After the pandemic kept us all locked away for over a year, we’re back in action. And soon, we’ll return to as close to normal as we’ll ever be. For a charity shop like yours, who suffered the brunt of the economic damage, this is a crucial time – one you’ve no doubt all been waiting for.
But being closed for so long inevitably means you’ll have lots of work now your doors are open again. A flood of donations to organise. Customers to serve. COVID regulations to adhere to. We think tech can be your secret tool to help you stay productive. After all, the average UK employee is only productive for 2 hours and 53 minutes in a working day. Here are our four tips for staying on top of your game and delivering your best – and the tech you need to do it.
Keep communication clear
Clear and consistent communication is probably the easiest way to keep your charity shop productive. And it can have amazing results. Improving team communication can actually increase productivity by up to 25%.
So how do we use technology to keep communication effective? While you always have email, instant messaging apps are a great way to get the message out immediately. You could opt for a popular one like WhatsApp, or go for something designed more for business, such as Slack or Microsoft Teams. With the latter two, you can share files and messages all in one place so your team isn’t bouncing between email, text, and whatever else you might use. The key is to keep it as simple as possible.
Train staff regularly
Your team will be much more productive if they’re trained on how to use important systems. With regular training, your staff will be able to do certain tasks themselves instead of having to wait for a senior team member to complete it for them. This could include paperwork or more complicated administrative work.
While it’s best to train staff on your specific systems, they can learn other important skills too. There are thousands of online videos and courses dedicated entirely to upskilling and essential workplace skills. Your staff can stay productive and also develop skills that could benefit your shop in the future. If you’re looking to move into the 21st century and modernise your offering, it might prove key to have these employees in your back pocket.
Reduce error where possible
Mistakes happen. Sometimes it can’t be helped, and it isn’t always your staff’s fault. So to keep your shop productive, give them the tools to reduce as much error as they can. EPoS systems can do much of the heavy lifting nowadays. Need to calculate total prices and change? It does that. Need an accurate stock count? It can do that too. At the end of the day, do you need a sales report? Simple.
The less mental strain on your staff having to track all of this themselves, the better they can carry out other duties. They can provide a better service to customers. They can make more sales. And if you use a system with Gift Aid integration, you can even draw as much money for your cause as possible.
Being organised is crucial to productivity. If your staff don’t know what they’re supposed to be doing that day, how can you possibly expect them to be productive? You can’t have one without the other.
Technology can help us organise our day to day. With just a few clicks, you can add important dates to your calendar or create a to-do list on an app that helps you keep track of what needs doing and when. Monday.com is a great example. You can set tasks and assign each to specific members of your team with dates for when each task needs to be completed.
Productivity is essential for any charity shop and is something we should always be working to improve. And with so much tech out there, it only makes sense to take advantage of it. More than that, it means you can do more good for your cause and change more lives.
Looking to streamline your shop’s operations? Our bespoke EPoS system gives you complete oversight of all operations, with hundreds of management reporting options as standard. Keep your shop productive and doing its best. To talk about your EPoS needs, get in touch with us on 01204 706 000.