April 10, 2019

Managing absenteeism: a key to retail success

Today’s retail environment is constantly evolving, with advances in Managing absenteeism: a key to retail successtechnology and changes in consumer preferences and shopping habits changing the way your customers do business. To survive in this competitive market, brick-and-mortar retailers must focus on increasing revenues and maintaining their margins. Mismanaging your workforce can jeopardize these efforts.

Labor is unquestionably one of the largest expenses for retailers. But it can also be your biggest asset for driving revenue and delivering superior customer service. Building and managing an effective workforce can be the difference between a significant cost and a great asset.

Managing unplanned absences is a significant challenge faced by every retailer. Studies show that unplanned absences can have an impact of as much as 7% on your labor budget. Absenteeism costs you in terms of lost sales, poor customer service, critical tasks left undone, and the need to overschedule to make sure your peak times are covered.

Fortunately, today’s workforce management tools can help you reduce unplanned absences and optimize your workforce. Here are just a few of the ways a cloud-based solution can help you cope with absenteeism.

Develop an effective staffing plan.

A workforce management tool like Workforce Go! HCM can help you determine the optimal number of employees you need to recruit and retain. It will also help you identify the right mix of full-time, part-time, and flex-time employees to meet customer needs.

Schedule the right number of people at the right times.

Building a staff schedule that aligns with highs and lows of your customer traffic and demand is a difficult and time-consuming task for many retailers. And poor scheduling can cost you in terms of overstaffing, employee turnover, and poor customer service. Workforce management systems help you accurately forecast your labor, and automated scheduling solutions can quickly build schedules that accommodate multiple factors.

Anticipate and plan for absences.

Unplanned absences are sometimes unavoidable. Employees get sick or have some emergency that prevents them from coming to work – and their managers often receive just a few hours’ notice. Labor analytics give you the information you need to detect peak times for absences. And today’s workforce management solutions provide tools that allow employees to quickly and easily swap shifts with coworkers when something prevents them from getting to work – allowing you to receive notice that an employee has swapped shifts with a coworker, rather than discovering that you have to cover a staff shortage.

Engage your employees.

Satisfied employees are less likely to leave. Some of the keys to an engaged workforce include paying staff accurately and on time, considering employees’ preferred shifts, and publishing schedules as far in advance as possible – all tasks that a workforce solution like Workforce Go! HCM can accommodate.

By some estimates, effective absence management can reduce your labor costs by as much as 2.6%. In today’s competitive retail landscape, that’s a cost saving you can’t afford to ignore – and a workforce management solution can help.

For more insight into how absence management can improve your performance, download our ebook, Absence Management: The Last Easy Money for Retailers. To find out more about Workforce Go! HCM, contact us today at or 214-800-5575.


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