5 Steps To Improving Retail Employee Retention

 

Will they stay, or will they go? No matter the industry, that’s the looming question every company faces when recruiting and hiring employees, and, it’s especially true with the ever-revolving doors of retail. With unemployment currently at less than 4 percent, it’s even more difficult to attract and retain top talent. However, keeping an employee starts with finding the right employee, and for retail companies, that means having the right internal systems to identify, interview, and then hire and manage talent.

Retail’s biggest ally: technology. It’s no secret that candidates, especially millennials, can be fickle, and often become bored with the interview process. While it can be costly at first, investing in multiple technologies that take the candidate through a natural, fast and seamless journey can pay off in the end. Now, there are new screening methods and technologies that offer convenience for both candidates and employers, allowing candidates to simply click a link and be interviewed whenever they want. Using a personality index and sophisticated technology that uses facial identification/reading and voice cues may sound like something of science-fiction, but facial technology can help pinpoint the “feel-good” retail person who will greet customers with enthusiasm and a smile (or not), while scientific data zeros in on the right person for the job.

Retention Starts On The First Day

Once you’ve found the right person, now what? How welcome an employee feels that first hour, day and week on a new job, is mission-critical to their longevity. Companies can set new employees at ease by identifying a point person to shepherd them through the day, offering a tour of the office and introducing them to staff. It could also be helpful to set up their email address and phone extension beforehand and gift them a care package filled with company swag, so they immediately feel part of the team. The onboarding process should last up to one year, including meetings with a manager for progress reports.

Setting Them Up To Succeed

No matter their previous job experience, training and development are key in setting them up for success. While this is your opportunity to educate new employees on the CEO, company culture and how you want things done, it’s also about listening and understanding where they come from and how they’ve been developed. Training can be multi-faceted from web-based to classroom to one-on-one training, slowly showing them your systems, and teaching them how to properly greet customers, determine customers’ needs and present products that meet those needs and showing the importance of following up with a satisfaction call. It’s all about repetition and shadowing others, so they become proficient and confident in their skills, and ultimately, want to stay and be a top producer. Training should also be on-going, and if employees are given a road map to their success, they don’t want to leave.

Never Hear The Words “I’m Bored”

When employees don’t feel challenged, or fear that there’s no room for growth, this often signals the beginning of the end. Employers can remedy this by allowing valued employees to take on more responsibility and by promoting from within. When employees see the company consistently promoting their peers, it not only boosts company culture, but attaining the “next level” becomes contagious. Always dangling the carrot — illuminating the progression from a salesperson to sales lead to assistant manager to store manager to a regional director — will help keep things exciting.

Epic Ways To Reward And Recognize

It sounds simple, but recognizing a job well done goes a long way in keeping an employee invested in the company. But, it’s more than just a congratulatory email; creating formal and on-going programs, like an “Extra Mile” contest or “Wow” awards, have proven successful in encouraging workers to strive for their best. An efficient way to track this is by using a performance management system, which allows employees to know where the bar of excellence is set, and where they stand on achieving it. Also, creating a fun environment, such as decking out the office and encouraging everyone to dress up for holidays, surprising employees with impromptu time off, along with generous giveaways, can make workers feel appreciated. It also means incorporating a culture of caring and communication — like matching their donations to a charity of their choice or helping in time of illness. All of this can go a long way in improving loyalty and retention.

About The Author

Brett Beveridge is CEO and founder of The Revenue Optimization Companies (T-ROC). Based in Coral Gables, his company employs more than 500 in South Florida and more than 6,000 across the country. T-ROC is the parent company of six brands which are leaders in the wireless, electronics, software and retail industries, assisting many big-box retailers and Fortune 500 companies such as Apple, Sprint, AT&T, Walmart, Comcast, and many more. Beveridge’s companies enable clients to fulfill all of their sales performance needs, bringing together the power of people and technology. Brett is Ernst & Young’s 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year – Florida and holds a 2018 Gold Stevie Award for Entrepreneur of the Year – Retail category. T-ROC and its brands have been listed on the Inc. 500|5000 lists and Deloitte Technology Fast 500 list multiple years in a row.