This year looks a little different than the past; and it has been said on the news over and over with all different words to explain it: unprecedented, unparalleled, dangerous, unexplainable. But those words don’t stop the world and what is happening in your stores. So, what is happening now? The holiday and then post-holiday rush. It’s here, and a pandemic hasn’t stopped it. 

 At this point in the game, your staff should be hitting their stride. So now what can you do as a store operator to make sure everything is done efficiently and safely in the store? Task management software could be the answer to your peace of mind. Task not only involves the distribution of daily checklists, but also allows managers to run reports on who is best fit for each shift and what the status of the store is. It will keep your employees safe and in the know during this time of uncertainty.  There are ways to incorporate these types of activities into your daily plan for your store. Task management from UKG offers management the ability to implement structure of these activities into their daily store actions.  When you create a “task,” you are effectively making a list of items for your employees to do within an application that will allow them to view, comment, upload pictures and complete. Instead of walking around with a clipboard, employees can utilize a mobile device to complete their duties for their shift.  

Here are a few ways retailers are using task now to help their stores stay safe and productive:  

1. Create daily tasks for managers and employees 

The task management application allows for everyone’s daily shift work to be viewed by both employee and manager. The manager can simply create a task for the employee within the mobile platform, push it out, and know when it is completed. For example, are all the end caps uniform with one another at every location? To validate the endcap has been arranged properly, the employee can simply upload a picture which gets sent to the regional manager. From there, he or she can comment, suggest changes or let the employee know that they are good to go and on to the next task.  

2. Support the safety of your team 

A major item to consider this holiday season is keeping employees safe. In a recent UKG study, it was reported that over 80% of stores will increase cleaning, as well as require both employees and customers to wear masks. The challenges that retailers will face is in implementing those safety requirements. How can employers be sure that employees and customers are following all mask mandates and social distancing? There are ways to incorporate these types of activities into daily plans for store locations.  

More demand for store audits, cleaning, and compliance 
According the UKG holiday hiring survey, 66% of managers reported that cleaning protocols will be pushed into daily tasks for employees. Just like creating a task to update the end caps, these cleaning and safety tasks can be created for employees to follow. Additionally, task management platforms like UKG Task have the capability to create surveys and forms to ensure compliance is met. Creating forms that can be attached to tasks or as part of a store visit are great ways to ensure specific guidance is followed and jobs are being completed safely. Tracking compliance is key to delivering standards consistently. The ability for local management to create ad hoc tasks is critical to the site-specific nature of retail.  Each market is different and each location has differentiated assortments, clientele and expectations.  

3. Task validation  

While a large percentage of mangers are upping their cleaning procedures and measures, it was reported in the UKG survey that only 26% of retailers will use task management software to help validate the completion of important safety tasks by employees. Validation of mission critical tasks is no longer optional, and retailers can’t afford not to provide a second set of eyes on key initiatives. Task management software takes the guess work out of the day and allows managers to be certain activities are done and standards are met. 

4. Make sure your managers are taken care of 

There are so many opportunities here to streamline tasks and processes in order to simplify the lives of managers. According to the UKG holiday hiring survey, over 52% of management staff oversee and enforce COVID-19 safety protocols. So, not only are they doing their own jobs, but they have taken on a whole new layer of obligations. Task Management can help senior leadership understand how managers are coping by offering the ability to survey the regional, district and store managers to check on them and how they are doing. Just as the managers are surveying the employees, corporate can in turn offer those same surveys to their leadership to be sure they are utilizing all the applications available to manage their stores. Burnout is real and it is happening across the board with staff. Organizations need to check on their staff and managers and be sure they are not only taking the time they need, but are staying safe themselves.    

 

Overall, the workplace is different, and retailers need to keep up with the seemingly day to day changes being made in the world. Task Management systems will offer both managers and employees a little relief during this holiday rush by allowing the simplicity of logging in and validating that everyone is safe and on target to get their tasks done. For more information on this, and other things your company can do to keep up with the times, check out our Managing Through Times of Uncertainty, as well as our Emerging Stronger pages on UKG.com. Take one thing off your plate this unprecedented year and have the peace of mind that you are keeping your employees and customers healthy. 

 

Published: Thursday, December 17, 2020