With staff shortages on the rise, 40% of colleagues are struggling to juggle multiple tasks. We have the solution.

Colleagues are struggling to cope with labour shortages. Our portable communication devices can help to ease the pressure.

Article by Martyn Jones | 21st February 2023

Retailers across the country are still short staffed, and this is having a serious effect on colleague morale. We recently surveyed 1,000 colleagues from stores in the UK, North America and Europe. The results show that many are struggling to cope:

  • 40% say that colleague shortages are the biggest challenge they face
  • This rises to 64% for those working in entertainment retail
  • 76% regularly find themselves juggling multiple roles and responsibilities as a result of staff shortages


Read our report to find out more: 

With a fifth of colleagues already planning to quit, this additional pressure could lead to a tidal wave of resignations. This will result in longer queues and fewer available colleagues, all of which is bound to drive away customers.

Colleagues need support, and fast. By improving communication, we can help you to provide great service even when numbers are tight. Here’s how. 


Smaller teams are here to stay, and this means more multitasking

The retail industry has always had a high rate of staff turnover. Colleagues are often younger than those in other sectors, and many take short-term jobs in stores while studying. This is a perfectly good system, as long as there are fresh colleagues to fill the vacancies. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case:


This is a grave situation, and it looks likely to get worse. A recent report by the Retail Trust found that 21% of all colleagues are planning to quit their jobs. Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of The British Retail Consortium sums up the severity of the crisis:

“Retail jobs numbers fell this quarter as the tightest labour market in decades intensified competition for talent. This is doubly true as the hospitality and tourism industries recover from the pandemic.”

With shortages looking set to continue, colleagues will have no choice but to fill multiple roles. In order to prevent burnout, you’ll need to do everything you can to support them. 


A smarter way to communicate

Colleagues are struggling, and it seems that decision makers are turning a blind eye. 30% of colleagues feel that head office has no understanding of the challenges they face, creating a worrying rift between decision makers and the shop floor. 


This is a bad situation for everyone, but it’s not too late to turn things around. Colleagues know what needs to be done. Decision makers just have to listen:

  • 43% of colleagues say that smart technology improves efficiency
  • 45% say that more smart technology would make their jobs easier
  • A third believe that portable voice technology is the key to improving the customer experience


Read the full report here:

These are exactly the kind of benefits that VoCoVo can deliver. Our system improves efficiency at every turn, so that you can do more with less:

  • Headsets allow colleagues to check stock levels and find information for customers without leaving their side. This saves the average colleague 1.4km of walking per shift, giving you more time to concentrate on important tasks
  • Hands-free headsets let colleagues answer questions without pausing their work. This kind of multitasking can improve task efficiency by 105 minutes a day. 
  • Two-way call points allow customers to speak to a colleague without tracking them down. These can be placed on customer service desks, allowing colleagues to complete other tasks without running the risk of missing a customer. 
  • Personalised voice reminders can be sent to colleagues to remind them of important jobs. Decision makers can use these to ensure that tasks are completed without adding to colleague stress. 


These are just some of the ways that VoCoVo can pick up the slack in smaller teams. Download our report to find out more. 

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