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  • Writer's pictureClare Kenny

5 ways to boost wellbeing in retail employees

When it comes to employee wellbeing, it is not a one-size-fits-all approach. A wellbeing strategy that works for a law firm might not be suitable for a production company, and what might work wonderfully for a fully office-based team is likely to be lacking when engaging with distributed retail-based employees.


So, here are five things I like to consider when it comes to boosting the wellbeing of your store-based employees.


MEET THEM WHERE THEY ARE


Never forget the variance in roles. When you work in a corporate head office, at a desk, on emails, it’s easy to forget that most retail employees are in stores, out on the shop floor all day with no access to emails or time to attend webinars or read long internal communications. You need to reach employees where they are, and not expect them to flex to you.


While webinars or workshops can benefit a lot of people, when time away from the shop floor is at a premium, think about other mediums you could use to engage these employees. Whether that be 10-minute podcast episodes they can listen to on their phones, or a printed-out leaflet that can be read over a cup of tea.


Think about how to share key wellbeing messages in impactful, easily accessible ways!


LEVERAGE YOUR LEADERS


All the best-intentioned communications and policies in the world don’t really make a difference if leaders and line managers aren’t equipped to talk about wellbeing and lead a culture where people feel empowered and understood.


If you are going to invest in training in any population, then store managers, area managers, etc., are the best people to invest in. By equipping them with the right skills to talk about wellbeing, role model a mentally healthy culture, and build trust, you create a huge ripple effect – positively impacting the day-to-day experience of all employees. You can also use managers to amplify key ongoing messages throughout the year via team meetings and one-on-ones.


DON’T DILUTE YOUR KEY MESSAGES


For people with limited time to engage with emails, you want to prioritise what key messages are shared. Make sure you have a priority for the month or quarter that is shared via managers. When you try to share too much information, it can be confusing and overwhelming, and it's likely people will just switch off.


A simple tip I love is to create a landing page in SharePoint or Google Sites (for example) that links to all the key benefits/support available, such as EAP, and details the latest wellbeing initiatives – then have QR codes readily available back of house for employees to scan and find out more. These can go on the coffee break notice board, but I also think the back of toilet doors is a great place for these, as people can then scan them privately and read in their own time.


CONSIDER THE IMPACT OF THE ROLE


Mental health is a hugely important part of employee wellbeing, but don’t overlook other things like musculoskeletal issues – especially for those who are on their feet all day. Challenges with joints, backache, foot pain, etc., can be a real issue for those in a retail environment. Are you providing the right type of footwear? What about additional physio support for these specific groups?


EXTRA SUPPORT IN PEAK SEASONS


Retail usually has peak seasons, such as in the summer and around Christmas. These can be intense periods with very little downtime. Now, these aren’t the ideal times to run additional training or initiatives as people are so busy, but it is still worth turning the dial up on awareness of the support available, making it even more obvious to retail employees that there is support there if they need it.


Also, even in the busiest of times, taking 1-2 minutes to take some deep breaths or be mindful can help a person find their equilibrium – so promoting content around how to improve your wellbeing in 1-2 minutes can align nicely with these times of the year.




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