Providing Excellent HR Services to Dynamic Teams: Best Practices for Retail
by Nicole Lindenbaum July 28 2017
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We know that providing top-of-the-line HR services in a traditional corporate setting can be a big undertaking - but providing HR services in other settings brings even greater complexity and challenges. The retail industry, for instance, faces unique obstacles to delivering HR services. Retail workforces are dynamic, with high turnover, and consist of a mix of corporate employees and hourly staff. Providing consistent and efficient HR services to distributed teams, who don’t all have desks or even corporate email addresses, requires thinking a little more creatively about service delivery. Here, we’ll take a look at the best ways to deliver HR services for organizations in the retail industry.
Supporting Employees in the Retail Industry
1. Help Employees Help Themselves
Do some of your employees work “off-hours” shifts? Providing 24/7 access to HR resources and content is a powerful way to empower your employees to get answers on their own. Personalized knowledge portals with contextualized information about HR policies and processes saves employees the hassle of having to ask someone for help, particularly if it’s after HR hours or HR isn’t physically located in an employee’s store. Giving employees a place to search for personalized HR information also saves HR from answering manual, repetitive questions. But in the retail industry, not every employee sits at a desk with a computer to access their knowledge portal. Organizations can ensure employees have access by providing a knowledge portal that is mobile responsive - meaning employees get the information they need from any device. Some retailers also find creative ways to expand employee access to the portals - for instance, one of our customers provides their employees with kiosks for easy access to HR information at work.
2. Automate Onboarding for a Dynamic Workforce
Retail organizations hire a huge volume of employees constantly, which means onboarding needs to be fast and easy. By automating the onboarding process, HR creates a series of tasks so that each step can be completed quickly and with transparency. HR can assign articles for new employees to read in the knowledge portal and send forms to be signed and returned, all through a single system. And the process can be personalized for different employee types, ensuring compliance. Automated onboarding saves HR substantial time by automatically initiating every step in the onboarding process, without requiring a lot of manual work to onboard every new hire. And quickly completing the onboard process means that your employees can start working right away, giving your stores the help they need faster.
3. Provide Great HR Services for All Employees
Because the retail industry is made up of several types of work agreements, including corporate salaried positions and hourly workers, HR is responsible for meeting a large range of employee needs. For instance, requesting time off will likely be a very different process for an hourly employee working on a store floor than a full-time employee working in a corporate office.
Providing a consistent level of support for every type of employee in every location - without adding more work to HR’s already full plate - is critical. Not only will you be supporting your entire employee base and likely increasing employee retention, you also protect your employer brand. Because retail workers move around a lot, and because of sites like Glassdoor, word of mouth is powerful in retail. If hourly employees feel that they aren’t being provided great service it could create recruiting issues for you. Being known as a company who supports its employees helps you continue to find good hires as workers turn over.
4. Support HR with Modern Technology
The best way to deliver excellent HR services to a diverse and dynamic workforce is to support HR with modern and agile technology. An HR Service Delivery platform enables HR to help different kinds of employees in different locations. You can better communicate internally and with other teams, such as management or leadership. And it contextualizes information and processes so that full-time corporate employees and hourly staffers both get the information they need without additional work on your side. An HR Service Delivery platform can help ensure that all employees, regardless of their role, location, and employment agreement, have a positive experience with HR. This technology saves HR time and answers employee questions quickly, ultimately making a positive impact on employee experience across the company.
Nicole Lindenbaum is the Director of Product Marketing at PeopleDoc by Ultimate Software. Nicole leads the global messaging strategy for PeopleDoc by translating technology into business benefits HR can actually understand. With significant experience in HR technology, Nicole writes and speaks about HR service delivery, employee experience, digital transformation, and the future of work. Nicole holds a BFA from Syracuse University and an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.