eCommerce Success: How Employee Wellness Drives Profits


Published: | By Indiana Lee

The eCommerce industry is booming.

20.8% of all sales now happen online and eCommerce revenue is expected to leap by 10.4% in 2023 alone. 

The sudden growth of eCommerce sales is largely due to changing consumer preferences.

Today, 79% of shoppers say they search for their products online at least once per month, and 40% say they have made a purchase due to the influence of social media

Rising profits and increasing consumer demand are clearly good news for your firm.


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However, your staff may feel as though they are under extra pressure to perform when the industry is growing. 

Protecting employee wellness is critical if you want to maximize your profitability.

Without a clear wellness scheme, you risk undermining employees’ desire to scale your operations and will end up spending your hard-won revenue on recruitment drives to replace burnt-out employees. 


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Reevaluating KPIs

As an eCommerce business leader, you want to make the most of the industry-wide boom in internet sales.

You may even be tempted to increase your employee’s key performance indicators (KPIs) to encourage higher levels of productivity. 

Increasing KPIs like sales volume and engagement in line with market trends is a good idea in the short term but may lead to burnout if you continuously push for higher performance.

Eventually, employees will come to resent quarterly reviews, as they know that their work will get harder once their KPIs have been adjusted due to market growth. 

Instead of punishing high-performing employees with burdensome KPIs, use this time to reward your staff.

Workers who exceed expectations shouldn’t suddenly have to grind to meet unrealistic KPIs.

Stick to your word and give folks who exceed their KPIs the recognition and rewards they have earned.

This may resemble paid time off, higher commission percentages, increased bonus pay, or a simple message of recognition in a company-wide email. 

Benefits to Offer

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Employee benefits play a key role in your overall wellness policy.

Without the right benefits, your employees will look for other opportunities and jump ship in favor of firms that offer comprehensive coverage.

Some of the best employee benefits of 2023 include: 

  • 401(K) Matching: Staff want to put away money for a rainy day. Now is the perfect time to contribute to their 401(K) as eCommerce revenue is consistently increasing. 
  • Healthcare: Comprehensive health insurance can be a big deal for employees. Reducing your employees' deductibles shows that you care about their well-being and will encourage staff to take advantage of the coverage you’ve chosen. 
  • Flexible Scheduling: The rise of remote work means that asynchronous business models are easier to adopt than ever before. Encourage folks to set their own schedules and reap the reward of well-rested, highly motivated staff. 
  • Tuition: College loans have left many employees with crippling debt. Offering reimbursement can take a weight off and will dramatically improve loyalty amongst your employees. 
  • Gym Memberships: People are more health conscious today than ever before. Paying for a gym membership helps folks live a healthier lifestyle which, in turn, can reduce absenteeism and improve motivation at work. 

Follow up on your benefits by offering work perks and/or expenses to your high-performing employees.

Some “perks,” like high-end computers and gas expenses, may be tax deductible, too.

Paying for these expenses on the employee’s behalf will help folks feel appreciated and increase the quality of their work. 

If you are working on a more modest budget, consider putting aside some funds for recognition gifts.

Appreciation gifts, like free coffee, small bonuses, or chocolate bars, show that you care enough to say “thank you” to employees who give their all.

Even small gestures can be impactful, as it’s often the thought that matters most.  

Wellness Programs

Your benefits program ensures that employees feel respected and cared for.

However, you also need a robust wellness policy if you want to maximize employee health, happiness, and productivity.

Start by surveying staff to learn about common sources of stress.

You may be surprised to learn that ineffective tech stacks, long working hours, or outdated collaboration software are undermining well-being. 

Once you’ve gathered enough feedback, start making strategic policy-level changes to promote wellness.

Employee feedback is crucial when designing an employee wellness program, as it will help you set your goals and incentivize participation in the program. 

If, for example, you learn that staff are working long hours to fix website issues or increase sales, you should consider putting more money into your dental coverage.

Specifically, you may be surprised to learn that working long hours can undermine dental health and increase the risk of bruxism, gum disease, and tooth decay.

Proactively prevent the worst by funding dental co-pays and paid time off for trips to the dentist. 

Remember to track participation in your wellness program.

This ensures that your spending is being put to good use by all staff.

Aim for lofty targets, like “90% staff participation in wellness perk X” as this will encourage your HR team to spread the word about the programs you offer.

Evaluate your existing program every quarter and don’t be afraid to change direction if you think employees would benefit from a different package. 

Mental Health Days

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eCommerce is an exciting, goals-driven industry.

Folks work hard to achieve their targets and are likely putting in extra hours at the end of every month to meet their goals and earn a commission. 

Having employees who want to work overtime is a sign that your current policies are working.

However, you need to guard against burnout — even if employees insist that they want to put in the hours and earn higher commissions. 

If you notice that some employees seem a little jaded, consider offering mental health days.

Many people are hesitant to take time off when work is busy but would benefit from a day or two away from the desk. 

Don’t ask any questions when your employee says they need a mental health day, but reaffirm your commitment to their wellbeing.

This will encourage folks to come forward with issues when they feel comfortable and will show staff that you trust them.

When folks return to work, they’ll be refreshed and ready to resume working with a more positive, productive state of mind. 

Automation

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Hard-working employees deserve to be supported with automation tech that takes care of mundane tasks.

Failing to automate routine responsibilities — like answering FAQs or sending monthly emails — will undermine your employees’ mental agility and decrease their desire to undertake more creative tasks. 

This sentiment is echoed in a recent WorkMarket report.

The report found that 54% of employees could save 240 hours annually if they were given appropriate automation tech.

This has convinced 41% of business owners to start using the emergent tech to their advantage.

You can introduce automation to your eCommerce business by: 

  • Sending automated emails
  • Manage support tickets
  • Streamline order management
  • Connect your tech stack

Outline your current operations and identify repetitive tasks like lead management and administrative duties.

Look for subtasks that could be completed by a computer without undermining your wider brand strategy.

This will generate a list of “high-priority” tasks that you need to automate soon to boost productivity and support employee wellbeing.

Finally, use the right collaboration tools that include automation to streamline day-to-day operations.

Recruitment

If you run a fast-growing eCommerce business, you need to support existing staff by bringing on new hires.

You can’t expect your current employees to take on more work than is reasonable and shouldn’t ask staff to do the work of two people. 

When running recruitment drives, try to incorporate current employees into the decision-making process.

Your staff does not want to work with folks who don’t suit your organizational culture and will identify bad apples before you bring them on.

Involving your employees during the hiring process shows you care about their opinions, too, which can be deeply empowering. 

Recruitment drives give you a chance to recognize your employees in public-facing media, too.

When recruiting, highlight the achievements of your best members of staff.

Conduct interviews, take a few photos, and give them a chance to express themselves.

This shows applicants that you are a people-first employer and help your employees’ well-being.  

When you do bring on new hires, protect their well-being by taking your time during onboarding.

New staff will take time to get up to speed and may need upwards of a month to complete the onboarding process.

Taking your time now will reduce employee stress and help folks seamlessly enter your eCommerce workforce. 

Conclusion

Employee well-being is key to your efforts as an eCommerce business leader.

Highly motivated, happy staff are more loyal, experience increased productivity, and are less likely to take time off.

You can support wellness at work with a robust benefits and wellness program.

This will take care of big issues like health coverage and prove that you care about employee wellbeing. 

Prioritizing well-being can help you manage employee KPIs strategically, too.

Folks don’t want to feel overworked every month and may strategically underperform to reduce the risk of burdensome goals.

Work with employees to manage expectations and consider bringing on new hires if you want to dramatically increase your revenue.

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