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With online competition growing daily, every retail manager wishes they had more hours to deal with the day-to-day challenges. These include hiring and training employees to provide the best customer service, being present as a manager, managing the cost of operating, and much more.
Fierce competition has left retailers trying to find the cheapest deals and incentives to offer the customer that will entice them into the door. The footfall both online and offline is the number one priority. Therefore, the everyday tasks are left to last. Retail managers understand they need to change in order to play the game. But the problem is that you need more than 24 hours in a day to deliver all these business needs.
We interviewed hundreds of retailers who utilize Connecteam every day as their tool to tackle common day-to-day challenges. Below will demonstrate best practices to overcome difficulties retailers faced before digitizing. Discover more about what Connecteam could do for your retail company.
Common Challenges Retail Managers Face
Communication Across the Board
“Communication between management and shop floor workers was extremely difficult. Employees don’t know each other, and then they are expected to be a unit – it doesn’t make sense!”
“I just don’t have the time to communicate changes – whether it’s protocol, an announcement, a new sale, theft or fraud, the employee of the month, new PR efforts, or even a positive review – there simply isn’t enough time! And I don’t even have a way to track who received the message.”
As a big retail company, Connecteam’s solution is ideal for us. The software and its management system help us to be in constant contact with each other. This has been useful to keep in touch with other branches as they are based all over the country. – Barak Alfital, FOX Group
Keeping Employees Engaged
“Keeping my entire staff engaged and motivated to get the job done and provide quality customer service is a tall order. It’s just time-consuming and usually expensive. I just don’t have the time or money.”
“I struggle to connect with my millennial workers, they expect an instant and robust solution but we just don’t have the reach.”
Creating Schedules That Works for Everyone
“I feel like I’m wasting too much time on creating the work schedule, it isn’t even my job! But for some reason, I spend hours trying to figure it out.
“I play a lot of phone tag with my employees when it comes to creating and editing the schedule. I’m taking a lot of calls because last-minute requests come in and I need to find someone who can cover the shift.”
Paperwork Is Endless and Disorganized
“With so much physical paperwork and checklists to review, it’s hard for me to know that everything was done in the correct manner and on time.”
“Whenever we need to update our sales, protocols, procedures, and more, we waste a lot of time printing new pages and adding them to the binder. Then I have to make sure all the locations have the updated pages, it’s a hassle! Not to mention we aren’t even certain that all the employees are aware of the new changes.”
Onboarding and Training
“An entire day is usually lost because I’m just so busy organizing my day to suit everyone’s needs. The idea is that they come in and learn a new method or develop new skills. My employees dread training days and to be honest, I don’t blame them. I’m not a big fan of organizing them!”
“In retail, we have a lot of new hires who leave within the first three to six months so we lose a lot of time on training and onboarding. We really need a more efficient and quick way to handle the training, while making sure the employee is ready to hit the ground running.”
Connecteam – the solution for retail companies!
Connecteam’s retail employee app assists you in scheduling shifts, automating processes, enhance communication, and much more…
Connecteam Helps You Overcome Common Challenges
Automate daily operations
Day-to-day operations are a vital element of retail companies. Checklists and reports are commonly used to reduce stress and automate processes. The point is to simplify these processes so you have a better understanding of what’s happening on the shop floor. Therefore the right tool improves response time, provides a better flow, and gives you a full 360 aspect of your business. Here are some examples of what digitized checklists do for your business:
- Store opening and closing checklist
- Store weekly summary report
- End of day cash reporting
- Refunds and returns report
- Employee purchase record
- Expenses reimbursement form
- Tax exemption report
- Product expiration check and reporting
- Reporting a damaged product
- Auditing Planograma compliance
- Reporting virtual merchandise sightings
- Stock order request form
- Stock transfer request from one store to the next
- Cleaner checklist
- Maintenance ticket
The benefit of saving all your reports is that they are archived. Therefore, when you send your files off to your accountant, they ask you how much did you close on 06/13/2021. You simply go into the application and it’s easy to filter, and you can find the answer in no time at all. That’s much easier than searching through all your paper Z reports trying to find the figures.
Retail companies rely heavily on communication. Whether it’s from headquarters to store managers, HR to the team, Store managers to employees, and the list goes on. Communication tools include:
- Employee directory: easily search team members and managers’ contact details through the app. There is no need to save numbers on your personal phone. The app is always up-to-date.
- Chat groups and channels: streamlines day-to-day communication for efficiency. You have the option to open groups for each specific department. The app allows you to separate your work life from your private life.
- Realtime push notifications and updates: for both formal and informal announcements. Formal includes when the team reaches their goals, new items, promotions, success stories, etc. Informal consists of birthdays, weddings, new baby, any personal updates, etc.
Raise Team Standards
In retail operations, team standards play a key role in the success of the company. Retailers use Connecteam to improve company culture as it brings the team closer. In addition, the software also improves the standards at which procedures are performed. These include training, manager observation reports, encouragement of reporting, communicating company-wide successes, and much more.
Manager Observation Report Examples:
- Store visit checklist for inspectors (appearance, visual merchandise, team appearance, team service, operations)
- Team standards – customer service observation (to be filled by a manager)
- Team standards – appearance observation (to be filled by a manager)
- Team standards – visual merchandise (to be filled by manager, to include pictures)
- Employee performance review
Team Member Report Examples:
- Excellent service received (filled by any team member in one of the company’s locations)
- Visual merchandise sitting (filled by any team member in one of the company’s locations)
- Customer incident report
Training shadow practices examples:
- Cashier hands-on training checklist (one-on-one to be filled by trainer)
- Emergency protocol (one-on-one test for emergency response, such as fire, theft, etc.)
- Helping the ‘just looking customer’ (observation form, for on-the-job-training)
Onboarding New Employees
As an industry with high employee turnover rates, onboarding is a crucial element when it comes to the following:
- operational efficiency
- sales excellence
- and customer service.
Retailers choose Connecteam as it provides new employees with a structured, clean and simple onboarding experience. This is because everything is in one place. For Example:
- Downloading the app prior to arrival in order to gain access to all relevant information and onboarding guidelines.
- Filling user information form (contact details, emergency contact, photo, etc.)
- A welcome note and background about the company (usually accompanied by a short video)
- Frequently Asked Questions section
- On-boarding related paperwork:
- Health and safety – watch the video, go through the presentation, and sign to acknowledge
- Loss prevention policy – read and sign to acknowledge
- Employee handbook – read and sign to acknowledge
- Uniform agreement – read and sign to acknowledge
- Disabilities support policy – Read and sign to acknowledge
Employee Training on a Regular Basis
In-app training is for every single employee and to keep track of their progress. Should any further training be needed, it can be added to the knowledge center. Different job roles will require training based on their position and seniority level. Common training includes:
- Point of Sale training
- Customer service
- Consumer body language
- Do’s and Don’ts
- Operations training (stock management, product quality issues, stock order, etc.)
- Visual Merchandise training
- Product knowledge – brands, products, collections, promotions etc.
- Helping multiple customers at once
- Helping the ‘just looking’ customer
- Detecting counterfeit – how to recognize fake bills?
- Health and safety training
- Sexual harassment prevention training
Many companies before Connecteam would use Google Drive, Onedrive, Sharepoint, presentations, etc. Now Connecteam allows retailers to have all of that in one place.
Stopping Loss-Prevention and Shoplifting
To ensure loss-prevention and fight shop-lifting, retailers often use Connecteam to:
- Submit end-of-day cash report for each POS.
- Ensure all employees read and sign the loss-prevention policy, along with making sure employees are aware of the consequences if they fail to do so.
- Fill in ‘loss-prevention inspection forms’ and reviewing high-end products
- Provide a follow-through protocol for dealing with such situations
- Communicate in real-time on high-risk individuals and incidents. (Don’t open emails from, no one approves cash withdrawal, etc.)
- If someone enters the store with a high dollar bill for a small item, it’s could be counterfeit
- Check with a manager before agreeing to accept goods into the store.
- If a supplier requests money, check with a manager to see they are actually a supplier.
Scheduling Shifts Is a Breeze
Connecteam’s job scheduling feature assists managers to plan, manage and distribute shifts. This is usually done at each store individually for their teams. The job scheduling feature does the following:
- Provides relevant information, including time, position, and special instructions.
- Sends push notifications to ensure employees arrive on time and notifies the manager if someone runs late.
- Keeps records of clock in and clock out time, along with the location tagged.
- Allows for shift notes, comments, and pictures when needed.
- Provides employees with the chance to accept and reject shifts (optional – can be disabled).
Better Compliance Across the Board
When it comes to compliance, ‘Read and Sign’ forms are mostly used, as well as periodical refresher training courses. All documents are logged and automatically sent as a PDF copy to predefined email(s). They can be customized for each form, and users are able to export a summary report at any time.
Read and sign documents include:
- Employee handbook acknowledgment
- Health and safety
- Uniform agreement
- Sexual harassment policy
Company Protocols Are Easily Accessible
The most common protocol related resources retail companies usually have available for their employees via the app are:
- Employee handbook
- Health and safety protocols
- Code of conduct
- Sexual harassment policy
- Uniform policy
- Loss prevention policy
- Aid to disabled individuals policy
Human Resource Needs
Recommend a friend: Simplifies recommending friends for a position, helping increase recruitment reach.
- Vacation and sick leave requests: employees receive an automatic update if requests were denied or approved.
- Personal information form for onboarding new employees: personal info, contact info, emergency contact, documents such as tax forms /photo ID, etc.
- Updating contact information: address, name, mobile number, email, bank account change.
- Employee satisfaction surveys or performance reviews.
Manager forms and materials: how to conduct an interview, termination-related paperwork, the Do’s and Don’ts, FAQ, and more.
Time Tracking Is Simple to Manage
Retail companies use Connecteam for time tracking and payroll sheets. They use it for the following reasons:
- Clocking in and out of shifts, in some cases using a Kiosk station (iPad).
- Setting predefined reminders to ensure employees are clocking in and out on time.
- To manage and approve leave, and time off.
- Exporting payroll sheets, per shift or as a total.
Retailers Opt for Connecteam as Their Go-to Solution
Connecteam transforms the way retailers run their businesses. Employees have a clear view of their schedule and notes of what is required. Workers begin their shift without waiting for managers to give them a brief when they start. With simple to fill out checklists and reports, employees then fill them out, and managers receive the updates in real-time. Should there be a shortage of a product or a safety hazard, it’s dealt with before it becomes a real issue.
As the retail industry experiences high turnover, training employees via the Connecteam software makes onboarding simpler all around. New employees have their handbooks on them at all times, so for any questions, they are able to refer back to the manuals, which are accessible from any device, and at any time.
Engagement levels also remain high as you may announce team goals, new products, successes, etc. The updates feature allows you to do that and more. Connecteam is just that it connects teams! You can get back to growing your business!
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