retail news in context, analysis with attitude

There is a new report - called the fourth annual Global State of Frontline Employee Training Study -  from a training company called Axonify that looks at how employees are faring as they continue to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Among the study's results:

•  Only 61% of grocery store and 62% of retail employees felt supported by their manager.

•  In receiving regular training, only one out of two respondents reported receiving it for grocery (50%) and retail stores (52%).

•  When frontline employees were asked to take on additional tasks or a new role, only 65% of those in a retail environment felt they were provided with the training and support they needed.

•  One-third of grocery store associates felt their employer had not taken proper action to keep their staff safe through this crisis.  

Let's be clear:  It is entirely expected that a report on training from a training company is likely to suggest more training.

But what I found to be particularly interesting about this study is the degree to which its findings seemed to line up with anecdotal conversations that I've had with numerous retailers - many of whom have done a terrific job supporting their workers, but who nonetheless suggest that six months into the pandemic, their employees are feeling beaten up and exhausted.  Employers and employees alike are facing both a holiday shopping season that is  starting much earlier than usual this year because of strategies laid out by Walmart, Amazon and Target;  they're also dealing with the likelihood that we will see spikes in coronavirus cases as the weather gets colder and people spend more time inside.

So things may not get much better anytime soon.

The timing of the study's release was propitious, however, because just a few weeks ago, on the Retail Tomorrow Podcast, our guest was Terry Hawkins, an international expert on employee training … and also someone who struck me as highly intuitive about how to motivate and inspire employees in challenging circumstances.

And so, I asked Terry to do an MNB Interview in which we would talk about strategies and tactics for dealing with exhausted and stressed out employees.  She kindly agreed, and here is our conversation.

FYI … You can check Terry out here.