Finding a reliable employee to work in your retail store is a challenging and time-consuming process. Most retailers need dozens of open positions around the year, and it’s almost impossible to be 100% successful when hiring at this frequency.
This potential inaccuracy explains why retail ranks among the top five industries with the highest turnover rate. But there is one problem that gives retailers an even worse headache than recruiting – it is employee retention.
Namely, losing a good employee is the worst thing that can happen to a company. You can always change equipment or buy a better tool to improve your retail business, but you can hardly ever find a decent replacement for someone who perfectly understands your products and delivers top-level results.
According to the report, over 50% of employees are currently considering a new job. It’s a terrible fact for most employers because it reveals that they do not take care of their workers. If you are afraid that your business might lose valuable employees too, you should think about the ways to increase retention.
There are different techniques to achieve this, but some strategies proved to be more productive than others. Keep reading – to learn ten proven tactics to retain your retail employees.
Advantages of Employee Retention
The lack of understanding of employee retention is the main reason why lots of organisations are struggling with employee retention. Namely, it seems like too many retail professionals don’t realise the importance of building a team of loyal workers. Before you even start thinking about improving retention, you should learn its biggest advantages. Let’s take a look:
- Reduced turnover rate: Mistakes happen in every business, but experienced employees make fewer errors than newbies.
- Engagement: Loyal workers feel like belonging to the bigger community, so they are willing to engage and give their best for your company.
- Reduced training time: Every new member of your team requires hours of training. But if you don’t change employees frequently, you don’t have to waste too much time on onboarding.
- Expert staff: The longer the employees stay with you, their business intelligence increases. They will understand how customers behave, what they like, and what to avoid.
- Improved customer experience: This advantage goes hand in hand with the previous one. Retail customers are often needy and demanding, and experienced staff can handle it effortlessly.
- Higher productivity: The quality of customer service makes a huge impact on buyers so that they will be spending more money in your store.
How to Strengthen Employee Retention: 10 Surefire Mechanisms
Since now the benefits of employee retention are conveyed, it is time to learn how to improve on it. Without further ado, we present you ten surefire mechanisms to keep your employees satisfied.
- It all begins with recruiting
According to a survey, about a third of employees quit within the first six months of a new job, while the same percentage knows within the first week whether they would be with the company long-term. What does it tell you?
A smart entrepreneur understands that employee retention begins with recruiting. You can see it in their resumes immediately – candidates who haven’t had a long-term job before are highly unlikely to stick to your company. When you talk to people during job interviews, make this issue one of the top priorities and try to identify applicants who show the signs of professional loyalty.
- Training and education
Did you know that offering career training and development would keep 86% of the Millennials from leaving their current position? If you build a team full of young professionals, you better give them a good reason to be retained with you.
First of all, they need a quality onboarding experience to get acquainted with your organisation. That way, they are going to feel more pleasant and comfortable right from the start.
Secondly, learning and education must not end immediately. On the contrary, you need to provide workers with courses, practical learning sessions, webinars, business trips, and so on. Doing go, you allow employees to advance from within, and you don’t force them to search for better learning opportunities somewhere else.
As much as we all want to enjoy our jobs, a salary is still the main reason we work so hard. After all, we all want to make ends meet, don’t we? Employees in your retail company are not an exception here, so don’t forget to offer substantial compensation.
We know that it’s hard to meet the financial requirements of your workers, but sometimes it can cost you less than a replacement. A study reveals that the cost of replacing a highly-trained employee can exceed 200% of their annual salary. Are you ready to risk losing a reliable employee when all you have to do is give him/her a small raise from time to time?
While salary remains the most important employee retention factor, there are several other features to consider if you want to improve loyalty. Some people are ready to earn less money in exchange for other benefits. Here is the list of common features:
- Work/life balance: Many businesses depend on 9-to-5 schedules, but you can allow employees to plan their work hours to fit their private commitments.
- Parental leave: You can provide a fully paid parental leave to mothers and fathers in your team.
- Childcare: Parents often need help while raising children, which is where childcare centres come in very handy.
- Vacation: A few extra days for a vacation can do miracles for employee retention.
- Clearly defined non-working hours
As a business owner or a retail supervisor, you probably feel that it’s always really important to call or text your employees regardless of timing. However, this is exactly where companies frequently lose their employees.
You have to be more flexible and allow your team members to enjoy their well-deserved spare time. Don’t disturb them unless it’s a case of extreme urgency. And let us be clear about it – something urgent can happen only once a month or so. Anything more than that will be considered disturbing and rest assured your workers will be looking for another job opportunity.
- Establish a quality corporate culture
The overall work environment is just as important for employee satisfaction as any other factor. It looks like more than 40% of employees are looking for a new job while citing corporate culture as the main reason.
Retail organisations should search for individuals who are interested in this type of work. You need to create a joyful ambience and promote the right values. Make sure to hire staff that perfectly aligns with your style, vision, and the overall branding strategy. If you can do it this way, you won’t have to worry about employees feeling uncomfortable or awkward.
- Don’t halt promotions
The worst employee experience is the feeling of underestimation. If a person is doing a great job, but they fail to be recognised – get ready for the resignation. Don’t halt promotions and allow your staff to climb up the corporate ladder. After all, it is the people who get stuck doing the same type of job over and again, are the ones who get bored soon.
- Honest and transparent communication
Verbal communication is critical to the success of a retail company. You need to be strict but honest and transparent, eliminating double standards and possible misunderstandings.
Make sure that the staff members are clear about your expectations. Don’t talk behind their back or hide important information. Instead, you should regularly organise group meetings and also talk to each employee individually. That way, you can achieve the highest level of transparency and get everyone acquainted with your expectations, duties, and business objectives.
At the same time, you need to encourage two-way communication. Invite workers to ask questions or send job-related proposals that can improve the work process. In such circumstances, your employees will feel acknowledged and become more engaged long-term, thus reducing job abandonment.
- Offer perks
Little things can mean a lot if you know what your employees need. There are tons of small perks you can offer to the members of your team. Frequently used solutions include:
- Free snacks: People love free stuff, particularly food and beverages.
- Sports: You can buy a ping-pong table or pay for the annual gym membership for your employees.
- Tickets: There is always the possibility to surprise your workers by providing them with tickets for concerts, sports events, and so on.
- Discounts: Of course, retail companies should always give special discounts to their workers. They can get a lifetime discount or be the first ones to check out new products in your portfolio.
- Succession planning
No matter how well you try improving retention, some people will choose to leave your organisation sooner or later. You have to understand that it’s not a disaster, so make sure to prepare a quality succession plan.
Don’t allow yourself to get caught by surprise, but rather get ready in advance. Your job is to build a strong team with enough professionals who can jump in and replace a former employee. It will take some time before the retail floor starts running smoothly again, but it won’t take too long if you plan well in advance.
If you can craft a solid employee retention plan, you will make your staff satisfied long-term, which is critical for the overall productivity of your sales force. Even the smallest perks and benefits can make your workers happier and more diligent, so don’t hesitate to embrace a new mindset and improve the retention rate.
Scott Mathews is a headhunter and a content creator. Scott is a passionate blogger who loves writing about HR-related topics. He is also a part-time contributor at best term paper and Edu Birdie review. If Scott is not working, you will probably find him jogging in the local park.