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Lessons from 3 Organizations on Improving Employee Engagement with WorkForce Experience

Jun 9, 2021

No End in Sight for New COVID-19 Leaves: How to Stay Compliant
Marc Gringas

Marc Gringas

SVP, Employee Experience Strategy

For many organizations, the COVID-19 pandemic revealed a significant gap in their ability to reach and communicate essential information at scale to their entire workforce. Supporting employees with meaningful interactions, proper training on new protocols, and the valuable tools they need to get their jobs done has become a top-of-mind focus. Leading organizations have adapted amidst evolving regulations, requirements, and uncertainties—but there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done. 

Our recent Workforce Experience Gap Study found that employee experience in key areas like flexible scheduling, on-the-job training, and employee recognition is lower than what employers think. Worse, many organizations still don’t even realize there’s a problem or how disconnected their staff feels at work. 

Thankfully, digital transformation can help close the employee experience gap that is currently threatening organizations’ abilities to attract, retain, and engage employees throughout their employment journey.  

WorkForce Experience is specifically designed to address the needs of today’s diverse employee population and help organizations engage their entire workforce. An engaged workforce is an adaptable workforce, the backbone of a resilient organization that is optimized for ongoing success, regardless of what challenges emerge in the future.  

These customers use WorkForce Experience to keep their employees connected, armed, and ready for what’s coming next:

On the Journey to Improve Communications, Kurt Geiger Learned a Lot More 

A massive generational change is occurring. Every day, members of Generation Z are joining Millennials in the global workforce and will continue entering it for the next 15 years or more. Their use of consumer-grade apps in their day-to-day lives is driving an expectation that their work experience should be just as streamlined and user-friendly. 

Designer footwear and accessories brand Kurt Geiger was ahead of the curve. The company began using WorkForce Experience, a component of the WorkForce Suite, to drive two-way conversations and collaboration between HQ and store teams and appeal to its younger generation of employees.  

“We needed a standalone app that we could easily upload content to,” says retail operations manager Alice Millichamp. “Something where people could interact with the content and not feel like they were doing a task for work but using one of the social media apps that they enjoy logging into every day.” 

Engagement improved immediately. Not only are employees able to put a face to the communications they’re receiving, but HQ can share training videos through the app from lead product designers, enabling team members to convey the company’s brand and product story more consistently to customers, increasing sales.  

But what started as a journey to improve communications became something even more during the pandemic. To keep furloughed employees connected while stores were shut down, the group used a dedicated channel in their WorkForce Experience community to share acts of kindness—like photos and videos of them participating in food drives and baking for family and friends—to remain hopeful and engaged. 

“There’s more of a connection between stores and the head office than there ever was before,” says Millichamp. “You really get to see the personalities of the people.” 

Staying Connected with Store Workers at Diesel 

Improving employee engagement and alignment is difficult when visibility into day-to-day operations is limited and organizations can’t effectively communicate with staff, share information, and provide training on the go. 

With over 5,000 points of sale globally, Italian retail clothing company Diesel needed a way to instantly connect with staff and capitalize on the moments that matter—email was no longer cutting it for their team. Diesel was looking to consolidate internal communications and task management needs and didn’t want to wait for an in-house solution. 

“For us, it was essential to partner with an external provider that… had the technology and software functionalities in place so we could focus on deploying and using the software rather than developing it ourselves,” says Helen Barrett, Visual Merchandising Manager Global at Diesel. 

Now, her team is saving hours a day with streamlined communications and greater visibility into operations.  

“The increased visibility has meant that our store teams have really stepped up,” Barrett says.  

Communicating and Collaborating When It Matters at Five Below 

With over 1,000 locations, Five Below is one of America’s fastest-growing retailers. But in the past, it was hard for deskless workers to stay up to date on new announcements, follow directives, and connect with superiors. 

Previously used solutions were too technical and cumbersome and made following up on tasks difficult. Email and text messaging were considered old-fashioned by employees. Brand consistency and compliance were challenging to maintain from store to store. 

“An example I always give about our store managers is that they had to go through a locked office in the backroom and a password-protected computer in order to get communications,” says Dave Sanborn, Senior Director of Operations, who admits the software they used in the past was “pretty old school” and negatively affected the employee experience.  

“Our workforce is a young and trendy team,” Sanborn says. “We had to recognize that they work differently.” 

Now, employees can receive communications and chat, connect, and collaborate with co-workers or superiors in the moment—right on the sales floor or in the backroom—through the WorkForce Experience app. 

For Sanborn and his team, WorkForce Experience’s real-time communication capabilities have been major assets—especially over the past year, as shifting state and local health requirements, personal priorities, and social unrest have put an even greater focus on store safety and employee well-being. The app allows them to broadcast everything from company updates to policies in case of severe weather alerts, helping stores remain operational and safe, even in unexpected times. 

With a centralized communication hub for all their operational needs, Sanborn says Five Below has the foundation to support stores like never before. 

Improve Employee Engagement with WorkForce Experience 

When you use a platform to bring team members together through open communication and collaboration, global teams can flourish and reap tremendous—even unexpected—benefits to their productivity and alignment. 

A modern workforce management solution can optimize your organization’s operational agility and make it easier to connect and engage employees, no matter where they are in the world or on the job. 

Learn more about WorkForce Experience and the rest of the WorkForce Suite. 

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