Keep your Grocery Store Stocked with the Help of Temporary Labor

McKenna Janzen | May 15, 2020

When you manage a grocery, specialty foods, or convenience store, anticipating the number of workers you may need during any given week to meet demand can present a real challenge. As the store gets busier your employees may feel pressure, overworked and overall unhappy, resulting in inefficient operations, higher turnover rates, and less revenue for your company.

We’re here to tell you there’s a better way. If you’re not leveraging temporary labor to help supplement your staff as demand for your retail grocery business fluctuates, you should be. In this blog post, we’ll dive into how you can utilize gig workers to help you ensure you can accept every customer need that comes your way, bringing even more revenue to your store.

What are gig workers?

First, let’s begin by going over the basics. If you’re new to the gig economy, gig workers are temporary laborers you can hire on-demand. Whether you need someone to come in to complete a half-day of stocking product, are looking for customer service associates to work registers or greet customers, or you have several shipments of food you need extra help unloading, you can use gig workers to complete a variety of tasks.

What are the benefits of hiring last-minute labor?

Of course, you never want to hire more employees than you anticipate needing. Since you likely have a good idea of how many employees you need to have on staff to cover a typical week, hiring additional full-time employees to meet your changing business demands doesn’t make sense. Instead, consider hiring temporary workers who will only work the jobs you need them to.

Aside from the above cost-savings benefits that accompany hiring temporary grocery store workers over full-time employees, hiring workers on-demand can help you ensure your grocery store or food market is always fully staffed, which can lead to a better experience for your customers and, ultimately, more revenue for your business.

Temporary Workers can also be added and removed based on your upcoming workload. Since you likely experience increased customer requests based on a variety of factors like the time of the day or day of the week (or currently because of COVID-19), you can utilize temporary Workers to quickly scale your workforce as those variables change.

Similar to the grocery business, read this small business success story to learn how one 7-eleven franchise owner uses GigSmart Workers to supplement their staff when the demand for extra workers arises.

How should you train your temporary grocery store workers?

Preparing temporary workers for grocery store gigs can seem like a daunting task. If you’ve only been using full-time employees, it can be a challenge to know how to train temporary workers. It’s important to make sure your temporary workers understand the guidelines they must follow when working your Gig. Whether it’s what equipment or tools they’re expected to know how to use, their dress, or customer service specifics, you need to make them aware of your expectations so they feel prepared for the job and you receive efficient work.

With GigSmart, you can vet your applicants based on their ability and qualifications. Make sure your temporary worker meets the physical expectations required to complete the job. Be sure to make your expectations of their physical capabilities clear, for example: must be able to lift 10-50 lbs, must be able to crouch, or frequently required to stand periods of time. Explicitly state dress code requirements, what they should be expected to wear or bring, and if you will be supplying them with any work attire necessary for the job.

Once you’ve hired a temporary store worker, it’s important to properly train them. Investing time into training will make workers more efficient, less likely to be injured on the job, and more likely work future gigs for you. The following include areas you should cover in your grocery store worker training:

  • Provide general ergonomics training and task-specific training to temporary workers to maximize their time.
  • Include safe lifting advice, and any other recommendations to prevent physical injury.
  • Incorporate industry guidelines, OSHA requirements, and state/ local regulations that apply to the Gig into training to help avoid injury and citations.
  • Review basic industry language to familiarize the worker with terms used on the job for clear communication.
  • Demonstrate tasks you expect the worker to perform during their shift, such as: cashiering procedures, bagging groceries, cleaning aisles, restocking shelves, accepting and processing shipments, and handling customer complaints.
  • Show the worker the locations of stock in the store, so they know where items go and can assist customers looking for a specific item
  • Educate your workers on company safety measures and procedures.
  • Cover information specific to your company or anything else that will help them successfully complete the gig.

For the same reasons, it’s important to make your temporary store workers aware of your expectations, and it’s crucial to advise them of what the consequences will be should they not meet those expectations. Make sure you are transparent with them and aligned on what to do and what not to do to prevent confusion on the worksite. With everything clearly laid out, who knows, you might just find a temporary Worker you want to hire over and over again.

Where can I find last-minute skilled workers?

It can be difficult to find qualified last-minute labor for grocery store shifts, but GigSmart makes it easy. If you’re a business that offers grocery or specialty food, you can find and hire skilled workers with GigSmart.

If your needs are immediate, we can help you find qualified, temporary labor in less than an hour. If you know you’ll need to staff up your store for the future, you can hire up to 30 days in advance. All of our Workers are insured at no additional cost to you, and you can even require Workers to have passed a background and motor vehicle check prior to working your Gig. Lastly, you set each Workers hourly rate, and GigSmart takes care of the payment — without the additional paperwork and overhead that accompanies hiring W-2 employees.

If you’re ready to hire temporary, skilled workers for your grocery store’s needs (stocking, additional clerks, or general labor), create your first free gig post in your Get Workers hiring account today.

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