Resilience is overtaking productivity as the most important metric for measuring success in 2022. Gaps in resilience have left many industries exposed. Supply chains have focused too much on efficiency and optimisation, and haven’t been able to flex to changes in consumer behaviour, causing widespread delays. In essential sectors such as childcare, recent skills shortages make balancing compliance with the needs of employees increasingly difficult.
In retail, the burden of productivity falls on the shoulders of managers, floor workers and staff. This usually amounts to understaffing, poorer customer service, longer wait times, and an increasingly unhappy work environment. For example, according to the most recent Quinyx State of the Deskless Workforce report, 69 per cent of retail workers considered quitting their jobs due to a negative work environment. When these workers experienced understaffing, that number rose to an eye-opening 81 per cent.
To avoid the productivity pitfall, managers need to be planning for resilience. How happy are your employees, and how likely are they to stay with you in the long term? Are there any specific skills that are bottlenecks for your operation? How far in advance are you creating hiring plans, in the event key employees leave your organisation? Below are three critical workforce management strategies that will help ensure your team is resilient and set up for long-term success.
1. Happy workforce, happy business
The topic on everyone’s mind amid the Great Resignation is how to keep employees happy, and retain them in the long run. Just 60 per cent of deskless workers polled plan to stay in their current job for more than one year. In retail, this number dropped to 55 per cent. Understaffing, lack of flexibility, and low employee engagement are some of the main drivers behind high turnover. A third of employees polled would prefer more flexibility over a higher paycheck. For employers, the research clearly shows that attracting and retaining workers can be achieved without spending more on pay.
2. Plan for every situation
Wisdom dictates that we should plan for what is difficult, while it is easy. When disruptions happen, you should feel comfortable that you’ve accounted for all the possibilities. Acting well in advance of these situations will help improve resilience when the going gets tough. Long-term forecasts, turnover rates and hiring strategies can now be bolstered by AI and visualisation tools that let you plan for any number of scenarios on demand.
3. Roster early, roster right
According to the research, 34 per cent of workers have left a job because they didn’t get their schedules with enough notice (at least a week in advance). In fact, many of the benefits above can be achieved with some simple tweaks to the way you roster your staff.
By using automated forecasting to predict how busy you’ll be, you can ensure you have the right team members on at the right times. By meeting your employees’ availability and preferences, and publishing rosters well in advance, you can remove the anxiety that comes with shift work and continually changing work schedules. By rotating staff across different roles, you can prevent any bottlenecks and ensure you have a variety of skills available at all times.
Quinyx’s powerful AI automation for workforce management and rostering helps take the guesswork out of building resilient, happy teams. All in one click, within your existing rostering software.
About the author: Vihan Patel is country manager at Quinyx.