By Brian Anderson, Chief Marketing Officer at POP
One of the biggest pain points for companies during the holidays comes with the influx of hires they make in order to accommodate increased demand. Case in point, Amazon announced it will nearly double its fulfillment center workforce with 120,000 temporary employees; Macy’s will hire 80,000 temporary workers; Target, 100,000; JC Penny, 40,000.
While the extra hiring is helpful, it can create challenges in retail teams in terms of training them to get the job done. In most cases, the transition from training to ready-to-sell can take weeks, a luxury retail companies do not have. Many companies have begun to tap new social, collaboration tools to better engage and equip the sales team, to provide more effective training, help staff come up the learning curve more quickly and begin selling to ensure better profitability.
The use of these social collaboration tools can often make the process of onboarding these temporary employees easier and create a more efficient way to motivate and train sales representatives in a timelier manner.
Identify Pain Points and Learn How to Resolve Them
In order to onboard these temporary employees in an efficient manner, businesses need to make sure that the new employees trust their employer. Just because they are temporary workers, their voice needs to be heard. It is important to encourage those employees to speak up on issues they feel will hinder their time at the company if not addressed sooner. Crowdsourcing is an easy and efficient way for retailers to learn from these temporary employees on how to best achieve speed and efficiency in the often-difficult process of adding these employees to the company- and do it quickly.
Retailers can utilize group crowdsourcing sessions which can often pinpoint their biggest roadblocks to success so they can move faster. What don’t they understand about the expectation of a temporary employee? What objections are they struggling with the most? What internal processes do they not understand?
Utilizing a crowdsourcing platform is the technology piece of this process that will make it easier for retailers to onboard employees during what is arguably the busiest time of the year for them. This helps in building a common voice among the team, versus a vocal minority, and that common voice builds trust and lets the temporary employees know that they can trust and feel comfortable in their roles. This process also shows employees that their feedback is valued and wanted.
It is a great way for retailers to be able to identify the certain pain points associated with their temporary employees which can lead to a faster process of training them but also identifying any issues they may have during this process. Crowdsourcing helps retailers show employees that although their status is temporary, they are making a real impact on the business. This approach banks trust, so when you have a really challenging goal or initiative, they will go above and beyond to help you achieve it.
Offer Incentives to Temporary Employees as Well
Just because the employee is temporary, doesn’t mean that the company cannot extend incentives to them as well. In fact, having an incentive program tied to their tenure at the company may help in booster their drive to sell and be more of a team player during their time working.
In order to get the best out of the temporary employees at your company, it is important to set goals that are achievable in the short-term which is a key component in getting the most out of temporary personnel. Crowdsourcing can help with getting those messages out to the temporary employees by sending notices about contests or competitions where the individual or team winner receives a gift or a prize. Although this may not be a fit for every retailer, it does give both short term and full-time employees incentive to sell better especially if there is a monetary incentive tied to the competition. Offering this incentive can help light a fire under motivated part-time and short-term staff. Plus, it will keep them focused on what’s generally most important to them while ensuring they achieve what’s most important to the company which is helping the high demand in sales.
Utilizing crowdsourcing platforms, employers can easily get people to participate in a way that is meaningful to the employee, and creates a higher ROI for the employer. Getting people to participate is always a challenge. However, offering an incentive will boost productivity.
Create a Feedback Loop
The great benefit for retailers in investing in a crowdsourcing platform is the data collected which can only help improve the way the company onboards temporary employees for the following year. Having the ability to receive feedback and use that to create better practices for retailers for the next holiday season.
Crowdsourcing provides an ideal platform to drive success for a company’s initiatives through the intimate engagement of its employees, partners and clients. The goal is to make everyone who matters an accomplice in your plan.
This approach will give you the buy-in and engagement needed to ramp new sales reps in the short time they will be with you. You will be doubling the productivity of your sales trainings programs while accelerating revenue which is what most temporary holiday employees help in doing. They may be there for a short time, but they need to be valued and utilizing a crowdsourcing platform to not only better communicate, but incentivize them will only lead to bigger success in sales and a better workplace environment overall.
Brian Anderson is chief marketing officer at POP. He has over 25 years of global marketing experience in technology, business to business, and business to consumer markets. He has a proven track record of success in branding, revenue growth, M&A, IPO, as well as multiple key marketing disciplines.
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