20 Challenges Faced by HR Managers in Retail Industry
Working as an HR manager in the retail industry has got to be one of the most exciting jobs, however, managing a workforce is not easy because of certain retail HR challenges. Also, you will be responsible for trying to grow the business and ensure your customers are happy.
Like every other job, working as an HR manager in retail has its ups and downs. However, the benefits of such a job position are worth the stress. HR managers in retail are also well paid, depending on the company.
There is more good news; if you hold the HR manager position in a retail company, there is a solution to many of the problems you may encounter. That is why we have written this article.
In the end, you will know about 20 top retail HR challenges you may encounter while working as an HR manager in the retail business sector and possible solutions.
Let's get started.
1. Employee Management
Managing a large or small team is not easy for HR managers. You will have to find ways to keep your team motivated and help them achieve their goals. Also, attempting to establish a diverse workforce can be a challenge. To overcome this problem, you should try to improve your employee selection process during recruitment to ensure you select professionals who can work together in the retail space.
2. Feedback Management
Your duties as the HR manager can be more effective if you act based on feedback from your team. However, in many cases, getting the necessary feedback is a problem. Working based on inaccurate feedback will only lead to more challenges, so it is best if you use suitable feedback collection methods to get the information you need. You can research to find the most appropriate way to collect feedback in your type of retail business. You can use this feedback to help your team perform better and meet the company's sales goals.
3. Employee Rivalry
It is normal to observe competition among the employees. However, things can change for the worse if that competition becomes unhealthy. You need your employees to work together as a team. Therefore, you should act quickly to resolve any issues the first time you observe growing rivalry among employees. This is what you can do- find out the reason for the problem among the employees and take steps to resolve it completely. Also, use the opportunity to counsel and educate your employees about the need to cooperate in the workplace. Your goal is to ensure all parties involved are completely satisfied with your proposed resolutions.
4. Irregular Sales Figures
After putting a team together to boost sales and ensure the retail processes happen smoothly, it can be frustrating to discover that your team is not performing as they should. Poor sales figures could cause your CEO and other top management staff to query your capabilities as the HR manager in the retail business. These issues are among the top retail HR challenges you may encounter. It would be best if you made immediate plans to properly investigate the reasons why your team is not delivering the sales figures as they should. Hold meetings with them, identify their challenges and make moves to ensure they have all that is needed to work more productively in the retail space.
5. Employee Absenteeism
This is another frustrating retail HR challenge that could cause headaches during your career as an HR manager in the retail industry. Multiple employees may suddenly decide to stay away from work unannounced. This situation could offset the coordination of sales and customer engagement, causing the business to lose customers and money. You can handle this problem by introducing strict policies about staying away from work. You can introduce penalties for anyone who breaks the rules. Also, ensure every employee understands the rules and adheres. Among the rules, there should be a mandatory rule that makes it necessary for employees to inform the HR department or their superior managers if they will be unavoidably absent from work for any reason. Encouraging employees to inform your HR team allows you to make proper plans to ensure the absent member does not ruin the day's activities.
6. Mass Resignation
Suddenly, everyone feels like leaving their job at your company. This can be devastating because it takes time and planning to organize a proper recruitment exercise to find new employees. However, you can make plans to ensure mass resignations never happens in your company. You should genuinely ensure the workplace terms and benefits are adequate for employees to live well. If the remuneration in the workplace is not sufficient, your employees will take the next opportunity to work for the competitors. Also, you must understand why the employees suddenly feel like leaving their jobs without warning. This way, you can prevent such a situation from happening.
7. Staff Poaching
This happens a lot in the retail sector. Your competition offers your top employees a little more money to convince them to leave your company. Staff poaching is an unhealthy practice and should not be happening because it causes severe retail HR challenges. However, you should be strategic and form a close bond with your team, so they can tell you when others try to attract them away. You can also learn why your staff may consider those offers from the competition and then make better plans to keep them happy at their current jobs.
8.Evolving Business Methods
In the retail business, change is constant but it also causes retail HR challenges. The best way to stay ahead of the competition is by embracing change and keeping the business moving forward. However, sometimes the changes in the business methods may be challenging to integrate into the company's culture. Subsequently, you may observe that many employees reject the new changes. This situation affects workplace productivity and the overall business. You should find ways to introduce new methods to ensure your team accepts the changes and are eager to learn the new ways to sell and keep the customers happy.
9. Workplace Insubordination
When people from diverse backgrounds come together to work as a team, you may experience insubordination because we are quite different from each other. This situation usually involves one or more employees who intentionally break the rules and refuse to follow instructions from their superiors. This can slow down the productivity rate in the workplace and cause customers to go elsewhere. To check workplace insubordination, you should ensure every employee understands the consequence of such actions, including immediate firing or demotion. It would help if you strictly enforced these rules and guilty employees should leave the company. Being strict will communicate to the employees that there is no room for insubordination, and they may lose their jobs because of such an act.
10. Poor Communication with Employees
This is like a recipe for disaster. Poor communication will lead to wrong actions that can cause severe problems in the workplace. Therefore, you should ensure the employees understand their job responsibilities and the importance of every aspect of their jobs. It is easier to adhere to the rules when they know the value they can provide by following the correct instructions. You must ensure your communication methods are effective and be open to making changes to improve communication with your employees when necessary. You should find the most effective communication methods that work. For example, some work teams in the retail space create WhatsApp groups or belong to a particular email list, where they get all the information needed to work more effectively.
11. Identifying the Best Candidates During Recruitment
The recruitment process is usually tricky because many applications come in. It is challenging to identify the best candidates for the job. Also, your screening process may reveal that many candidates who apply are suitable for the job. The problem becomes how to choose the best. In another scenario, you may find it challenging to convince the best candidates to accept your job offer. These top fliers know their worth and only want to work for the best bosses. They are highly selective, which can be a problem. To make the recruitment process more effective, you should consider specific criteria. This makes the process much easier and allows you to identify the best candidates for the job without stress. Also, to attract the best candidates and prevent them from taking job offers from your competition, you should highlight the benefits of working at your company in the job offer. Also, offer them a reasonable salary that will make them consider accepting your job offer.
12. Irregular Sales
The top managers depend on you to find and organize a team that can deliver the best sales figures in the retail space. However, depending on the type of business, it is possible to experience irregular sales during some months of the year. These periods can also be frustrating for the employees, who feel less motivated to do their jobs. You will need to step in as the HR manager to think outside the box, helping the employees to stay engaged and explore more ways to generate revenue. This could involve making bundled sales where they point out other products the customers may be interested in because the products are related to what the customers came in to buy. You can also encourage the team to discuss and highlight the best features of different products to customers who show some interest in buying them.
13.Employee Training Issues
To get the best experience with the employees, you must ensure they are adequately trained. This ensures they can deliver while performing their duties. However, not all training sessions are practical. If you observe that the employee's performance fails to increase after training, you should review the training program. Maybe it is not suitable for them. You should always try to identify the value of the training program and if it promotes the company's goals.
14. Ensuring Employee Safety
You have a responsibility as the HR manager to ensure your team is safe in the workplace. You must help them understand essential safety protocols through regular training and implement procedures to protect them from badly behaved customers. This may become one of the retail HR challenges you experience because the employees may not fully comprehend the importance of workplace safety. However, with consistent training, you will have less to worry about.
15. Enforcing Adherence in the Workplace
For things to move smoothly, every employee must obey the company's rules. However, they may start breaking the rules if you cannot adequately enforce them. It would be best to introduce penalties to encourage the employees to do the right thing even when you are not supervising them. You should also ensure CCTV cameras are always activated in the workplace.
16. Employees Stealing from the Company
Unfortunately, many of your employees may steal from the company if they have an opportunity to do so. You should do your best to ensure they never get that opportunity. Also, you must immediately replace employees caught stealing and take steps to ensure the loophole they explored is no longer available.
17. Limited Access to Essential Technology
You can use many essential software to perform your duties as an HR manager better. Doing the job without these tech tools can make it more challenging. You can leverage innovative tools for performance monitoring and other essential tasks. Therefore, you should inform the top management about such tools and have them provided.
There are periods when the company may have to let some of its employees go. This is usually a tough job for you as the HR manager. You may have built a team that functions effectively together. Removing any member of that team could compromise productivity. In such situations, you need to evaluate each employee's strength to make necessary adjustments without compromising effectiveness.
19. Changes in Leadership
Sudden changes in your company's leadership can make your job more challenging. The new changes may require starting all over from scratch. While this situation may be unavoidable, you can do your best to maintain the processes that have been working and carry the new business owners along, so they understand it is in the company's best interest to continue with your methods.
20. Trade Union Problems
In many parts of the world, the trade unions influcence your recruitment processes and how many staff you should hire and thier remuneration as well. Some of these terms may be unreasonable, causing arguments between you and the trade union representatives. You must rely on diplomacy and improve your negotiation skills to establish terms that favor your company in such situations.
In conclusion, working as an HR manager in the retail space comes with many responsibilities and retail HR challenges. However, you gain essential experience to help you move forward in your chosen career. Overall, be resilient, open-minded, and focus on consistently developing your skills.