The retail sector struggles to maintain a stable and content workforce. It has one of the highest turnover rates averaging above 60%.
Most employees work long hours with low wages and no benefits. The great resignation brought about by the Covid-19 made things worse because the retail sector suffered the second-highest number of resignees.
However, most retail companies are now on the road to recovery. This crisis was also a chance for retailers to develop their online sales channels and reinvent their strategies.
Here are five tips to attract, retain and keep your retail employees.
Prioritize Work-Family Balance
Whilst long working hours seem to be the standard, flexible working hours will allow for some sort of work-life balance. Balance takes planning ahead, good coordination, and organization. One way to achieve this is through shift scheduling in advance and allowing employees to trade in shifts.
When you offer retail employees the power to choose their own shifts, their satisfaction increases. They will likely remain in the company for a longer time. Women make up the majority of the workforce in retail – company benefits like paid time afford working moms the opportunity to be with their families without worrying about finances. Through company support, work-family conflict can be greatly reduced.
Encourage Career Growth
Employees value companies with development opportunities and clear, defined career paths. Companies that take a blind eye to the employees’ quest for growth risk losing high-performing individuals. To support the career progression of retail workers, companies must offer professional training and development opportunities that can help them to expand their skills and further their experience in the company.
To entice long-term stay in retail companies, employers must craft innovative career paths that offer both upward and lateral movement accompanied by competitive wages. Retail wages continue to be a concern because they are not as competitive as they should be so any increase in remuneration improves employee happiness.
Build A Culture Of Employee Appreciation
Employee recognition plays a huge part in improving employee retention and happiness. People are emotional beings that need to be acknowledged for their contributions to the workplace.
One way of showing appreciation to your retail workers is by awarding them with patches. You can create custom patches in different styles using various manufacturing techniques depending on your choice and use case.
Patches can be used to award employee accolades and achievements like employee of the year or month. If you add a financial incentive with certain types of patches that will be even more appreciated. Your employees will feel honored and recognized for the work they do whilst also promoting your retail brand to potential customers and employees.
Another way of showing appreciation for your retail staff is through celebrating their personal work anniversaries and birthdays by either offering a day off or giving them end-of-year bonuses or vacations. A mention in the company newsletter or social media page also helps to boost employee morale. A climate of employee appreciation in retail drives employee commitment, morale, and retention because employees only attach themselves to workplaces where they feel ‘seen’.
Offer Health and Wellness Support
Poor mental health is a major issue amongst retail workers. It is unfortunate that most companies do not have sufficient knowledge of how to deal with that. Retailers can offer regular resilience training to employees to provide mental health support.
Fitness benefits like free gym memberships also go a long way in alleviating work induced fatigue. Companies that prioritize employee health are regarded as the best companies to work for and they benefit from high retention rates.
Check-in With Your Employees Frequently
Busy seasons in retail can be quite stressful for retail workers so checking in with them frequently provides them with the tools they need to be more resilient. Employees value one on one meetings because they offer them a chance to enquire everything about company processes and in turn, they receive timely feedback. This type of employee handling improves organizational climate which in turn results in employee happiness.
The costs of recruitment and training in retail are estimated to be over $19 billion, according to Paycor. These costs can be reduced if companies adopt good human resources practices in their attraction and retention strategy.
The biggest takeaway is that retailers must structure themselves in such a way that they are able to respond to the ever-evolving needs of the retail workforce. An agile retail sector will drive employee happiness and retention.
Adam Hill is an entrepreneur, marketer, and writer. He is also the co-founder of UltraPatches where he has turned his passion for patch collection into an entrepreneurial venture.
Retail Minded is an internationally recognized industry blog and publication that is committed to delivering quality news, education and support specific to independent retailers. Founded in 2007 by retail thought leader and influencer Nicole Leinbach Reyhle, Retail Minded introduces retailers to leading industry resources, merchant specific news and timely education to help independent businesses – both online and offline – thrive in their unique retail goals. In addition to Retail Minded’s ongoing retail research, Retail Minded provides content services to companies looking to communicate to retail audiences.
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