Boost Productivity by Managing and Mitigating the New Stresses on Store Associates

While working in a retail store has never been a particularly easy job, the challenges have both multiplied and intensified over the past two years. COVID-19 added stressors including enhanced cleaning and hygiene responsibilities, dealing with consumers (and fellow employees) who refuse to follow mask and/or vaccination mandates and managing new customer engagement channels — not just in-store but via phone, text or video connections. Additionally, the ecommerce surge accelerated by the pandemic added multiple tasks to many retail employees’ job descriptions.

Taking positive steps to help associates better manage these stresses provides a payback to the retailer in the form of greater employee productivity, according to Dr. Jorge Palacios, MD, PhD and Senior Digital Health Scientist at SilverCloud Health.

Retailers seeking to alleviate the mounting pressures on their associates need to invest in both short- and long-term solutions, including:

  • Deploying task management technology;
  • Adopting more advanced scheduling solutions;
  • Making a greater commitment to training and upskilling workers; and
  • Paying more attention to workers’ (and managers’) mental health.

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