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

Associates are struggling to cope with labor 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 associate morale. We recently surveyed 1,000 associates from stores in the UK, North America and Europe. The results show that many are struggling to cope:

  • 40% say that associate 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 associates already planning to quit, this additional pressure could lead to a tidal wave of resignations. This will result in longer queues and fewer available associates, all of which is bound to drive away customers.

Associates 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. Associates 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 associates to fill the vacancies. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case:

  • The North American retail sector lost 721,000 jobs in August 2021 alone
  • For much of the year, retail had the highest resignation rate of any industry besides hospitality
  • The “quit rate” among North American retail and hospitality associates is almost double that of any other sector


This is a grave situation, and it looks likely to get worse. A recent report by Mckinsey found that half of all frontline retail associates are thinking of resigning, leaving remaining associates with 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

Associates are struggling, and it seems that managers are turning a blind eye. 30% of associates 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. Associates know what needs to be done. Managers just have to listen:

  • 43% of associates 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 associates to check stock levels and find information for customers without leaving their side. This saves the average associate 1.4km of walking per shift, giving you more time to concentrate on important tasks
  • Hands-free headsets let associates 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 an associate without tracking them down. These can be placed on customer service desks, allowing associates to complete other tasks without running the risk of missing a customer. 
  • Personalized voice reminders can be sent to associates to remind them of important jobs. Managers can use these to ensure that tasks are completed without adding to associate 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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