Retail always moves fast, but with the outbreak of COVID-19, businesses need to adjust their operations and health and safety policies daily (sometimes hourly). Management has a responsibility to quickly communicate policy changes and best practices across their stores.
It’s crucial that employees are working with the most up to date information to keep themselves and customers safe. Here’s how a convenience store chain executed an update to policies and best practices across 700+ locations.
Case Study: Communicate Policy CHANGES
The World Health Organization, Center for Disease Control, or governing body issues a new health policy and/or sanitization procedure. Retailers must execute the update across different departments, across all locations, and different states.
A convenience store chain with 700+ locations.
The convenience store chain needed to implement recent government regulation updates. Updates included new policies for hygiene, sanitation, and social distancing measures for essential retailers. Also, the convenience store had to place signage, decals, install protective glass, and implement new self-serve food and beverage procedures.
Informing employees about policy changes must be quick, documented, and verified with photos. Head office also required a verifiable record of when employees were notified, date/time of completion, and any additional steps needed to comply with new policies and procedures.
Email chains and/or paper checklists are not fast enough. Nor do they provide enough guarantees. It is important to verify the coordination of policy distribution and adoption in real time across multiple locations.
Executing Policy Updates in Store
Using a Compliant IA, the convenience store chain created customized inspection forms to ensure signage, social distancing decals, and protective glass are in place. They attached best practice photos. This way employees knew exactly where and how signage and glass should be positioned. Mandatory photos verified implementation and placement.
Head office adjusted procedures for self-service food. Regional managers inspected to ensure all unpackaged, self-serve food was removed from shelves. Instead, stores used pre-packaged alternatives.
Several new policies applied to beverage stations. Disposable gloves are now provided for coffee and beverage stations. Disposable lids are removed. Clerks now distribute lids at purchase. Customer can no longer use refillable containers for beverages.
Head office can request daily inspections with mandatory photos to ensure gloves are available and beverage policies are adopted. They can also attach policy explanations and FQAs directly to forms so employees can answer customer questions.
Remember, policies change. For instance, governing bodies have adjusted the maximum number of persons allowed in a store. By using a retail communication app, head office can deploy updated forms to all stores. Additionally, head office can request inspections to verify updated policy implementation.
Implement Policy Updates with software
When facing a crisis, employees need up to date information to protect customers, themselves, and the brand. Here are a few ways Compliant IA can help head office deploy policy and procedure updates and ensure implementation.
implement with Task management
Assign tasks to carry out new retail health and safety policies and procedures. For example, many convenience stores are removing self-serve food/beverages and replacing them with prepacked options. Additionally, stores are supplying food and beverage stations with disposable protective equipment like shields, gloves, and tongs. To implement new food service policies, head office can create tasks.
Using a task management system built for retail to distribute policies and procedures helps brands react quickly and ensure adoption.
Head office can create single or multiple tasks in less than a few minutes. They can assign a due date and send the task to relevant employees. Attach best practice photos and supporting policy documents directly to the task. Tasks are accessible on any device.
Next, employees can attach their own photos to provide proof of execution and policy implementation, leave notes, and mark the task as completed. Compliant IA automatically tracks the user, location, date and time.
implement with Content management
Internal communication is critical during a crisis, and experts agree it is best to communicate early and often. Keeping that communication all on a single platform makes it more likely employees will engage. With Compliant IA’s content manager, head office can share organizational news and policy updates. Actionable information can be assigned as a task.
For instance, many convenience stores are updating hand washing and cleaning policies. Head office can create updates and include hand washing training videos and files. The content manager provides read receipts, so head office knows when employees have engaged.
implement with Corrective actions
When implementation fails, assign a corrective action. Attach photos to illustrate non-compliance. When resolved, end users can also attach photos to demonstrate resolution.
Quickly run reports from anywhere, on any device to monitor repeat offences or track resolution in real time.
There are many things outside of retailers’ control at the moment. When it comes to making it through a crisis, it is important to focus on what you can do. Retailers can keep stores informed and operating safely. Compliant IA can help.
- Employee Wellness Checklist
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) Checklist for Retail and Hospitality
- 5 Ways to Support Employees and Customer During COVID-19
- COVID-19: Store Reopening Resource Guide