Reducing Turnover by Improving Employee Engagement
Retail employees have no shortage of choices when looking for work. The US labor market continues to tighten, with job openings surging and a scarcity of workers to fill them. This makes it essential to retain your current employees, especially in retail, where turnover rates are notoriously high. Much of this comes down to employee engagement and how happy your store associates are to work for your retail organization.
Employee engagement is a key metric for any retailer today; engaged employees sell more, complete more tasks during their shifts, and are far less likely to leave their jobs and search for positions elsewhere. Retailers with engaged employees perform far better than those where employee morale is lower, retaining customers and providing a better customer experience.
Improving employee engagement is one of the best ways to keep your employee turnover to a minimum. Here are a couple ways you can do just that:
1. Start with More Accurate Labor Schedules
Erratic hours and rigid schedules can, by themselves, be enough to drive store associates to seek employment elsewhere. They have obligations outside of work, such as parents needing availability in their schedules to pick up their children from school. Store associates also need enough hours to pay their bills; one of the top reasons retail employees leave their jobs is that they have too few hours to meet their financial needs. It’s difficult to accommodate these obligations if schedules are given out just days in advance, or if schedules are changed at the last minute. Manual scheduling processes contribute to this unpredictability. Schedules created manually by the store manager are prone to human error, and often need multiple edits before they’re finalized.
If the scheduling process is largely automated by intelligent workforce management software, retailers can take human error out of labor scheduling and reduce edits by better planning for variables such as customer traffic, store workload, employee availability, and employee skillsets. By improving schedule accuracy, you can provide your store associates with more consistent hours, improve employee engagement, and decrease turnover.
2. Bring Store Associates into the Scheduling Process
Store associates often have little control over the labor scheduling process. Schedules are manually created by store managers, based on their understanding of employee availability and other key variables, and then are posted in the store. If store associates are unhappy with their schedules, or if their schedules don’t accurately reflect their availability, they have to call or track down their manager and hope their schedules are modified. This outdated process can be frustrating for store associates who have to anxiously wait to see if their schedules are changed to properly accommodate them.
With mobile access to an employee self-service solution, store associates have more visibility and control over the scheduling process. They can use a mobile app to check their schedules, adjust availability, request leave, and review their timecards from their phones. They can also advertise their shifts or request open shifts, giving them the opportunity to modify their schedule to fit their needs without relying on manager intervention. Providing store associates with more control and visibility into their schedules improves work-life balance and helps them accommodate important outside obligations, making them more engaged during their shift and less likely to quit their job.
Employee engagement is a key factor when trying to improve employee retention at your retail organization. By implementing an intelligent scheduling process and giving store associates more control over their schedules, you can minimize turnover risk and avoid being understaffed in this tight labor market.
For more insight into how to optimize labor scheduling processes, read our latest insights: “Achieving Simplicity: 3 Ways to Streamline Your Retail Operations.”