Multimedia Plus, a training and communications technology company, released its sixth survey measuring the effects on pressing technology, training, and spending priorities in the retail and hospitality industries. The survey, launched on August 17, 2022 and closed on September 6, 2022 took a deeper look at what these industries are focused on as the holiday season approaches and plans for Q4. In total, 149 senior executives participated in the survey.
Staffing And Wage Issues Hold Greater Importance Than Supply Chain
Going into the fall season executives said that they are most concerned with staffing and wage issues. While supply chain challenges have been a major focus for companies and is often covered in the news, when asked, “Going into the Fall Season, what is your greatest concern?” Staffing and wage issues was the focus for 50% of respondents. Supply chain (28%), global events and gas prices (15%), and loss prevention (5%) were the next greatest issues.
“As we have seen in the past surveys, industries that rely on customer service must have the best talent in place to deliver that expected level of service and communicate the brand’s vision. Stellar customer service is related to human interaction, and we see that no matter what is going on around the world, senior executives are focused on that personal experience as an important growth factor,” says David Harouche, CEO & CTO, Multimedia Plus.
Staffing Up For The Holiday Season
Getting ready for the all-important holiday season, executives were asked “In staffing up for the Holiday Season, what are your biggest challenges?” Sixty-five percent of respondents said recruiting. Onboarding new associates (14%) and other issues such as scheduling (8%) are taking a back burner. Harouche explains, “After two years of adjusting to a new normal, retailers and hospitality executives are scaling for pent up demand. Getting enough trained staff in place is a major focus and is more important than other issues that we have seen in the past.”
Training Is Top Of Mind In Q4
More than 45% of respondents said that New Employee Training was a major focus for Q4. Task management (25%), Employee Chat (12%), and Associate Mobile Apps (9%) are also priorities. “We are seeing here that employers are optimistic that they will be able to secure good talent and want to have technologies and systems in place to have staff trained and provide that quality service customers are seeking,” says Harouche.
That point was reinforced when asked “What is your highest priority training initiative for Holiday?” Operations training (28%), product knowledge (24%) and leadership development (22%).
Priorities Remain Constant Through 2023
When asked “Looking ahead to 2023 what is your highest priority training initiative?” respondents were in line with answers about Q4. Operations training (27%), leadership development (24%) and product knowledge (22%) were all major focuses for the year ahead.
“While so much has changed over the past two years, companies understand that their ability to grow and attract new customers is in their staff. The better the talent and the better they are trained, the better the ability for the organization to do business,” says Harouche.