This week I received a question about strategies to attract retail candidates and retain them due to the labor shortage. While retail turnover is a challenge, front-line employees dealing with the public have been dealt a difficult hand during COVID-19.
Let’s face it, the retail industry has a history of high turnover. Add the complexities employees are facing with the continued COVID-19 pandemic and the recruiting and retention problems are expanded. Employees face a new environment with childcare issues, virtual schooling, family members, or an employee themselves at high risk for COVID-19.
Years ago, I worked at a big box retailer as an HR Manager. Unpredictive scheduling, weekend, and evening work, limited scheduled hours, low pay, and lack of benefits all contributed to disengaged employees and high turnover. It takes a concerted group effort to improve the culture of a traditionally high turnover industry.
Try using multiple strategies from your HR Toolkit to stem the turnover tide. Some effective strategies can be found in the word “QUIT” itself.
Q – Question why employees are leaving. Conduct anonymous biannual or annual employee engagement surveys and conduct both stay interviews and exit interviews.
U – Understand the data collected from surveys and address with actionable items.
I - Improve scheduling of employees. Upgrade to an integrated scheduling system and let employees select their own shifts within parameters while still meeting business needs
T- Thank employees by recognizing and rewarding them. Create a positive environment.
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