Updated: Mar 14
84% of responded retail employees suffer from mental health issues. Several reasons, including the pandemic and increasing flow of tasks, led to global burnout. It has become a significant problem for the industry that should respond to it immediately.
As it turns out, the best solution is the appropriate software. Companies adopt digital products that provide employees convenience, the opportunity to work from home (WFH), and support a healthy lifestyle... What else? - We’ll try to discover it below.
How Software Can Support Employee Wellbeing
What is well-being? It's easy to guess that we are talking about an impeccable employee experience. But it is also a synergy of mental & physical health. Employee well-being provision is one of the top priorities for each company that cares about its employees.
So why are businesses actively adopting digital products to manifest this concern? The popularity of employee well-being software is growing for two reasons.
When I'm shopping in a store, I see young cashiers and sales consultants. I'm sure the same concerns the back office. So, the staff is getting younger. There are more millennials and Z generation people among its representatives.
Both groups are active software users. This way they satisfy their daily needs. They demand the same from their employers. Ease of process management and engagement through virtual products allows retailers to retain valuable employees and boost their experience.
The second core reason was the pandemic and the changes that it brought to a company's operation.
Following FlexJob's research, a shocking 97% of responded specialists prefer to work from home only or visit an office several times a week. In turn, enterprises are more open to a hybrid work mode.
I decided to check Indeed to discover what exactly the retail industry offers to candidates in the US. About 20K open job opportunities offer WFH just during the pandemic period, but the rest 15K are about a fully remote job!
It’s both a significant step and a challenge for retail. In most cases, employees should work on-site here to ensure seamless operation.
Companies are introducing user-friendly software products to follow new trends, retain employees, and support processes.
You may also like: Retail Employee Engagement Solutions: Overview
What does software bring to employees?
It makes their work fascinating. Simple digital solutions take over routine tasks, leaving more time for professional development.
It removes territorial barriers between team members. Wherever you are: in Chicago or Tokio, you can keep in touch with your colleagues. Video messenger vendors implement VR features to make virtual communication "live" and blur the boundaries. For example, by using Zoom Horizon Workrooms, people can gather in an environment looking like a meeting room. Each of them can be represented by an avatar accurately repeating the facial expressions and movements. Psychologically, it ensures a sense of unity and leads to efficient teamwork.
It's convenient. Fast software response and one versatile space integrating with multiple systems provide ease of use. It reduces the negative emotions tied with completing daily tasks and learning new things.
It allows people to take care of their health. Following the HRD's research, companies provide employees with access to different healthcare software products and training like yoga to improve their well-being. Thus, specialists spend their leisure time actively and return to work with great emotions.
It enables the work-life balance benefits usage. The measured pace of work and the elimination of routine tasks allow employees to switch quickly from the work to the home mode. Previously, it required about a few hours. Now adaptation is faster.
What Digital Solutions Does Companies Use to Increase Employee Experience
Retailers take a thorough approach to the employee well-being problem. “The pandemic has brought a magnifying glass to the mental-health crisis. It’s real, and Walmart is taking it very seriously,” says Nabeela Ixtabalan, Executive VP of People and Corporate Affairs at Walmart Canada. “As we continue along our well-being journey, providing our associates with the best resources and engaging platforms is vital.”
This way, Walmart represented a new product for its Canadian employee well-being. It allows people to share different stories with colleagues and get the needed support, foster healthy habits, etc.
But among buying similar products, companies also build complex systems, creating employee-centric business. This approach seems smart since EX affects the customer experience. Meanwhile, the last one determines the company’s prosperity.
One of our clients prioritized specialists' engagement and well-being even before the pandemic. We helped it to develop an employee-oriented POS system. Products like this give staff the ability to work with a well-designed interface and serve a smaller flow of customers due to a self-service feature. A crucial advantage of the new point of sale system is the built-in gamification module. The company decided to combine task management, KPIs tracking, and a competitive atmosphere to engage employees. Thus, now the retail staff does not just work. It competes to win a monthly reward - an extra weekend, a certificate for training, etc.
Any new technology will work for staff well-being if a company is engaged in the employee adaptation to updated conditions.
The IoT introduction will allow receiving information from different sources without wasting time and avoiding stressful situations. 5G will force data streams to adapt to the speed of human reaction, which will also affect mental health in a good way. Robotization will be a curious experience of interacting with machines. Even the most ordinary process will turn into an adventure.
Retail strives to understand its employees the same way it understands its customers. If this goal is a priority for your company - contact us. We will share an experience on how to approach employee well-being software development in the right way.