There is no doubt that the retail sector is a huge industry in Canada. Many of us have worked in this environment, somewhere along the way, on our individual employment journeys. There is also no doubt that the retail sector is going through significant challenges and changes that will continue throughout our employment lifetimes.
The shift to online shopping has to be one of the most significant changes influencing the retail industry. As customers, we can now enjoy the ease of online shopping in our pajamas, every day, without ever leaving the comfort of our homes.
From an employment and staffing perspective, it is interesting to note that this article does not speak to the impact on the existing workforce. Will the need for smaller stores and increased online presence for a retailer like Walmart have an impact on its employees? Will this impact be positive and/or negative? Absolutely! Just because it is not identified does not mean it does not exist.
This is our challenge, as HR Professionals – we need to be cognizant of these types of industry predictions. We cannot be blind to patterns in industry that are laid out for us to consider from an employment, staffing, and workforce perspective. Too often, we leave the industry and economic predictions to others in the organization to process and consider. Our challenge is not to just monitor the changing economic environment and industry forecasts; but to identify the real issues that will arise because of these changes and chart the right course for the future. Forecasting is an activity full of risk, but it is a necessary task, as it must identify potential impacts for the employees that we, as Human Resources professionals, serve.
- How do I shop differently now from the way I shopped three years ago?
- What are three positive impacts on employees who work in the changing retail sector?
- What are three negative impacts on employees who work in the changing retail sector?
- What are key skills or traits that a Human Resources Professional needs for working within a retail environment to ensure accurate workforce forecasting?