Employee retention in the retail sector is a hot issue that many employers have to battle at some point. Finding a new employee is expensive and time-consuming, and no one wants to hire someone to fill a position, only to find themselves interviewing candidates again a few months later. While it might seem like the key to employee retention is an impossible case to crack, there are actually some easy-to-follow steps that will help you increase your employee retention. Implement the below tips in your workplace, and you’ll find yourself attracting and retaining the best talent in your area.
Effectively Train Employees
As you begin to look at how to retain retail employees, you’ll need to first analyze your training and onboarding. If you want your employees to feel confident and secure in their positions, you will need to offer adequate training that will prepare them to be as successful as possible in the workplace.
For the technical hard skills like point of sale operations and restocking procedures, you will need to lay out a clear cut, step-by-step how-to so that everyone is on the same page and following the same guidelines. In the case of soft skills relating to communication and customer service, however, you should be a bit less regimented in your training approach. Of course, share with employees any valuable experience or insights you may have, such as tactics that have worked for you when engaging customers. However, since soft skills are inherent behaviors, let your employees cultivate them in their own individual manner that works best for them and their personality type. Act as a mentor, and offer constructive feedback as you see fit.
Offer Opportunities for Personal Growth and Career Advancement
One of the top reasons for low employee retention in the retail sector is a lack of opportunity for growth. When an employee hasn’t been seeing any progress in their career path or any opportunities for it within their company, they will start to look elsewhere for positions that will offer more fulfillment.
Offer opportunities for more specialized training for employees who show an interest and promise with a certain skill set. Discuss different career paths within the company and help encourage employees so that they can climb the ladder successfully. Assign special projects so that employees can expand their reach, grow their skills, and increase their confidence. Every time you offer an employee an opportunity for growth, you are showing them that you believe in their talent, and that they can advance their career within the company.
Delegate Meaningful Responsibilities
One of the key steps to take when considering how to retain fashion employees is to delegate tasks that are meaningful. When an employee is assigned tasks that require a high level of responsibility, they not only become more engaged with their work—you are also showing them that you trust them and have faith in their abilities. It can be easy for managers to assign the easy, sometimes mindless tasks to retail employees, but these can often become dull rather quickly. Not to mention, your employees won’t feel as though their full potential is being tapped into, and will feel that their time and talents are being wasted. An employee who is engaged in their job and encouraged with meaningful responsibilities is far more likely to stay focused on the job that is at hand, rather than let their minds wander to the possibility of opportunities with other companies.
Similar to above, monotony can be a major killer of employee retention in the retail sector. Employees who clock in and do the same task day after day will easily burn out, purely due to boredom. Of course, not all tasks are going to be fun, but there are some steps you can take to make your employees’ work days more interesting and varied. In addition to opportunities for training and career advancement, think of ways to keep the days more exciting. Switch around employees’ tasks so that they aren’t doing the same exact thing for multiple days in a row. If any special projects come up, delegate them to employees who best fit the skills necessary to complete it, so that they are more engaged and interested in their assignments.
Understand Your Employees’ Individual Aspirations
If you want your employees to feel appreciated and valued, take the time to get to know them. When employees feel valued as people rather than just viewed as another cog in the wheel, you will see much higher levels of employee retention in the retail sector. While you don’t need to form deep friendships, having an idea of what their goals are and what steps they want to take within the company will give you a chance to engage them in tasks and opportunities that serve their needs. They will appreciate the time and attention you are giving to their goals and development, and will see much more value in their position—and will have a much stronger reason to stay.
In order to really cultivate these relationships and get a full picture of each of your employee’s goals, create a open-door policy and allow your employees to approach you whenever they feel the need to discuss certain opportunities. They’ll feel much less intimidated if you create a welcoming culture, and will have a stronger connection to you as a mentor. Additionally, they will feel far more valued if the line of communication is open in both directions.
Cultivate an Engaging Company Culture
If you don’t have an engaging company culture, it will likely be difficult to retain employees for the long term. In today’s world, top companies have realized that perks and a defined company culture help employees stay connected and engaged with their job, co-workers, and bosses. While you don’t need to do anything extraordinary, taking steps towards creating a welcoming and interesting company culture may be one of the best things you can do when figuring out your strategy for how to retain retail employees. Certain perks like a well-stocked kitchen, team-building events, holiday get-togethers, incentives and bonuses, employee discounts, and flexible scheduling opportunities can make the difference between an average workplace and a stellar company culture. A company culture that makes an employee feel engaged and comfortable will help keep them on board for the long haul.
Last but not least, as you are going through the recruiting and hiring process, you need to be incredibly mindful of who you are hiring. It can be easy to get desperate and hire the first person who comes along and has the minimum skills, especially when things are getting hectic and you need the help. However, if you hire a retail employee who isn’t actually invested in staying on the team for the long haul, you’ll end up back to square one in a matter of months—wasting both your time and money. Put in the necessary effort and time to find someone who perfectly matches the job requirements, and is interested in staying in the position long-term. As you start implementing the above steps, you’ll begin to attract higher-caliber talent that values what your company offers to employees and is interested in serving the position for the long haul.