In any retail environment, communication breakdowns can lead to frustrated employees, poor service, and increased turnover. Find out how retail scheduling software can help streamline your communications and business operations!
Everyone knows that communication can make or break a relationship. In a high-paced retail environment, poor communication is a breeding ground for inefficient operations and can increase turnover – major setbacks to any organization! With the right scheduling and communication solutions, you can turn your communication breakdowns into breakthroughs!
1. Build Communication Habits Through Training
Knowledge is power. Don’t just assume your employees know the best way to accomplish tasks and interact with customers. These practices require reinforcement and practice. Set clear expectations through consistent training and give staff the tools to effectively communicate.
Assess your onboarding materials. Make sure they are clear, consistent, and regularly updated with accepted communication standards between managers and their team members. Is your training program engaging, or will it make employees fall asleep?
Solutions featuring a mobile app are ideal for these situations because they can provide robust communication capabilities with the tap of a screen. Your team can access messages, schedules, and other pertinent information all in the same place — no jumping between browsers or logging in multiple times to complete simple tasks!
2. Communicate Multiple Times, in Multiple Ways
Just because you say something once, doesn’t mean it was heard or absorbed. Employee shifts begin at different times of the day, so not everyone will be present for the morning standup. If you have a message you truly want your team to comprehend and put into action, you need to get it in front of them more times than you think.
That means communicating information in multiple ways – verbally, through mobile messaging, alerts, and broadcast bulletins for the entire organization are necessary to get the team on the same page.
3. Communicate by Group, Individually, or to Managers
Create an environment where messages are targeted, relevant and engaging, so employees don’t tune out. Today’s retail scheduling software makes it easy to send targeted messages to specific groups. Do you need to send a message specifically to your warehouse staff regarding a supply shortage? Or maybe there’s an issue that only managers need to know about for the time being. With the right workforce management platform, you can streamline your communication processes to maximize effectiveness.
In the event of emergencies, such as an inclement weather event, app-based communication tools can serve as a mode of contacting your entire staff with one message to make sure everyone is accounted for, or to get help for those who need it.
When topics are more personal — like a team member’s performance — managers should communicate it verbally and privately. It’s also best practice to document details of events for future reference. This is helpful should you ever need to prove you took the right corrective action.
4. Communicate Before, During, After, and Between Shifts
Pre-shift meetings are a must, but you can get messages out to your teams even before the pre-shift meetings begin. If you send your schedule out in advance, use retail scheduling software that lets you send broadcast messages your entire team can see as soon as they log into the app.
During shifts, things can get pretty hectic, and some things get lost in translation. It’s mission critical to have a quick and easy way to type or jot down notes. And the more readily accessible that option, the better. Between shifts, managers need to leave notes so the next manager can walk in and understand exactly what happened. And when the night is over, managers document the shift notes and prep for the next day.
Scheduling software with messaging capabilities also gives you the opportunity to highlight the good work of your team members. Great brands recognize their team’s efforts — instantly announce employee or store of the month, highlight stellar guest reviews, and more.
5. Read Receipts and Accountability
Ever heard this: “But I didn’t know I was supposed to work today!” or “But I told so-and-so to take my shift!” That kind of unaccountable behavior is all too common in this business, but it isn’t unavoidable.
This kind of stuff happens all the time, so it’s important to use retail scheduling software that indicates when a message has been read or that require manager approval for any kind of shift swap. Put the onus on the tool and your team, so your managers won’t lose their minds!
Want to learn more about how Fourth can help your business? Schedule a Demo Today
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