How can retailers help frontline employees recharge?
Last week, Nike closed offices worldwide to let employees “enjoy additional time off to rest and recover” following a year-and-of-half of challenges.
In a LinkedIn post, Matt Marrazzo, Nike’s senior manager of global marketing science, wrote, “This past year has been rough — we’re all human! and living through a traumatic event! — but I’m hopeful that the empathy and grace we continue to show our teammates will have a positive impact on the culture of work moving forward.”
A survey of human resources executives by Challenger, Gray & Christmas taken in March showed 51 percent making an extra effort to address mental health issues due to the pandemic.
Responses to the Nike LinkedIn post were overwhelmingly positive, although a few lamented that the perk only applied to corporate employees.
Closing stores and/or distribution centers, of course, shuts off commerce. Bojangles will face such a challenge when it closes its restaurants on two upcoming Mondays to give its staff a “well-deserved break.” Workers will not be paid for the time off, however.
A Bojangles spokesperson told the Associated Press that they would offer workers additional hours but inferred the days off would be welcome as many have been working overtime in the tight labor market. Bojangles CEO Jose Armario said in a statement, “This hasn’t been easy, and we know many people are physically and emotionally drained, so we hope these extra two days off will provide rest and refreshment.”
The most common ways to “recognize” store and warehouse staff have been pay hikes and special bonuses. Target recently handed out its sixth “thank you” bonus since the pandemic began.
In a Walmart blog entry, “7 Ways Walmart Associates Can Prioritize Their Well-Being,” associates were urged to take advantage of its PTO (paid-time off) plan that’s based on time served. The retailer also made free counseling, webinars and sleep and meditation tools, discounted gym memberships and anonymous support chat rooms available.
In a press release recruiting holiday help, Lululemon said its mental health and health benefits includes “mental health first aid training, psychology benefits, an employee assistance program, and paid time off to promote wellbeing.”
- Nike’s Matt Marrazzo – LinkedIn
- Nike closes corporate offices for a week to give employees a mental health break – KGW
- Nike Continues to Emphasize Mental Health by Closing All Global Offices This Week to Give Employees a Break – Footwear News
- Future of Work Post-2020 Survey: 65% of Companies Ramp Up DEI Efforts; 51% Report Extra Effort Addressing Mental Health – Challenger, Gray & Christmas
- Bojangles closing eateries for 2 days; workers won’t be paid – Associated Press
- Team Target, You’re *The Best* — and We’re Saying Thanks with a $200 Bonus – Target
- Amazon gives front-line workers a $500 coronavirus bonus – CNBC
- 7 Ways Walmart Associates Can Prioritize Their Well-Being – Walmart
- Lululemon Continues to Expand Employee Benefits, Raising Minimum Base Pay – Lululemon
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Are higher pay and bonuses the optimal ways to recognize and de-stress hourly store and warehouse workers? What are the best non-monetary ways to rejuvenate front-line staff?