Absence – the impact on retail

As we all know absence affects all business types and has many indirect costs associated with it but in a retail environment it has an instant impact.

Working in a retail environment normally means you have staff in a number of locations and probably all working different shift patterns. This can be very difficult to manage and this is why absence can be so disruptive & costly, especially if there is no absence management solution in place.

The first impact absence can have in a retail situation is on your most important factor, customer care. Customer care & focus is essential in a retail environment and whilst the covering staff might just be able to keep up with the steady stream of customers, they will not be able to spend as much face to face time with each individual customer. This can mean staff are not able to establish a relationship with customers, resulting in fewer cross sell opportunities or potentially losing a customer all together due to their bad customer service experience. It is these impacts that filter directly down to the organisations bottom line.

A knock on effect of constant absence offenders is employee’s morale, as they tire of covering for colleagues who are off sick regularly. Unlike in an office environment the work cannot be delayed or assigned to another day. If a retail employee calls in sick the remaining staff must continue to service the customers, maintain the appeal and look of the store and fulfil everyday duties and responsibilities. This continuous covering and doing extra work can result in low staff morale and a negative & hostile working environment causing even greater costs through staff turnover and training.

New data shows that 81% of absence episodes are 7 days or less and that 33% of sick days are taken on a Monday or Friday. 81% of absence cannot be improved by clinical intervention so it is about managers and how they manage absence. An absence management solution will give you the correct tools & processes, which enable your managers to manage absence effectively. It will enable to you have more time to arrange cover for shifts and for you to be able to identify staff who are constant offenders.

Understanding this evidence and how it relates back to your organisation could have a massive impact on the bottom line and your staff morale.