increase responsiveness beyond their department.
Remember: creating a staff structure that is based on balance, flexibility and resilience, allows you to achieve success.