Omni-connected retail workforces—a new dynamic
The pandemic and its aftermath changed everything for the retail workforce. With more than two years of worries about their health and job security, employees reflected on what was most important to them, both professionally and personally.
The dynamic between retail employees and employers shifted. They have a different relationship based on a new employee mindset focused on purpose, personal fulfillment, choice and trust. Whether they work in the head office, distribution center or store, retail employees have a newfound understanding of what matters beyond a benefits package.
There is no “unknowing” what retail employees discovered during the pandemic. They found out just how supportive working environments can be. They experienced flexibility in where and how work gets done. And many came to know how it feels when employer and personal values align.
With record-high talent shortages, and a focus on attracting, retaining and nurturing employees, it’s time for retailers to understand not just how their employees work, but how they feel about it.
This comes down to fostering employee experiences in which employees feel highly connected to each other, their leaders and their work. We call these omni-connected experiences.
Only one in eight retail employees feels omni-connected at work.
Omni-connected experiences make employees feel highly connected to each other, their leaders and their work—and support their desire to be seen, heard, learn, feel safe and advance.
Based on our latest research, we’ve identified four key actions retailers can take to create value for people and business through omni-connected employee experiences.
Instill modern leadership: Lead with empathy, transparency and trustworthiness.
Grow a thriving culture: Nurture cultural norms that prioritize purpose, authenticity and psychological safety.
Enable the agile and resilient organization: Take flexibility further and scale new ways of working.
Empower people through technology: Give people power over technology, not the other way around.
Read more about the Retail workforce for Store of Tomorrow.
Omni-connected experiences can meet retail leaders’ goals for growth, speed and sustainability—and employees’ needs for flexibility, equity and meaning. However, they must be envisioned and executed with trust at heart and value at the core. Retailers that embrace this opportunity can strengthen culture strategically, unlock employees’ potential and move their organizations forward, by design.
Most retail CEOs would agree that the past few years can be defined as an equal mix of unpredictability and tough decisions. Working toward omni-connected experiences is the opposite. It can result in lasting, positive outcomes for consumers and the business alike. That, of course, makes it one of the best investments a retail leader can make.