Things are looking up in the grocery industry. After the dark days of the Great Resignation, associate numbers are finally starting to recover. Training and supporting these new recruits will be the key to improving retention, and this is where VoCoVo comes in. By enhancing communication, we can help you to create a welcoming environment for everyone. Here’s how.
The comeback has started
As if the pandemic wasn’t bad enough, retailers have spent the last year weathering the so-called ‘Great Resignation’. The industry experienced a mass-exodus of associates, with millions seizing the opportunity for a fresh start:
- Retail had the third highest resignation rate of any industry in 2021, with almost 5% of associates leaving their jobs
- Retail resignations peaked in November 2021 with the departure of over 700,000 associates
This period was especially tough on grocery stores. While other retailers began to recover in early 2022, food and beverage sellers continued to see resignations. The sector lost a further 7,500 associates in January, reducing its total workforce to just over 3 million.
Thankfully, things are looking up at last. Recent data suggests that the grocery industry is not only recovering, but is doing so at a faster rate than other retailers:
- Grocery stores added 8,600 jobs in July 2022
- Total grocery jobs rose to around 3.2 million, almost 200,000 more than in January
- Recent growth has been slower, but total jobs continue to increase. In September 2022, grocery stores added a further 3,000 positions.
Don’t let new hires slip through your fingers
This is great news, but there’s still work to be done. Attracting new associates is one thing, but keeping them is quite another. In order to avoid another wave of resignations, you need to do everything you can to create a pleasant working environment.
The best way to do this is to listen to the concerns of your team. We recently surveyed over 1,000 associates about the issues they face at work. We found that many are struggling with the same problems:
- Three quarters are being forced to multitask when associate numbers are tight
- 18% say that stopping theft is their biggest challenge
- 31% want more training around smart devices
- Over a quarter feel that head office doesn’t understand their needs
Luckily, associates already know how to tackle these issues. 32% say that portable voice technology is the best place to start. This is where we can help:
- Our headsets allow associates to communicate instantly from anywhere in store. If a new hire is unsure about a task, they can ask a more experienced associate without having to track them down.
- Headsets can be used to train associates more effectively. The hands-free design allows experienced team members to perform their usual tasks while explaining them to new recruits. This is especially useful for demonstrating smart devices.
- Hands-free headsets allow associates to multitask with ease. Associates can answer customer questions without stopping their work, improving task efficiency by 105 minutes a day.
- Our conference feature lets you create separate channels for each part of the store. This allows new associates to find specialized information more quickly.
- Personalized voice reminders allow head office to send updates directly to associates. This improves communication between decision makers and the shop floor, keeping both groups on the same page.
- Headsets can be used to alert the security team to a shoplifting incident in progress. This is more discreet than a PA announcement, allowing associates to raise the alarm without putting themselves at risk.
- Headsets act as a visible deterrent to theft and abusive behavior. Our research shows that associates feel 54% safer when working with VoCoVo.
These are just some of the ways in which VoCoVo can ease the pressure on new associates. Talk to our team today to find out more.