White Paper: Absence Management is the ‘Last Easy Money’ for Retailers

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By Craig Patterson

Retailers in Canada are experiencing increased absenteeism due to labour shortages across the country, and absences have been shown to negatively impact retail performance. According to a new white paper by Kronos, technology can be used to accurately forecast customer demand and engage staff to help reduce absenteeism.

A global survey of 800 retail managers, conducted this year by The Workforce Institute at Kronos, provided some surprising results. The white paper shows that 13% of labour hours are being wasted in businesses. As well, unplanned absences are resulting in 7% of labour hours being scheduled but not worked, and 6% worked but not scheduled. As a result, retailers’ labour budgets are taking an unnecessary financial hit.


MANAGERS ARE GENERALLY GIVEN ONE TO THREE HOURS' NOTICE WHEN AN EMPLOYEE IS NOT GOING TO TURN UP FOR WORKMANAGERS ARE GENERALLY GIVEN ONE TO THREE HOURS' NOTICE WHEN AN EMPLOYEE IS NOT GOING TO TURN UP FOR WORK

MANAGERS ARE GENERALLY GIVEN ONE TO THREE HOURS’ NOTICE WHEN AN EMPLOYEE IS NOT GOING TO TURN UP FOR WORK

The retail management survey found that 56% of managers find it difficult to align employee schedules with customer demand, while 87% schedule additional labour to cover unplanned absences. Managing shift swapping is also one of the biggest workforce management challenges, according to the survey, with 34% of respondents expressing concern with the practice.

To address these problems, the newly released Kronos white paper outlines how retailers can use workforce management tools to help reduce employee absenteeism and unlock the ‘last easy money for retailers’ — after all, a dollar saved is a dollar earned, as they say.

The white paper specifically discusses how technology can provide labour analytics that show when absences will occur and why, while creating accurate demand forecasts using historical data and known events. As a result, staff schedules can be built that optimize the deployment of workers, while empowering them to manage their absences through shift swaps (with qualified co-workers) using mobile self-service tools. This saves retailers even more time and effort.

You can download the white paper here to learn more about how workforce management solutions can help retailers control labour costs, maximize productivity and engage employees.

For more information on The Workforce Institute, visit https://workforceinstitute.org. For more information on Kronos, visit: www.kronos.ca.

*Partner Content. To work with Retail Insider, email: craig@retail-insider.com.


Craig Patterson, now based in Toronto, is the founder and Editor-in-Chief Retail Insider. He’s also a retail and real estate consultant, retail tour guide and public speaker. 

Follow him on Twitter @RetailInsider_, LinkedIn at Craig Patterson, or email him at: craig@retail-insider.com.

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