Like many other industries, supermarkets have been facing an ongoing staffing challenge.
The problem presents itself in various ways. For example, shelves might not be re-stocked as quickly as shoppers would like, or stores may note be as clean as they once were. In worse cases, specialty departments such as the deli might not always be staffed, in which case shoppers can only select from pre-packaged options.
So what is a retailer to do?
SupermarketNews has reported several examples of how some supermarket chains are dealing with the “talent” issue.
One such example is BJ’s Wholesale Club, which has launched a program to provide mental health and unpaid caregiver support to company employees.
According to the article, BJ’s associates and their dependents will have access to a well-being platform offered by LifeSpeak Inc., a Toronto based firm that provides expert-led digital resources that include classes on mindfulness, building resilience, managing stress, and related mental health topics.
In addition, BJ’s employees will have access to LifeSpeak’s caregiver support products, along with advisors who can help people resolve modern caregiving challenges.
A different SupermarketNews article reported that Walmart has taken a different approach to attracting and retaining talent, as they will be raising pay rates for hourly employees.
“Our new starting range for entry-level roles is $14-$19 an hour, depending on location,” a Walmart spokesman said.
Whether it’s more money or more benefits, it only stands to reason that retailers will need to find better ways of engaging their workforce. Automation can only go so far at satisfying the demands of today’s shoppers.