The Not-So-Surprising Answer to Employee Retention Challenges
The “quit rate” in retail and hospitality now outpaces the national rate by 70 percent. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that hiring seasonal employees is a challenge retailers face every year. After the holidays pass, retailers are also tasked with the challenge of not only understanding how to improve internal processes, but also turning seasonal employees into full-time, year-round associates.
With 49 percent of frontline managers feeling burnt out on a daily basis, it’s evident that retailers must find a way to improve employee morale and build confidence — a challenge that’s easier said than done. By optimizing employee management, retailers can streamline store operations and communication, ultimately making it easier to attract and retain employees.
Be Transparent About DEI Efforts
It’s clear that diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programs have a big impact on business: 78 percent of the workforce say it’s important to work for an organization that prioritizes diversity and inclusion. However, this doesn’t just mean committing to transformative DEI change; it also means communicating those changes to employees.
DEI affects factors such as employee sentiment, consumer spending, and whether individuals decline or accept job offers. In fact, 81 percent of candidates check a company’s website for its stance on DEI before applying. For the retail industry, this means that DEI impacts the entire business as it relates to employees, consumers and overall profitability.
Unifying communications allows retailers to be open about their core organizational values and DEI initiatives. For example, retailers can make annual impact reports easily available, documenting progress around DEI goals and employee makeup. This provides employees with the knowledge that their employer is working to create impact and equality in the workplace. As all employees feel seen and valued, employee retention also increases.
Foster a Supportive Workplace Environment
Building trust, collaboration and good relationships among coworkers goes a long way in terms of retention. Workplace community also fosters strong morale and makes employees feel valued and supported.
Retailers can implement unified communication channels and digital processes to streamline store operations and workforce management, making it easy to communicate with and support all employees, from headquarters to entry-level positions on the retail floor. This allows companies to give employees the resources they need and strengthen relationships, whether that’s by recognizing good work done by staff or having managers available to answer questions.
It’s always harder to leave an organization when there’s a sense of purpose and inclusion. Recent research shows that a sense of belonging improves employee retention by 43 percent and boosts the average employee’s estimated tenure by 84 percent. By establishing a supportive and inclusive work environment, retailers can ensure that they're doing everything they can to attract and retain employees at all levels.
Give Employees the Resources They Need to Thrive
Giving employees access to information in one unified place sets them up to excel in their roles. Being informed not only makes employees feel more confident, but it also improves their interactions with customers, as they have all information about the brand and products at their fingertips. By making resources and any needed information readily available, retailers can easily and sufficiently onboard and train employees.
All-encompassing, high-quality training is a great way to build employee confidence and ensure employee satisfaction. In fact, 38 percent of frontline managers and workers said that lack of employee training is impacting their day-to-day work. By automating training programs, retailers’ HR teams can easily create certification programs such as onboarding, management, product and skills training. Having well-informed, confident employees ultimately creates a better work environment by giving all employees the resources to perform their job adequately and efficiently.
Invest in Employees to Retain Them Throughout 2023
As retailers continue to deal with a looming recession and The Great Resignation, it’s no surprise that improving employee engagement, streamlining manager training, and combatting turnover are hot issues.
Establishing transparency around DEI efforts, creating an open and accepting work environment, and providing access to educational resources is key to employee retention. When companies take care of their employees, the benefits are clear: employers gain confident, capable employees who want to keep working for the company year-round.
Gary Stonell is senior vice president of sales and operations at Opterus, the leading provider of cost-effective, cloud store communications and task management solutions.
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Gary Stonell, SVP of Sales and Operations, Opterus, has 20 years of sales management and business development experience in CPG and SaaS. Beginning his career in CPG, he worked for Kraft Foods, Philips Electronics, then SunRype Products fostering partnerships with retailers and managing various aspects of the sales and marketing processes. More recently at Sysomos/Meltwater, a SaaS based Social Media content management platform, Gary led the Enterprise sales team responsible for managing existing clients and new logo acquisition. The key to his success has been a meaningful focus on building business relationships with collaborative solution based partnerships.