Why onboarding in retail is now more important than ever
A retailer’s image is carried by its employees more than any other industry.
Whether or not a customer enjoyed shopping at a particular store is undeniably linked to the experience with the employees in-store.
In addition to this, online competition has caused an increase in the standard of customer service that is now required, with consumers heavily researching their purchases, comparison shopping and seeking convenience.
It is now more important than ever for the HR function of retailers to create and nurture a company culture that embraces a positive shopping experience for every customer.
So, with a young, seasonal and transient workforce, where do you even start to implement HR strategies that can promote your brand and image?
ONBOARDING of course!
(Considering it’s the first contact a new hire has with the business, it’s a logical place to start)
Why old school onboarding in retail doesn’t cut it anymore
Onboarding is a challenge for most businesses, but when you have to on-board short-term employees in volume, the challenge only increases.
Not only do you have to onboard a large volume of people quickly, but the timeframe to ensure employees are compliant is shorter, creating more room for error, particularly if you are following manual processes.
And of course, you also have the challenge of getting everyone up to speed—both in terms of training and aligning them with your company vision.
Fortunately, the software can allow businesses to implement simple strategies within the retail onboarding process to make it more impactful.
These strategies include setting up an automated onboarding program that will collect and retain forms, provide a tailored induction/training experience and engage new employees to make them feel welcome.
This not only makes life easier for HR by improving efficiencies and automated record-keeping (finally you can chuck those manila folders!), but allows the new employee to get familiar with both the company culture and their colleagues.
Get ready for a modern workforce
Another thing to keep in mind is that millennials are technology “natives”.
The ease of access and use of technology is all they’ve ever known and a lot of them spend their lives on a device.
With the frustration millennials have with inefficient technology in mind, automated processes are now becoming much more than something that is handy to have, but rather ‘the expected’ from initial engagement.
Getting an employee onboarded into the business should be viewed as more than a sales training or orientation program. It is a written plan that is designed to help your new retail associates get quickly embedded into the company, its vision and the position that they’ve just accepted.
Keep your eye on the bigger picture
Changing this perspective, and putting an automated program into action, is more than just staying up to date with the times (hello, it’s 2018 team!), but also about the tangible business outcomes that come as a result:
- Increased Employee Retention (and Reduced Early Attrition)
- Decreased time to productivity
- Improvement in overall customer satisfaction
- Improvement in the company brand
- Reduction in time and money spent on learning & development for new hires
The need for effective onboarding solutions is clear and we are continuously seeing more research that reveals just how valuable it is to start employees off on the right foot — Your New Hires Won’t Succeed Unless You Onboard Them Properly and New Research Reveals the Impact of Strategic Onboarding.
The first period of a new employees job is crucial to their success and, by extension, the success of your business.