Staff turnover is a common and costly problem in retail. In addition to training costs, turnover negatively affects the quality of customer service and business productivity.
Managing retail staff presents challenges inherent to the industry’s dynamic, volatile, and changing nature. Long working hours, temporary contracts, seasonality, and differences between corporate and franchise staff lead to high absenteeism and turnover rates.
The average turnover rate in the retail industry is 1.5 times higher than that of the industry as a whole.
Engaged, knowledgeable, and happy employees are essential to creating an exceptional customer experience, which translates into a competitive advantage. Retail leaders must understand why retail workers are particularly vulnerable to turnover to take steps and counteract the problem. Pay and benefits are critical, but they alone are insufficient to prevent it.
27% of retail managers say that turnover is their biggest challenge.
Here are some tips that will help improve retail employees’ engagement, participation, and retention.
Effective communication and feedback
Effective communication and constant feedback are among the most important ways to improve retention and engagement. Employees need to have a sense of belonging and be informed about what is happening in the company. In addition, they require the opportunity to express their opinions and be heard. Surveys at critical times, such as after the holiday season, allow employees to offer their views.
Employee productivity increases by 25% when they feel connected to the company.
In the dynamic and fast-moving world of retail, it is common for many employees to be outside of a typical office environment. Therefore, it is crucial to have a communication channel to consolidate information flows so the team remains connected and working together, regardless of their physical location.
Onboarding and continuous training
When new employees join the company, providing them with the necessary resources to adapt adequately to their function is essential. In addition, they will require ongoing training to develop the skills and knowledge indispensable for their role. In retail, training includes everything from product and sales floor knowledge to implementing customer service techniques and sales strategies.
A proper onboarding process can increase talent retention by 82% and productivity by 70%.
A well-structured training program is a highly effective strategy for reducing turnover. Technology platforms contribute to its success by streamlining and ensuring fast, effective, timely, and traceable information flows with all employees. In addition, they provide the possibility of receiving real-time feedback, facilitating the identification of improvement areas.
Automation and optimization
Consumers increasingly demand a better service experience, which means employees must be better trained and spend more time with them. Omni-channeling has changed the purpose of physical stores, as they are expected to offer new services, such as online order returns. These new expectations, coupled with higher labor costs, make optimizing and automating routine and repetitive tasks a must for store operations.
Operating under an automation approach has yielded cost savings of 4 to 12%.
Task managers have become an essential tool for managing daily activities effectively. Their use enables the automation of repetitive processes and tasks, favoring time optimization and increased productivity. Their use helps employees to prioritize their workload and facilitates better time management to focus on value-adding tasks.
Employees with the necessary tools, information, and resources feel connected, included, and empowered to deliver their best at work. However, since more than 80% of retail workers are deskless, the company’s flow of information and communication is hindered.
More than 80% of retail associates work without a computer, which establishes the need to provide the right tools so they may perform their best.
The good news is that technology development makes it possible to have tools that facilitate in-store task execution. One such solution is FrogmiⓇ, which through its mobile app, operates through an iOS and Android smartphone or PDA. This app offers visibility and actionability in stores, allowing automatic task creation and assigning, detailed and scheduled. These features greatly help store associates -especially new ones- as they clearly tell them what to do, when, and how. In addition, it provides a single communication channel to and from the stores, allowing them to retrieve information from the sales floor, validate content reading, and obtain traceability.
At FrogmiⓇ, we know that improving employee retention and engagement is essential for retail success. Therefore, we share some tips that, according to our experience, can help achieve a more motivated and engaged workforce, translating into better retention rates, greater operational efficiency, and superior business results.