Retail has been a particularly challenging industry to work in over the past two years. Between COVID-19 lockdowns, social distancing, ongoing supply chain issues, and the customer frustrations generated by all of these factors, there’s been a lot for employees to navigate.
And from a business perspective, hiring has become particularly difficult for many organizations as the “Great Resignation” and related labor trends continue to evolve. Neglecting employee satisfaction and failing to consider their experiences have always been among the most common reasons that small businesses fail. They’ve only become bigger risks in today’s turbulent environment marked by high turnover in many sectors like retail.
This has made retaining employees an even more critical priority than usual for retail businesses.
But your retention efforts can only be as effective as the tools that support them. Look to the systems and tools that employees rely on to ensure that they’re not indirectly contributing to your retention challenges.
For example, your business’ point of sale (POS) solution is likely one of (if not the) most central part of your employees’ day-to-day experiences. Let’s walk through three ways that an updated POS system can help to drive increased employee satisfaction and retention for your business.
Happier Customers & Happier Employees
Few other factors impact day-to-day employee satisfaction quite like customer attitudes. Some commentators even fear that unruly customers, frustrated by the turbulent economy, are potentially exacerbating the trends of the Great Resignation.
But while companies have begun actively reminding customers to be patient and respectful, it might be more effective in some cases to reduce customer pain points right at the source. Where in your customer journeys do they encounter preventable slowdowns?
We’ll bet your checkout process is a major potential pain point. What role does your POS system play in creating either a positive/streamlined or negative/slow experience at checkout? Consider your current point of sale solution and answer these questions:
- How long does checkout typically take?
- Is your POS system easy for employees to use? Do employees feel that they understand its features?
- Can you customize the options and steps of the checkout process in your POS system?
- Are promotions and discounts easy to set up, or do they cause additional slowdowns when employees need to enter them?
A checkout process that is clunky, unreliable, or just gets in the way is a completely preventable source of customer and employee dissatisfaction.
Remember, effective management in small businesses and big companies alike often comes down to unblocking the things that prevent employees from doing their jobs well. When you empower employees to move through the checkout process quickly and easily, and with all the right features they need within reach, you can reduce a root cause of customer frustration (and the odds that customers will vent that frustration onto your team).
Easier Inventory Management
Inventory management is notoriously tedious and complicated for many retail businesses. Grocery stores are a classic example, with perishable goods and high shrinkage rates complicating the inventory process.
If employees think of taking inventory as a dreaded task and actively avoid getting stuck with those responsibilities, your business has an opportunity to rethink your process and how the tools you use have shaped it.
In other words, the inventory management process doesn’t have to generate employee dissatisfaction — it’s within your power to make feasible changes and equip employees with better tools.
Your POS solution can play a direct role in shaping how employees think of their inventory management tasks. The right features will save their time by drastically simplifying the logistics of tracking inventory and making orders. Unlimited barcodes or SKUs ensure employees won’t hit frustrating roadblocks. Cloud-based features accessible on mobile devices make it easy to conduct quicker inventory counts.
These benefits translate to fewer headaches, less anxiety and frustration, and increased employee satisfaction with the inventory process overall. Plus, if you have a multigenerational team or varying levels of tech knowledge on your staff, a POS solution that offers streamlined inventory tools makes it easier for everyone to help with inventory when needed.
Intuitive Data Reporting
Finally, consider how easy (or difficult) your current POS solution makes the process of pulling data to make purchasing, marketing, or management decisions.
If reviewing and exporting data, whether transaction records or employee clock in/out times, is a time-consuming or confusing hassle, your employees will likely want to avoid dealing with it at all. This means less data will go towards guiding your business decisions.
Alternately, a POS system with intuitive reporting features and easy customizations will boost employee satisfaction by streamlining data tasks. This is especially relevant for your managers if, for instance, they’re tasked with generating daily sales reports.
Your POS system can also help you with performance management tasks as well. For example, say you use your solution to track employee time or individual sales. The data you collect through your system will help you make more informed decisions, like who deserves to be recognized as a standout salesperson or who might be ready to move into a management position. Your tool can even empower you to streamline payroll, depending on how compensation works at your organization.
For even more added value, look for a POS solution that can integrate with the other platforms you already use to run your business, like e-commerce or accounting software. These connections can make a night-and-day difference for the employees who rely on data to do their jobs properly and make effective decisions.
As employers big and small reckon with a changing labor landscape, retail businesses everywhere can benefit from closely examining their toolkits, especially their POS solutions.
How does your POS system impact employee experience? Does it get in the way of employees doing their jobs smoothly? Does it contribute to customer frustrations that are then vented onto your team members? How do these factors impact your retention rate?
Understand the role that your business’ tools play in shaping employee satisfaction, and you’ll give yourself powerful new ways to help your team drive results and stay engaged.
Spencer Hoffman, Vice President, Sales and Product at POS Nation
In his 12 years at POS Nation, Spencer has climbed the sales ranks, excelling in every role he’s stepped into. His most recent role as vice president of sales includes mentorship and growth across the sales team, and a growing portfolio of satisfied customers. In 2020, Spencer’s responsibilities grew to leverage his deep expertise in the retail point of sale space to continuously improve POS Nation’s small business solution as our vice president of product development. Outside of work, Spencer spends time with his wife and three children who are all avid driving range connoisseurs.