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Headwinds in the Retail Labor Market: Five Key Strategies for Optimizing Workforce Management - Part 6

What Practical Steps Can Retailers Take to Overcome Labor Challenges in the Omnichannel Marketplace?

In navigating the dynamic labor challenges of the omnichannel market, retailers can take practical measures to optimize their workforce management and maintain competitiveness. Here are five key steps to consider:

1. Embrace Workforce Flexibility

  • Cross-Training Implementation: Equip employees with diverse skill sets for versatile roles, covering in-store service, online order fulfillment, and inventory management.
  • Flexible Scheduling: Utilize dynamic scheduling tools to align staffing with fluctuating demand, considering peak periods for both in-store and online activities.

2. Invest in Employee Development

  • Continuous Training: Offer ongoing programs to update staff on technology and processes essential for omnichannel operations.
  • Career Progression: Establish clear pathways for career advancement to boost retention and motivate skill development.

3. Leverage Technology for Efficiency

  • Workforce Management Systems: Deploy advanced systems for labor forecasting, efficient scheduling, and analytics-driven improvements.
  • Automation and AI: Consider automating repetitive tasks to enhance productivity and alleviate strain during peak periods.

4. Focus on Employee Well-Being

  • Health and Safety Standards: Ensure compliance with health protocols and provide necessary equipment and training for a safe workplace.
  • Supportive Culture: Cultivate an environment valuing employee feedback, work-life balance, and recognizing contributions.

5. Optimize Labor Costs

  • Strategic Staffing: Balance full-time, part-time, and temporary workers to optimize costs while maintaining service levels.
  • Performance Metrics: Track labor-related key performance indices (KPIs) like sales per labor hour or customer satisfaction scores to inform staffing decisions and operational efficiency enhancements.

By implementing these strategies, retailers can adeptly manage the complexities of labor challenges in the omnichannel market. This ensures they cultivate a flexible, skilled, and productive workforce, adept at addressing the evolving demands of their business operations and customer expectations.

Other articles in this series: 

  1. Headwinds In The Retail Labor Market: 9 Critical Challenges Facing Retailers Today - Part 1
  2. Headwinds In The Retail Labor Market: Adapting to the Evolving Workloads of Omnichannel Retailing - Part 2
  3. Headwinds in the Retail Labor Market: The Role of Technology Advancements and Shifting Consumer Expectations - Part 3
  4. Headwinds in the Retail Labor Market: Mastering Decision-Making and Metrics for Omnichannel Efficiency - Part 4
  5. Headwinds in the Retail Labor Market: Learning from the Leaders in Omnichannel Innovation - Part 5

Ankura Performance Improvement Fundamentals

We have a proven record of helping companies execute strategic plans to achieve sustainable performance improvement and targeted operating results aimed at maximizing earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA), cash flow, and shareholder value.

We work side-by-side with management and other stakeholders to guide companies through periods of uncertainty and subsequently accelerate growth and value creation.

Winning companies map their workforce management strategy and initiatives against their customers’ journey to develop a customer-focused approach to align and manage labor. Ankura has the unique skills to identify and quantify benefits, as well as implement our proprietary labor planning, forecasting, and scheduling tools while facilitating implementation across all facets of workforce and field management.

Our approach to helping clients respond to critical workforce demands includes:

  • Human Capital Design – Create human capital assets plan in accordance with an overall strategy
  • Labor Utilization - Align labor utilization to meet demand, and focus on customers to improve conversion
  • Performance Management - Apply a data-driven and talent-centric performance management approach

Our Workforce Optimization Experts:

Mike Casey
Managing Director 

Eugene Kim
Senior Director 

Matt Sgrignari

© Copyright 2024. The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and not necessarily the views of Ankura Consulting Group, LLC., its management, its subsidiaries, its affiliates, or its other professionals. Ankura is not a law firm and cannot provide legal advice.


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