“Take away my factories, but leave my people, and soon we will have a new and better factory.”– Andrew Carnegie, American Industrialist
People are the most valuable asset in any industry, and retail is no exception. Retail frontline employees are the face of the brand, anddeliver on the brand promise. Employee retention therefore remains critical. According to a December 2021 study conducted by Fairchild Studio and StoreForce, 34% of retailers polled identified recruiting qualified workers as the most difficult challenge they face. Another 20% stated that employee retention is their most difficult challenge. This situation can result in a never-ending cycle of re-hiring and re-training, with a continuing negative impact on retailers’ bottom lines.
HR initiatives that are well planned and executed, on the other hand, can help engage employees and slow the rate of employee churn. Based on our decades of experience in specialty retail, there are five things we believe retailers can do to improve employee retention.
Transparent and open communication with employees is the most straightforward way to make them feel valued. All relevant documentation and policies should be easily accessible to employees. People who believe they are kept in the loop are also more likely to feel they are appreciated.
Regular and informal interaction
Informal communication – such as chat groups or discussion boards – can be a powerful motivator for employees. It promotes the growth of interpersonal interactions between employees and management and human resources. Strong relationships can help people stay motivated and also benefit conflict resolution.
Giving your staff a voice about the work they do and how they do it can be an effective way for keeping them engaged. This can be achieved in simple ways, such as by giving them the ability to define their own availability, and exchange shifts with co-workers. Empowering your workers isn’t only good for motivating them, but helps with their personal and professional growth as well.
Connecting on a human level with employees is also critical to keeping them motivated. Using informal communication tools can be helpful, but individual stores visits by corporate representatives is often necessary as well. Store visits are an excellent way to gauge employee attitudes and learn about store operations. They can also promote a culture of accountability and follow up.
HR Climate Surveys
While HR strategies are planned centrally, their impact is best measured at the store level through decentralized surveys. These surveys can provide you with feedback directly from employees about potential pain points and areas for improvement. Surveys can also be used gain support for new initiatives, and to get a better sense for their impact. This can help give store staff a sense of ownership over your strategies, which in turn can result in increased retention.
These steps, when combined with an in-store execution platform like StoreForce’s retail execution solution, can help retailers increase employee retention. Watch a quick demo video, download our datasheet, or schedule a quick call with one of our retail experts to learn how StoreForce can help HR operations for your specialty retail brand.
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