Feico Mol, General Manager EMEA, SafetyCulture comments on Black Friday:
“As Black Friday approaches, 2/3 of UK frontline workers say they’re under more pressure at work than they were a year ago. Businesses are struggling as is in the current economic climate, while an ongoing staff shortage crisis continues too. As a result, workers like delivery drivers and shop assistants are being pushed to, or indeed past, their limits.
Retail workers are now faced not only with burnout and mental health difficulties, but also an increased risk of physical workplace injuries, as expectations stay the same but resources decrease. It’s crucial for business leaders to recognise and respond to these increased pressures as the added intensity of Black Friday and the seasonal shopping period kicks into high gear.
As sales inevitably begin to increase and time pressures mount, leaders should look out for their employees’ wellbeing on the job. They can mitigate avoidable workplace injuries by equipping employees with equipment such as assisted lifting trolleys or extra chairs to rest, as well as ways to quickly report issues putting them at risk with the click of a button.
Employee engagement will also be crucial, making sure employees feel heard and seen, and their needs are listened to and suggestions acted upon. Ignoring them will not only increase the risk of burnout at the busiest time of the year, but also worsen the staff shortage issue in the long-term.
Finally, while it is essential to have workers on the frontline of retail to facilitate all-important sales, leaders can consider building in flexible working models. End of day revenue counts, payment system checks and other operational audits can be completed off the shop floor through the right digital tools, so in times of increased pressure and low worker morale, it’s essential that managers challenge flexible working norms and provide additional support where they can.
Small actions can make employees’ thoughts and feelings heard – creating a happier and safer workplace culture, and ultimately leading to better sales when they matter most.”