Is last minute absenteeism playing havoc with retail store performance?
Retailers are understaffed 25 percent of the time due to last-minute absenteeism, according to a survey from Kronos.
According to a survey of 800 retail managers across multiple countries with on focus on larger retail organizations (more than 1,000 employees):
- For every 10 hours of in-store labor budgeted, more than one hour is wasted due to staffing misalignment caused by unplanned employee absence;
- For the most part, retailers are given just one to three hours’ notice when an employee is not going to show up for work;
- The top three operational downfalls of absenteeism cited by retailers worldwide are staff productivity (58 percent), customer satisfaction (47 percent), and store revenue (42 percent).
For store managers, absenteeism causes unexpected additional work on a regular basis. An average six percent of labor hours each month are worked to cover issues such as unplanned absence. This causes unnecessary stress for more than half of U.S. retailers (57 percent).
Forty-eight percent find it challenging to deal with administrative issues resulting from associates working additional shifts and/or incurring overtime to cover unplanned absence and 42 percent feel a big impact on labor costs. A wide majority (88 percent) also proactively over-schedule additional labor each day to cover anticipated absences.
Kronos, a provider of workforce management tools, not unsurprisingly indicated that technology could help by giving retailers a better read into employee preferences on shifts while also enabling associates to modify their schedule or swap shifts.
Three out of five (59 percent) retailers in the survey said scheduling technology has a positive impact on productivity within their teams. However, the findings reveal that technology isn’t promising to eliminate the high rates of absenteeism. Retailers anticipate that implementing a new absence and shift-swapping solution will result in only an 18 percent decrease in unapproved absence rates and would reduce labor costs by nearly three percent.
- Global Retailers Say Unplanned Absence Wreaks Havoc on Store Operations (press release) – Kronos
- Absence Management: The Last Easy Money for Retailers (white paper) – Kronos
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What tech and non-tech solutions to do see helping retailers minimize and manage last-minute absenteeism in stores? What’s your advice to store managers dealing directly with associates about unplanned absences?