- A retail workforce that can adapt to constant change at speed has never been more critical.
- To meet the evolving expectations of both customers and employees, retailers need a more adaptive workforce—digital, data fluent and diverse.
- Few retailers have invested in the new skills, ways of working and workplace organization that are the foundations of a truly adaptive workforce.
- The nature of retail work, where it’s done, how and by whom will need to be systematically reviewed, reimagined and reinvented.
Retailers—adapt to new ways of working
Meeting the evolving expectations of customers and employees in an unprecedented economic and social climate is now the new normal for retail—and it demands a significantly more adaptive workforce: one that is digital, data fluent and diverse.
The first step is to define a purpose-driven culture. All employees need to feel welcomed and respected, to know that they can bring their full selves to work, that their voices will be heard and that the business employing them has bold, decisive leaders committed to inclusivity at all levels.
A culture of equality and diversity, where everyone feels they have a chance to advance and thrive, is also a powerful multiplier of innovation and growth. Retailers with a strong sense of purpose demonstrate a clear understanding of what these principles mean in practice.
Retailers—build a future-ready workforce
Purpose is the foundation of the new workforce, but not enough on its own to prepare a retailer for the future. The nature of retail work, where it’s done, how and by whom will also need to be systematically reviewed by answering three questions.
What is the future of retail work?
To serve customers across an integrated marketplace, retailers need new workforce structures and clearly defined roles and responsibilities.
Who will do the work and how?
As new roles emerge, retailers need to evaluate and prepare existing talent with reskilling and upskilling, and invest in digital technologies.
Where will the retail work be done?
The workplace will be diverse and dispersed. Retailers need to ensure work is done once, done right, and done in only one place to avoid duplication.
Retailers—proactively speed up and scale
The pace of change in retail will only accelerate. To keep up, retailers need to continually redefine their workforce models and explore new ways to serve the consumer more effectively and efficiently. The ability to adapt to new expectations and new ways of working will be the hallmark of a successful future retail workforce—and that requires bold, proactive leadership.
By Travis Hooper, Ndidi Oteh & Jill Standish
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