Soon thereafter, Dollar General made a direct hiring appeal to people (restaurant and hotel employees, among others) who are losing their jobs as a result of the pandemic.
The Kroger Co. then followed suit, announcing that it would be hiring at least 10,000 new workers, as well as handing out bonuses and boosting sick leave for its employees.
Meanwhile, training continues to evolve at Heinen’s, which is taking new approaches to equipping associates with the knowledge they need to effectively serve shoppers and grow within the organization.
“We’ve made a lot of adjustments with labor,” notes Rudar. “We’ve used a tool called Logile for a couple of years, and we have made some adjustments to being more appropriately scheduled at the right times. Some departments have been easier than others.”
The majority of Heinen’s tech investment has happened in just the past two years.
“From using Axonify to using Logile to computer-assisted ordering, we’re helping our people make decisions to help customers and make sure we have product when we need it and staff when we need it,” asserts Rudar.
The Axonify platform is mobile-enabled, so Longo’s can have training programs tailored to how people live now: on their mobile phones.
“Our partnership with Axonify is just shy of a year old, and our team members are using it every day,” notes Henry. “Our participation is almost 85% on a daily basis. We have our distribution center hit 100%, which is huge for us.”
Longo’s has been employing the platform to train employees on its new private label program.
“We used Axonify to help team members understand the attributes of the products, how they should engage with guests, etc.,” explains Henry. “So just the ability to get training in the hands of people really quickly was great."
Longo’s has also been trying new strategies when it comes to job sites such as LinkedIn. Additionally, the grocery chain has ramped up employee benefits, including offering scholarships for team members, comprehensive health benefits, a mental health program, tuition reimbursements and lots of discounts.
Observes Henry: “You know, I think that’s what’s happening in the world of today, whether it’s in the learning space, whether it’s in the hiring space, it’s about that ability to know what’s going on and to be able to pivot and be really agile.”