NRF: Top retailers share cultural keys to retaining employees
In a tight labor market with little to prevent retail employees from switching companies, retailers are finding it critical to be considered a pleasant place to work. In a session at the NRF conference in New York, representatives of three retailers rated as top employers by Indeed.com spoke about how they are winning at retention.
Rosalind Vaughan-Chevreuil, senior vice president of HR at Best Buy, pointed to company values that are emphasized from the first interview as a big part of the chain’s success as a workplace.
Geoff Green, vice president of talent acquisition at Foot Locker, noted that the chain hires from the communities that engage with its products — sneakerheads, artists and gamers.
“You kind of figure out, what are their passions,” Mr. Greene said. “If they are at the entry level and they don’t have a lot of experience, then you look at what do they do in the community, what do they do in the schools … we have to look at them to make sure they’re going to fit the culture and the culture ends up being a byproduct of the talent that we bring in.”
He mentioned an instance in which employees at one location began having an impromptu dance party as one example of how company culture has flourished.
Mayerland Harris, group vice president of human resources at H-E-B, noted how a similar need to hire based on culture extended to grocery.
“Every type of culture has a different way of eating — a different product, a different herb,” said Ms. Harris. “You have to understand the population that you’re serving and have those same partners work for you to help explore that.”
She further said that allowing employees to set their career paths and not keeping them on a rigid trajectory is another key to retention.
“We ensure that people feel their individual career path is one they chart on their own,” said Ms. Harris. “You have the opportunity to go where you want to go or what suits your needs the best.”
The retailers also discussed different ways they were experimenting with flexible scheduling, childcare options and other worker-friendly arrangements to keep talent on board.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you see as the keys to recruitment and retention for retailers? How important is hiring employees that fit a particular company culture to worker retention?