Lack of communication biggest problem for retail staff

71 per cent of retail staff say communication, either with HQ or other colleagues, is their greatest challenge at work.

Research from YOOBIC, which surveyed 1,000 frontline workers, also found that 32 per cent of retail workers lack recognition in their jobs. A further 24 per cent of retail respondents said they felt unempowered in their role.

The research found that while face-to-face communication makes up the majority of retail staff’s interaction with both their co-workers (92 per cent) and their managers (82 per cent), the use of Bring Your Own Devices between frontline retail employees is growing.

It revealed that 38 per cent now use smartphone communications, either public messaging, such as WhatsApp, and other providers, like Google Hangout or Teams, to speak to colleagues.

But head office communications to frontline staff are still conducted mostly over email (51 per cent), which YOOBIC said creates “a disconnect" because communication and training messages aren’t reaching employees on the digital platforms they are using.

72 per cent of retail frontline staff would feel more connected to their HQ if communications were delivered via their smartphone or BYOD, while a further 76 per cent felt digital formats would increase their productivity and simplify their workload.

“Retail has always been an industry that reinvents and reimagines itself as it keeps pace with new and emerging consumer demands,” said Fabrice Haiat, chief executive, YOOBIC. “As such, the retail frontline has always been resilient by its very nature, continually adapting to the changes and opportunities presented to it. And that is reflective in our research findings - despite all the difficulties of the pandemic, communication was the biggest challenge retail frontline staff feel they face in their jobs today.”

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