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Overlooking modern HR tech can negatively impact retailers

By Fourth|Oct 26, 2022|6:32 pm BST

As high street footfall continues to drop, retailers are feeling the strain. To address the cost of living and high staff turnover issues, retail leaders can use HR technologies to balance their employee’s engagement, satisfaction, and financial well-being. Here we explore the benefits of these technologies, the issues that accompany out of date tech, and how retailers can ensure they are supporting their staff.


Technology has played a significant role in evolving scheduling. The tech has streamlined processes and employees have obtained greater transparency over their working week. By allowing employees to proactively suggest their hours and managers to offer open shifts, employees feel supported. This is furthered by apps such as Fourth’s My Schedule, which allows store managers to publish schedules immediately and edit them in real-time, while staff can easily apply for open shifts or swap them with colleagues for an improved work-life balance. By doing so, technology provides a more collaborative process between manager and employee, ensuring happiness and equality.

If a retailer were to continue with outdated HR methods – from rigid scheduling practices to paper rotas – issues would likely arise. Management would keep an air of autonomy without consideration for worker’s – something today’s workforce largely deems unacceptable, meaning those retailers risk losing out on talent to the competition. Whereas with the introduction of an agile workforce management solution, leaders can expect to benefit from a more content workforce and a reduction in staff turnover.

Earned Wage Access

As the UK battles the cost of living crisis, it is crucial that retailers are using the most up to date HR technology to support their employees. By helping to alleviate some proportion of financial worries, retail leaders can empower their employees to take control of their finances – a useful means to further productivity and employee engagement. Earned Wage Access, offered through Fourth’s partnership with Wagestream, enables employees to track their earnings and the ability to access a proportion of their earned funds throughout a month. As a result, employees can then choose the terms of their wage access as opposed to having to wait until the end of the month.

The work of the Wagestream app is crucial not only in enabling people to keep track of their incomings and outgoings, but to simultaneously empower and incentivise employees to become better savers. A great option for employees during a difficult economic period.


The means in which society communicates has evolved over the last decade and the retail sector is no different. We are currently seeing the creation of communication systems that give employers and employees the ability to connect, creating stronger team relationships and greater transparency around the business. For example, the Fourth Engage app makes it easier for retail leaders to engage with their employees through tools like news feeds and direct messages. The implementation of these systems allows employers to obtain insights on who has seen what information, whilst ensuring staff are always up to date. Retailers cannot afford to overlook this technology – it is important that employees and employers continue to have accessible dialogue and support whether that is in or out of working hours.

From these examples, it is clear that without the correct implementation of workforce management solutions, retailers are at risk of alienating their workforce, causing high staff turnover and low productivity. By investing in the latest tech solutions, retail leaders should expect to see the long term benefits as they seek to progress through the cost-of-living crisis and festive season smoothly.

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