Four Ways to Improve Employee Retention in Retail

Waste less time and money on expensive replacements by identifying trends in the staff you turn over.

Retail businesses large and small rely on hardworking employees to deliver great customer service and hold up a consistent brand image. Although they’re the backbone of the industry, employee retention in retail continues to fluctuate.

Whether good employees are leaving because they aren’t feeling valued or they experience too many scheduling conflicts, there are steps you can take to retain your best employees and reduce turnover:

  1. Evaluate your exit interviews. Is your organization providing departing employees with a comprehensive exit interview that results in actionable data? If not, your process may need to be revamped. Keep in mind that there are a few keys to giving an effective exit interview, such as providing brief and standardized surveys, ensuring anonymity and collaboratively analyzing data.
  2. Add more incentives. As a 2012 study from the Harvard Business Review points out, “Investment in employees allows for excellent operational execution, which boosts sales and profits, which allows for a larger labor budget, which results in even more investment in store employees.” Employees, especially millennials, want to feel valued. Providing performance-based incentives, such as top hours worked during the holidays or perfect attendance awards, can boost company morale and help employees know that they are working for valuable recognition.
  3. Rethink hiring criteria. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average retail sales employee earns about $22,000 a year, and it takes about 16 percent of a yearly salary to replace an employee. This means that every time an employer replaces an employee they lose about $3,500. Hiring the right person for the job may initially take longer than quickly filling the position or checking backgrounds and references, but saves both time and money in the long run.
  4. Divest more resources for onboarding. Training programs can act as recognition incentives for employees while equipping them to perform at optimal levels. Training programs also help management understand their staffs’ strengths and weaknesses, which can help them identify where an employee fits best within a company.

HSD Metrics can ensure comprehensive exit interviews are being given to departing employees, compile aggregate actionable data and gather new hire feedback to help you beat retail industry norms for turnover. If you would like to start improving your retention rate, get in touch with us at (800) 295-1863.

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About Deb Dwyer

Deborah Dwyer is the founder and president of HSD Metrics. With over 30 years of combined experience in human resource management and survey research, Deborah’s extensive knowledge reaches beyond organizational research to include significant expertise in work climate improvement, retention, hiring and selection, employee orientation, performance management systems, recognition programs, and career development systems.

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