Retail workers want clearer communication from management

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Sixty-one per cent of first-line retail workers and 41 per cent of business managers want clearer communication from leadership teams, according to new research commissioned by Microsoft Australia.

It also reveals that first-line workers and business managers in the retail industry are experiencing similar workplace pressures. This is despite their differences in business priorities.

YouGov conducted the survey with more than 1,000 participants. The research aimed to establish the greatest challenges and pressures that workers face. It also examined the types of solution employees want to see to alleviate them.

The research covered the health, retail, manufacturing and public-sector industries.

Key findings in the retail sector

  • 78 per cent of business managers and 73 per cent of first-line workers feel the pressure when it comes to meeting deadlines or expected outcomes.
  • 73 per cent of business managers and 67 per cent of first-line workers identify meeting financial performance targets and maintaining a healthy profit margin as pressures.
  • 61 per cent of first-line workers and 41 per cent of business managers want clearer communication from leadership teams to alleviate workplace pressures.
  • Customer service is king in retail. Both first-line workers and business managers want greater access to the latest technologies to improve customer service.
  • 40 per cent of retail workers claim they have limited access to the latest devices. Fifty-one per cent say the greatest impact of such access is that it lets them spend more time with customers.

Engaging retail workers

Modern Workplace Lead Microsoft Australia Ian Heard says the findings show the importance of employee engagement.

“Employee engagement goes right to the heart of a business and does not just make a business unique, but also successful,” he said.

“A workforce that is passionate, connected and engaged helps to drive innovation and propels the business forward … Retailers that create an engaged, connected and collaborative workforce will be better poised for success in the long-term.

“In an age where digital has become more prominent, traditional methods are becoming far less effective, with workers feeling frustrated and unmotivated by the disconnect experienced from management.

“We recognise the value of having access to the latest technologies, including devices as a tool to bridge this disconnect and enhance communication. Microsoft’s Surface Go has been purposely designed to support retail environments, as first-line workers need to access information on demand while they’re with their customers in stores.”