Change in the retail industry is eminent, yet many retailers seem reluctant to accept the real challenge. A popular phrase at the 2016 National Retail Federation Big Show Conference was “reinvent or die,” but the vibe was more “reinvent or buy…this software!” However, transformation will not come out-of-the-box. Effectively shaping a completely new customer or workforce experience will not be seamless. End-to-end software solutions will not future-proof retailers, even if they provide real-time insights and intuitive dashboards.
For retail workers, a “flexible schedule” often means erratic shifts and uncertain incomes. However, this holiday season Toys“R”Us® chose to provide more consistent hours over more flexible hours.
Coming out against on-call scheduling practices is in vogue. After several media articles slammed the practice, cities began banning it entirely. Soon, significant pressure was placed on national retail brands to end this once-little-known scheduling policy.
“On-call” refers to when employers require open availability from the employee without offering a commitment of their own (pay or benefits). Employees either call in before their shift or wait to receive a call from their managers on whether or not they will work. Typically, this limbo time is unpaid. The reasons for ending such volatility seem clear, but what will fill the void is less certain.
Retail hasn’t just changed how people shop, it changed how people work.
When Tamara* was hired eight years ago she understood why she was scheduled for the showroom floor. A sales associate’s job was sales-driven and sales happened face-to-face. Tamara knew her job was to build relationships with customers, and luckily, her shifts gave her time to do that. Some loyal customers even planned their trips around days Tamara worked.
Now her job is different.
President Obama’s most recent executive order on paid sick leave is a “big idea” and as such, it’s become a big deal. But once the fanfare dies and the “big idea” is relegated to the corporate process, we will see that it was heavier on ideals than instruction.
According to the order, sick days will be earned, not simply awarded. Workers (at this time only those on federal contracts) will earn 1 hour of time off for every 30 hours they worked, with a cap at 7 days per year. This process seems straightforward, perhaps even fair.
When Netflix announced their unlimited paid family leave offering it appeared to represent a major shift in both public opinion and corporate policy. The media heralded it as a bond of trust, a new brand of flexibility, the future of better work-life balance…but is it really a good thing?
Do you want to increase sales?
Expand your market?
Increase customer satisfaction?
Products and services won’t sell themselves; they need people actively selling. Yet many sales strategies only include vague ideas or unspoken methods on how to manage the salespeople. Although technology like CRMs and automated marketing campaign software are commonly listed, very few sales plans describe any technology that can help manage the sales workforce.
There aren’t too many TED Talks that focus on workforce management issues, but this one on good scheduling is quite convincing. As Ton suggests, too few employers are implementing these practices at their organization. We believe this is due to lack of awareness. If you work in time and attendance or time and labor management, compensation, scheduling, absence and leave, payroll, etc. you know how difficult it can be to grab the attention of your leaders. Often times the solution is already there, waiting patiently in your WFM system to be discovered.
WAM-Pros are the voices of the technology. They turn good ideas and good intentions about good jobs into sustainable realities.
Have you ever had what Ton calls a “good job”? Or have you been stuck with the opposite?
As a WAM-Pro, there are specific elements of the Department of Labor’s (DOL) proposed overtime changes that you will need to understand. So far, most articles have only reviewed the facts, but practitioners like you need more. We could ultimately see hundreds of effects as the ripples of regulation spread, but here are 10 critical ones to start with.