The American Institute of Stress report that workplace pressure is the biggest source of stress in the U.S. Further, the levels of workplace stress have actually risen over the past few decades. Tackling this issue is a major challenge for HR managers. And as retail workers find themselves at the greatest risk of poor mental health, according to a recent study; could the solution partly lie in a better approach to cash management?
Work-related stress is a growing problem, especially among those in the retail industry. Figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (C.D.C) show that those who work in retail are more likely to take a leave of absence from work due to mental health issues such as stress, anxiety and depression.
To tackle this, HR executives must address the causes of stress experienced by their employees. And in a retail environment, end of day closeouts are often reported as one of the biggest causes of anxiety among staff.
In most businesses, if errors are found in the closeout process they will need to be investigated immediately. The cash drawer has to be recounted, causing a bottle-neck for other employees looking to count their registers at the end of their shifts. Tension can build with managers, team members and ultimately be felt by your customers. All of which can directly impact sales.
Similarly, cash management policies that deal with the problem of cash loss by asking staff to make up any shortfalls from their own pockets are only likely to cause more harm. When staff are continually forced to make up shortfalls they can quickly become stressed, upset and resentful.
Worse still, this “cover-up” culture could actually discourage the retention of honest staff and create an environment where dishonest staff can thrive. And that’s not good for business.
Plus, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy as operators who are under pressure to be 100% accurate in their cash handling can often be prone to greater anxiety, which encourages more mistakes.
Effective cash handling and cash management processes can provide a supportive structure for staff to operate in, taking away opportunities for error and reducing pressure. And, importantly, helping to retain those honest staff the business needs to help.
But inevitably every business will need to investigate cash handling errors or cash losses at some point. And when they do, it is important that they have the right tools for the job. Tools which can reduce the time spent counting cash, double-checking cash registers or investigating losses.
Technologies such as intelligent cash drawers, smart safes or cash counting machines are an obvious investment. Together they can provide full audit trails that will allow any discrepancies to be followed up quickly and easily.
Plus, they provide peace of mind. When staff know that the closeout process is going to be rapid and straightforward it means one less thing to worry about at the end of the day. This reduces worry throughout the shift, lessening the likelihood of error.
So the solution is clear. A fair and efficient cash management process backed up by smart technology helps ease the stress felt by employees around the closeout process. But, much more than that, it can even stop mistakes being made in the first place. By deploying these tools, businesses can demonstrate a duty of care while also improving morale and performance. The benefits can be felt by management, employees, and customers alike. A smart business decision.