Getting Retail Employees to Stay
By Tom Ryan
Nearly half of retail employers (48 percent) say it’s harder to retain employees this year compared to last year, according to a recent CareerBuilder.com survey. A tight labor market and longer retail hours are seen as contributing factors.
The survey showed that while 62 percent of retail employees report they are satisfied with their current job overall, 69 percent are either actively seeking or would be open to a new job if they came across one. Nearly three in ten (28 percent) retail employees plan to leave their current jobs within the next year and 46 percent within two years.
Among the other findings from the surveyed retail employees:
- 54 percent claimed their workload is either heavy or too heavy;
- 44 percent
were unsatisfied with their pay;
- 36 percent were dissatisfied with the training
and learning opportunities;
- 34 percent were dissatisfied with career-advancement
opportunities at their current position;
- 33 percent were not satisfied with
their work life balance;
- 27 percent felt they were overlooked for a promotion
at their current job.
Among the retailers in the survey, 42 percent cited the inability to find qualified workers as the biggest impediment to hiring more people. Increasing workplace flexibility (cited by 34 percent) was the number one way retailers were looking to retain employees. Also ranking high was increasing wage/salaries (32 percent), benefits (18 percent) and bonuses (16 percent).
This survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive among 90 retail employers (at least somewhat involved in hiring decisions) and 468 retail employees (full-time; not involved in hiring decisions) ages 18 and over within the U.S. between February 15 and March 6.
“Turnover isn’t a new challenge for retailers,” says Rosemary Haefner, vice president of Human Resources at CareerBuilder.com, in a statement. “However, as the labor pool continues to shrink and retailers feel the pressure from consumers to keep doors open longer – even 24 hours a day – many retailers are embracing more competitive hiring and retention programs.”
Ms. Haefner recommends the following tips for retailers to improve recruitment and retention efforts:
Break through the clutter – “Treat your job posting like a candidate treats a resume. Communicate an employee brand that is accomplishment-based, highlighting growth and stability, work culture, career advancement, etc. Include testimonials from current employers and showcase examples of employees who have worked their way to the top.”
Get specific – “The more definitive you can be in a job posting, the better your chance of attracting qualified candidates. Everyone says competitive salaries and benefits – define what that means in your organization. Outline what flexible schedules and work/life balance programs entail, specifically address the training/courses available to employees in the first quarter, first year, etc.”
Check your workplace temperature – “Measure employee satisfaction levels regularly whether it be through informal discussions or organization-wide surveys. If necessary, create action plans and implementation dates with employee input and deliver on what’s promised.”
Discussion Question: Do you think employee retention has become more difficult? If so, what do you think is making it tougher? What do you think are some the best methods to improve recruiting and retention efforts for retailers?
- Nearly Half of Retail Employers Say Retaining Employees is Harder than Last Year – CareerBuilder.com