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How to Create a Healthy Work Environment Using Digital Labels

Digital labels are more than just for customers. Their features can also be utilized to ensure a healthy work environment for the employees.

It’s not a surprise that digital labels are being implemented in retail stores and other retail environments to enhance operations and the customer experience. However, a lot of brands also favor a digital label solution because of its benefits for a healthy work environment. But why is this important? And how can these digital labels improve the working environment for retailers and employees?

The rise of consumer demands for healthy work environment

The emergence of the pandemic witnessed a lot of dramatic changes. There were shifts in various industries, working conditions, and even personal lives. But for the modern workforce and consumer industry, perhaps one of the most significant changes is the demand for a healthy work environment.


Just last year, new research from Qualtrics found that consumers in the United States are choosing brands based on their health and safety standards. How well they treat their employees and customers also factors into this decision. For example, 30% of consumers started purchasing from new brands within 18 months because of the brands’ new safety measures in place. In line with this, 22% of consumers have chosen to stop supporting brands that prioritize particular health and safety measures.


In 2021, the Vogue Business Index found that consumers of luxury brands now have equal concern for brands’ social policies and environmental ones. These consumers don’t just want brands to implement sustainable practices and commit themselves to environmental causes. In an era where mass layoffs and job losses are becoming common, consumers also want to see luxury brands provide better labor policies and wage transparency.


Meanwhile, in the early days of the pandemic, a McKinsey study revealed that a company’s treatment of its employees was a new factor in customer purchase decisions following the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic. McKinsey explained that a company’s actions towards employees and customers in these trying times will be remembered for a long time.


Even before the pandemic officially started, consumers were already starting to become aware of and care for the working conditions of many brands and companies. In 2019, the new supply chain economy has led consumers and even stakeholders to demand specific labor conditions. Ethically motivated consumers and labor activists joined together to demand assurance from corporations that their products are made within political and ethical standards. This showed how driven consumers can be by their ethics and values.


All of these studies and reports confirm that a healthy work environment is becoming a priority. Not just for the actual laborers, but for the consumers and brand fans in this modern time as well.

What is a healthy work environment?

A healthy work environment is characterized by various factors that contribute to the well-being, safety, satisfaction, and productivity of employees. In other words, a healthy workplace is more than just the general safety or physical environment of the employees. It also involves the psychological and social conditions of the workplace.


A healthy work environment is one where employees thrive while working, enjoy serving customers, and delight in collaborating with other colleagues. The better the working environment is, the better employees will perform, and the better it is for brands, companies, and organizations. Some of its benefits include increased job satisfaction, employee morale, customer loyalty, productivity, and a better brand reputation.


At the end of the day, brands and companies need to learn how to create a healthy work environment.

Standards that make a workplace employee-friendly

As mentioned, a healthy workplace isn’t just about the general safety of employees. To be employee-friendly, there are standards that need to be upheld and encouraged.


Here are some key elements of a healthy work environment:


  • Health and Safety Measures: Physical and mental well-being should be prioritized. Safety protocols are even more magnified since the start of the pandemic, or when it comes to high-risk jobs and dangerous professions. This involves ensuring a safe working environment, promoting wellness programs, and even addressing mental health concerns. Having proper health and safety measures in place is necessary.
  • Clear Communication: Effective communication is essential for a healthy work environment. This includes transparent information about organizational goals, expectations, and changes, as well as open channels for feedback.
  • Supportive Leadership: Strong and supportive leadership fosters trust and a positive atmosphere. Leaders who are approachable, and empathetic, and encourage professional development contribute to a healthy workplace.
  • Work-Life Balance: A healthy work environment recognizes the importance of the work-life balance of employees. It promotes reasonable working hours, encourages breaks, and supports policies that allow employees to manage their professional and personal lives effectively.
  • Respect and Inclusion: Respect for diversity and inclusion creates a positive and welcoming workplace. Employees should feel valued and respected, regardless of their background, gender, race, or other characteristics.
  • Recognition and Appreciation: Acknowledging and appreciating employees' efforts and achievements is crucial as well. Whether recognition is formal or informal, it helps boost morale and motivation in the workplace.
  • Fair Compensation: Fair and competitive compensation is an essential component of a healthy work environment. Employees should feel that their contributions are adequately rewarded.
  • Professional Development Opportunities: A workplace that invests in the growth and development of its employees contributes to a positive atmosphere. This includes providing training, workshops, mentorship programs, and other opportunities for career advancement.
  • Collaborative Culture: A culture that encourages collaboration, teamwork, and a sense of community contributes to a positive and healthy work environment. Employees should feel comfortable working together and harmoniously sharing ideas.
  • Flexibility: Providing flexibility in work arrangements is also important. This includes remote work options, hybrid work setups, or flexible schedules. These can all help enhance employee satisfaction and contribute to a healthy work-life balance.
  • Clear Expectations and Goals: Employees should have a clear understanding of their roles, responsibilities, and organizational goals as well. This clarity helps in aligning individual efforts with the overall mission of the company.
  • Conflict Resolution Mechanisms: A healthy work environment acknowledges that conflicts may arise and provides effective mechanisms for resolution. Open communication and fair conflict resolution processes are essential in a good work environment.

How to create a healthy work environment?

It’s safe to say that a healthy work environment is crucial for brands. This is how brands will be able to cultivate loyalty, satisfaction, and motivation among employees, as well as garner support from consumers.


Creating this kind of environment involves a combination of leadership initiatives, organizational policies, and individual efforts. Here are some strategies to help create and maintain a healthy work environment:


1. Promote Open Communication

Encourage transparent and open communication channels or in-person conversations. Create regular opportunities for feedback, both from leaders to employees and vice versa. Establish a culture where employees feel comfortable expressing their opinions and concerns.


2. Foster Supportive Leadership

Train leaders in effective communication, empathy, and conflict resolution. Encourage leaders to be approachable, supportive, and responsive to employee needs. Provide leadership development programs to enhance managerial skills among employees.


3. Set Safety Protocols and Measures

Enforce safety and health guidelines. Put up helpful reminders and instructions on walls, doors, rooms, equipment, and other high-traffic places in the workplace. Provide the right equipment or materials for employees when working onsite. Promote wellness programs, such as fitness classes or mental health resources. Provide access to healthcare benefits.


4. Prioritize Work-Life Balance

Set reasonable working hours and avoid a culture of overwork. Promote the use of vacation days and even mental health breaks to recharge. Offer flexible work arrangements, such as remote work options.


5. Ensure Fair Compensation

Regularly review and adjust compensation structures to remain competitive. Communicate clearly about compensation and benefit packages. Provide opportunities for performance-based incentives or well-deserved increases.


6. Recognize Employee Efforts and Boost Morale

Implement recognition programs to acknowledge individual and team achievements. Celebrate milestones and successes to build more loyalty and increase morale. Encourage peer-to-peer recognition.


7. Encourage Collaboration

Foster a collaborative culture through team-building activities. Provide tools that facilitate communication and teamwork. Recognize and reward collaborative efforts.


8. Offer Flexibility

Allow flexibility in work hours and locations, when feasible. Consider alternative work arrangements, such as compressed workweeks. Trust employees to manage their responsibilities in a way that suits their needs. Avoid micromanaging or having too much control over employees and tasks.


9. Establish Conflict Resolution Mechanisms

Develop fair and transparent processes for conflict resolution. Provide training on conflict management and resolution skills. Encourage open dialogue to address and resolve conflicts promptly.


10. Lead by Example

Leaders and managers should embody the values of a healthy work environment first and foremost. Demonstrate a commitment to well-being, respect, and continuous improvement. Model positive behaviors and attitudes for the betterment of others.


11. Implement Solutions or Technology for Work Efficiency

Look for opportunities to improve work efficiency with certain technologies. Implement new systems or programs that will uplift or empower employees. Provide the proper training or instructions to solve pain points and bottlenecks within the working environment.

How do digital labels help create an employee-friendly workplace?

One such solution that companies, especially retail businesses, can implement to create a great work environment is digital labels. Digital labels, or electronic shelf labels (ESL), are a retail technology that can enhance retail environments, both for employees and for customers. They replace traditional paper labels and can be used to display product information, prices, and other relevant details in a retail setting.


A good example would be SOLUM’s Newton ESL. Newton ESL has state-of-the-art technology designed to enhance various parts of the retail process. This includes a 7-page information display, programmable 7-color LED indicator, customizable design and branding, 10x faster price update speed, multifunctional buttons, NFC (near-field communication) capability, built-in protection cover, dustproof and water-resistance, and more. These features and capabilities of ESL improve the customer experience and streamline retail operations.


While ESLs are primarily designed for customer-facing applications, they can indirectly contribute to creating an employee-friendly workplace in several ways.


Here’s how digital labels can help create an employee-friendly workplace:


1. Time Efficiency

Digital labels can reduce the time employees spend manually updating and changing paper price tags. This frees up time for more meaningful tasks, which improves overall work efficiency.


2. Reduced Manual Labor

Manual labor is a big part of retail operations. However, with digital labels, businesses will be able to reduce the need for overtime, reduce the chances of overworked employees, and beat the holiday rush or weekly promotion schedules.


3. Dynamic Pricing

Digital labels enable dynamic pricing adjustments, allowing retailers to implement promotions, discounts, and price changes more easily. Employees can focus on managing these strategies rather than manually changing individual tags.


4. Reduced Errors

Automation and easy access through digital labels reduce the likelihood of pricing errors and discrepancies from the shelf to the counter. This can lead to a smoother workflow for employees, as they can spend less time addressing and correcting mistakes.


5. Enhanced Productivity

With easier and faster pricing updates, employees can concentrate on customer service, assistance, shelf restocking, and other essential tasks that contribute to the overall shopping experience of the customers.


6. Better Inventory Management

Digital labels with their label management system, like Newton ESL, will improve inventory management for the retail business. Employees can easily manage and assign labels to respective products. They can also check inventory levels with ease, so they can avoid running out of stock or mismanaging stocks and deliveries.


7. Improved Customer Service

Digital labels allow employees to spend more time assisting customers with inquiries, locating products, and providing personalized recommendations. Good customer service can prevent confusion and further altercations between customers and employees.


8. Employee and Workplace Announcements

Bigger digital labels such as posters and signage can also be used to create a healthy work environment. They can be used to display specific instructions, reminders, health and safety guidelines, internal announcements, and more. This ensures that staff are well-informed and confident as they work in their retail environment.


9. Customization and Flexibility

Digital labels offer flexibility in terms of design and content. Employees can customize displays to highlight key information, promotions, or product details. This makes it easier for employees to adjust to promotions and sales, and to reinforce branding in their retail store.


10. Employee Satisfaction

Streamlining tasks through ESLs can contribute to a more organized and efficient work environment. When employees experience less stress and frustration related to manual tasks, job satisfaction may increase.


11. Adaptability to Changes

Digital labels can quickly adapt to changes in pricing, product information, or marketing strategies. This flexibility allows retailers to respond rapidly to market trends and competitor activities. As a result, employees are more engaged in dynamic and evolving retail environments.


12. Reduced Environmental Impact

The use of digital labels reduces the need for paper and printing, contributing to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly workplace. Employees who appreciate eco-friendly initiatives and value sustainable commitment will more likely support the business they’re working for.


Digital labels are an all-around solution for retail businesses that want to elevate operations and optimize operations for their employees. If you want to try this solution for your own retail store and create a better workplace for your staff, talk to SOLUM experts now.

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