It’s common knowledge that world-wide economies were shattered by COVID-19. Between lock-downs and shut-downs, most industries experienced a disruption in the ways they do business. Even companies that were deemed “essential services” had to navigate the newly implemented processes that were necessary to safely keep their doors open.
As the world slowly re-opens there has been a tremendous amount of interest and focus on the “new normal”, and how the pandemic impacted consumer buying patterns. Businesses have had to adapt quickly. It became imperative to step up and manage the issues created by global supply chain challenges, sudden IT demands, remote work models, digitization of sales platforms, increasingly higher levels of customer expectations and more. A less obvious result, however, of the economy reopening is the impact on the workforce – particularly those employees in the consumer goods and retail industry. Some interesting – and concerning – facts have emerged.
While employee burnout is a bona fide problem across all industries, studies show that 34% of employees in consumer-goods and retail companies surveyed during the height of the pandemic reported burn-out issues, compared to 28% in other industries. And of those numbers, the women employees in consumer goods and retail expressed an even more severe burnout experience at 37%, compared to 30% in other industries. How is this explained?
For one thing, more than half of consumer goods and retail companies pressed pause on their diversity and inclusion (D&I) programs (much higher than other industries), even though when it comes to hiring and retaining talent, the importance of diversity in the workplace has been proven and widely accepted. According to ‘Women in the Workplace’ research, stress was much higher at consumer goods and retail than other industries, and those employees were 30% more likely than employees within other industries to feel they needed to have 24/7 availability. In fact, these same employees were nearly three times more likely to consider either exiting the workforce and changing careers due to burnout – and out of that group, one in four women were considering those changes as opposed to one in five men. And of THAT group of women, black women were 38% more likely to look at leaving the workforce. These numbers clearly point to a “fail” when it comes to promoting diversity in the workforce – particularly in the consumer sector.
When factoring in the research confirming that companies with diverse leadership – both in gender and ethnicity – consistently financially outperform their competition, it makes a strong case for ultra-robust D&I programs. It has been proven that diverse teams have greater ability to predict consumer trends, and make better – and more dynamic – decisions.
Post-pandemic, it is more critical than ever that companies in the consumer sector re-activate their D&I initiatives, support employee well-being, de-bias their promotion processes and focus on the development of diverse talent. And here’s where BPO (business process outsourcing) companies can support those types of initiatives. Your business – whether belonging to the consumer sector or another industry – needs to be on its toes to ride the new normal wave. Grappling with the enormous challenges imposed on the business world will necessitate that companies remain agile, flexible and intuitive. Partnering with an established BPO company like Anexa can help you identify the activities you can successfully outsource, leaving you to the business of doing business. With 20 years of experience in the outsourcing field, we manage a pool of highly trained, bilingual (Spanish and English) agents. These talented professionals bring solid expertise to a wide range of business areas like marketing, sales, promotion, technical support and customer service.
Want to learn more? We’re Anexa – reach out today.