Dynamic Staffing, the way forward?

Sam W explores the virtues of what he calls 'dynamic staffing', where 'dynamic colleagues' will ease the pressure put on employees in high street retail stores.

Anyone who has ever worked in a high street retail establishment will recognise the common gripe as a staff member: a lack of colleagues to help you actually do your job. Now, admittedly, most high street retail jobs are not the most exciting things in the world - stacking shelves or sitting on a checkout till all day. It's often made worse when your workload is far beyond what you are actually paid to do. Often, job overloading can be a successful way of motivating the workforce. However, for the low value which is attributed to 'replenishment' jobs in the retail sector, this usually leads to further demotivation for those involved.

So how is it possible to overcome one of the most stressful issues of a retail job? This is where 'Dynamic Staffing' can come in. How about having a number of members of the public ('dynamic colleagues') who are trained in the bare essentials in order to be able to operate in a number of high street stores? There are a number of key tasks that take place in retailers which these support colleagues could be trained in in a 'universal' manner:

Obviously the concept of Dynamic Staffing would rely on retailers working together to guarantee certain levels of training in these areas. Furthermore, the logistics of the operation have not really been considered. For example, what is the minimum term of notice you could give to these dynamic staff prior to them having to arrive for work? The shorter the notice, the more useful the concept but the more it will probably cost retailers to pay the staff. Also, what would be the incentive for people to become 'dynamic staff'? Would a retainer be required to encourage others to participate in the scheme? Could participants have a further full time job and specify other times when they could be 'dynamic'.

An extension to the concept would be to allow 'buddying'. If one core member of staff (a permanent employee) were to be ill or unable to attend at short notice, the 'buddy' would be offered the opportunity to work. The retailer will have the staffing levels required and the shop floor staff will have the support they need.

Could 'Dynamic Staffing' change the way retailers obtain support for their shop floor staff, the cogs and wheels of their business? If it is financially feasible, it's certainly a possibility.


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