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While retailers must contend with external challenges, such as pressure from competitors, they also come up against internal obstacles, such as employee dissatisfaction and lack of engagement. Retailers need to be more creative and take a closer look at how they invest in the employee experience to address these challenges, particularly in a tight labor market.
While investing in talent acquisition is essential, it’s important to understand the amount of commitment needed to keep a new hire engaged. The job market in the retail industry is extremely competitive, so once you attract and acquire the right people, you need to focus on retaining them. This involves investment in the employee experience from attracting and hiring the right people faster, to implementing an effective onboarding process, and building long-term relationships with your employees. Here are three ways you can reduce turnover by investing in the employee experience.
Attract and hire the right people, faster
Retailers are facing many hiring challenges such as competition for talent and high turnover rates given the nature of the industry. Desirable candidates in today’s labor market have their pick of opportunities, and an inefficient hiring process results in disengaged candidates and even losing out on talent.
Don’t let great candidates slip away. When the hiring process is slow, a candidate may feel as if they’re left in the dark. Tailor the hiring experience to each individual candidate by engaging with them frequently. Hiring is a critical part of the employee experience as it’s your first chance to make a positive impression.
Leveraging technology will help you optimize the recruiting process so you can engage with and hire the best people more quickly.
Implement a well-structured onboarding process
A well-structured onboarding process is crucial in retaining top talent and strengthening the employee experience. In fact, organizations using dedicated onboarding technology are 60% more likely to see an increase in employee engagement. A great onboarding experience involves communicating your company’s values and culture, which will set your associates up for success.
Not only will a well-structured onboarding process help HR managers save time on manual tasks and paperwork, but it will reinforce a consistent culture and experience right from your employees’ first day. The more your culture is infused and reinforced throughout the employee experience, the more engaged your employees become.
Learn more about the impact of an effective, well-structured onboarding experience.
Build long-term relationships with your employees
Once you’ve hired and onboarded new employees, you need to continuously invest in keeping them engaged and loyal. Engaged employees go the extra mile, work with passion, and feel a profound connection to their company.
According to a Gallup meta-analysis, there’s a strong correlation between engagement and performance success. Engaged employees outperformed disengaged employees by 10% on customer ratings and 22% in profitability. The study also found that engaged employees have up to 65% less turnover, which significantly impacts overall business outcomes. When you understand what drives your associates to do their best work, you’ll be in a better position to keep them engaged, on task, and performing their best.
Here are a few ways you can keep your associates engaged:
- Recognize and reward hard work: Recognition is crucial for many employees. Budgets, however, are often tight for retailers which means it can be difficult to offer financial rewards to high-performing employees. There are other ways to show recognition especially as employees are placing more value on intangible forms of job satisfaction and fulfillment.
- Promote healthy work-life balance: Having stiff and traditional working hours is a thing of the past. People want and need flexibility to allow for appointments and different life events. Allowing for this will help employees deal with time management and stress, which amounts to a positive employee experience. Support your associates by providing them with different options to establish better work-life balance.
- Facilitate ongoing two-way communication: A top-down approach of one-way communication is a quick way for an employee to feel unimportant. Encourage feedback from your employees and open the doors to exchange communication from the bottom up as well.
- Provide learning and development opportunities: Give your employees the tools they need to grow and develop within their roles. Investing in your employees’ growth will boost loyalty which contributes to lower turnover rates.
Support every stage of the employee lifecycle
Turnover is extremely costly, and according to the Harvard Business Review, the organizational costs of employee turnover are estimated to range between 100% and 300% of the replaced employee’s salary. Therefore, a positive employee experience plays an essential role in improving your bottom line.
Read more about how you can become more efficient in your retail business by managing your workforce.