Why retail needs talent and tech to deliver agile Workforce Management | elementsuite
Click Here

Why retail needs talent and tech to deliver agile Workforce Management

HR is reinventing the ways of working faster than ever before. To be relevant in today’s fast-paced and ever-changing world, technology is transforming the workplace. Organisations have to rely on robust and future-proof plans to connect their business strategy and Target Operating Model with People, Processes and Technology. One of the challenges many organisations face these days is enabling and empowering using Retail Workforce Management tools (WFM). With the right combination of talent and technology, the HR function can add strategic value and utilise the workforce management solution to reinforce strategic plans.

Retail Workforce management is a powerful tool for businesses

At a simplistic level WFM may seem straightforward, but its not: integrating a set of processes that a company uses to optimise employee productivity is complex. Implementing processes that connect layered data, with predictive tools that use past trends to effectively forecast labour demand can seem difficult. However, when done efficiently, this simplifies the creation and management of staff schedules to meet the business needs on a day-to-day and hour–to-hour basis. This can also create flexibility too, but your people are at the centre of your operation. So smooth and efficient WFM can build higher engagement, less friction and happier staff, with reduced staff churn.

Great efficiencies from data analytics, machine learning and staff planning

Business leaders should create behavioural insights to understand the challenges faced by the operational teams (especially in retail and service industries) and help teams forecast the key indicators. There is a significant opportunity for leadership, to elevate the conversations about workforce management, by applying the advanced machine learning and data analysis techniques that could help them drive business operations more efficiently.

Macro factors for WFM decisions

Operational leadership need to be vigilant, more than ever, about the internal and external factors such as political climate (e.g. Brexit), socio-economic indicators, and emerging consumer behaviours. Customer expectations and behaviour are continuously changing as we move through the pandemic. With the use of agile technology, businesses have to repeatedly redesign their user experiences in real-time. This makes businesses agile and more robust, which is a goal so many seek in the current economic climate.

Retailers who survive and thrive during and after the pandemic will be characterised as businesses who are agile in their approach and continuously adapt to these uncertain factors. Businesses, especially in the retail and hospitality industry, have to enhance and in some cases throw out established strategies and create new plans to equip their workforce to serve their customers better. By leveraging innovative workforce technologies, employers can equip employees to respond to changing customer demands. To meet the fluctuating demands, and adapt to the new legislative and organisational requirements, employers need to have smart workforce management tools which provide real-time actionable insights and allow effective decision making.

Employee-centric approach to WFM

elementsuite’s Workforce Management module is a fully integrated mobile workforce management system designed to simplify the complexity involved in the workforce management processes. It’s mobile friendly features empower staff to manage their shifts and request changes as required.

Businesses want and need flexibility to be in the driving seat, because every business is unique. With workforce dynamics in such a state of flux caused by lockdown, it’s a time to let innovative practices defy the uncertainty every business is experiencing. Put the managers on a positive footing to achieve the strategic goals. Built on modern scheduling technology, elementWork predicts the managers staffing requirements by incorporating factors such as historic sales data, real-time weather, global or local events, and any other promotional events. With support from accurate and robust forecasting and budgeting dashboards, managers can optimise the scheduling demands and improve productivity.

Take a look at what others have done:

Fridays have successfully rolled out (HR, Work, Pay, Engage, Recruit) across the Fridays business. The elementWork implementation for Fridays (elementsuite WFM) has simplified the complex multi-site shift and schedule planning tasks. And enabled the managers to access a mobile-friendly intuitive Retail Workforce Management solution. Read the Fridays story.

Retail Workforce Management methodology

elementsuite’s methodology for building a ‘Powerful, Smart workforce management system falls in line with the Fred Brooks Agile principles, i.e.

  • Gather requirements – learn and iterate
    Business-specific requirements are gathered by it’s experienced functional team using the best industry practices.
  • Build and Rapid deployment
    elementsuite modules are built, tested and deployed using the agile delivery model. Each module is unit tested using automated tools and deployed after a thorough system testing.
  • Help and support
    Our highly skilled cross functional team provides support in deploying new features and resolving any bugs.

WFM benefits

If your business has complexity in terms of workforce patterns, workforce location and constant change, then Retail Workforce Management will deliver significant benefits such as those listed below:

  • Improved payroll efficiency
  • Reduction in complex process by automating tasks
  • Greater employee insight
  • Easier staff scheduling and management
  • More efficient staff planning
  • Higher staff engagement
  • Reduction and optimisation of staff costs
  • Real time view for planning
  • Consolidated data for improved decision making
  • Increased productivity, which will deliver bottom line results
  • Operational agility

The potential benefits of using a Retail Workforce Management system are numerous. But most importantly – they really are a “win win” from a business and a staff perspective. Let’s also not forget the benefits to the customer. The ultimate objective can be achieved – which is that businesses can provide better customer service by having the right people in the right place at the right time.

12 common pitfalls in HR leadership and how to avoid them

How can HR leadership overcome the common pitfalls that prevent us from achieving a people-centric organisation in the new era of work?

Learn more

10 HR planning challenges and how to solve them

See how you can solve the top 10 HR planning challenges for the future of your business

Learn more

elementsuite at the CIPD Festival of Work 2024

Join us as we take you through the highlights of our experience at the CIPD Festival of Work 2024!

Learn more

Nothing beats the experience of seeing elementsuite in action. It’s flexible, scalable and easy to use by everyone.

Whether you’re in HR, Finance, IT or Ops, experience your new world of work first-hand.

Book a demo