The first lockdown-free festive season we’ve had in years is upon us, with predictions that the retail industry is feeling the pressure. In the lead-up to the shopping hysteria, the mental health of retail workers is a high priority with fears of burnout amongst employees.
What does the festive season mean for retail workers?
Studies show that 62% of Aussies working in retail will suffer burnout this festive season. This is compounded due to the challenges of the labour shortage crisis, indicating the usually jolly festive season may not be so cheery this year. Burnout is common around this time of year. I’m sure we all felt the difficulty with the staff recruitment this year due to labour shortages.
It is vital to ensure the well-being of employees, so the implementation of ways to provide seamless two-way communication and recognition of your employees should be considered of high importance during this busy time. Employees under pressure and working overtime have a decrease in productivity, which can negatively impact the customer experience.
To combat this, I recommend using digital workplaces such as WorkJam to ensure managers can keep abreast of employee concerns and provide ‘in the moment’ communication and recognition of their employees and how they are feeling at work. With the use of WorkJam, management is also able to keep track of how many hours their employees are working, their availability and can ensure employees are receiving the required rest between shifts.
Why should Aussies be nice this Christmas?
The festive season chaos is not only triggered by the stress felt by retail staff but also customers’ actions and attitudes towards frontline workers. Unfortunately, there are worrying statistics surrounding retail and hospitality workers, showing 85% have experienced abuse by a customer in the past two years – 15% of these were physically attacked.
We understand the frustration with food inflation and food shortages, but, staff working within supermarkets and the broader retail and hospitality industries are not responsible for the predicament and are trying their best to deliver a positive in-store experience.
To maintain a pleasant festive shopping season for everyone, WorkJam is calling on Aussies to be considerate of others, especially our frontline workforce. Australians should be kind this Christmas and remember their manners. Our retail frontline workers are feeling the pressure.
Be kind and patient, you never know how many hours they’ve worked to make your Christmas a successful one with family and friends. Businesses are still feeling from the labour shortages, meaning that some of these retail stores are understaffed and workers potentially risk burnt out. Christmas is meant to be a joyous time of year, so let’s spread the joy to all frontline employees. Be appreciative, patient, and aware while out shopping this silly season.
Andrew Myers is the Managing Director APAC at WorkJam.