According to a recent study, as many as 67% of part time retail employees leave jobs after a very short time of employment. This high employee turnover rate has been an increasing concern especially for small independent retailers, who have a hard time making up for the losses they incur when employees leave after being employed for only a short amount of time. Another study also recently revealed that retail companies with a low rate of engagement from their employees also suffer as much as a 33% decrease in operating income and an 11% decrease in earnings growth. However, retail stores who have a high rate of engagement with their employees often have a higher rate of employee retention and thus reduce the losses they suffer from employee turnover. So now the question is, how can retailers keep employees engaged?
Reward & Recognize Employees – Social media recognition is a powerful tool for engaging young retail employees. Their world revolves around social media, and they love being recognized as “employee of the month” or something similar on the platforms they use the most, like Instagram. Rewards such as gift certificates, paid time off and prime parking spots are good ways to show employees your appreciation of a job well done.
Accept Feedback – Make sure that your employees know you are receptive to any type of feedback without negative repercussion, and that you are always looking for suggestions on how to improve store operations, customer service, etc. Employees who know they can approach the boss without fear and that they will be heard are happier and more motivated to work hard for that boss.
Hold Company Events – Even if it is just a pizza lunch once a month during a staff meeting, young employees will feel that you have them in mind and are appreciative of their services. An annual company picnic and/or Holiday party are also things you can do for them that will keep them engaged with you and your company throughout the year.
Keep Training Materials Readily Available – Keep all of your training materials available and easily accessible for employees. If they have questions or want to brush up on something specific, it should be easy for them to hop online and take a class or a training module. PDRA’s Train the Trainer and Trainer’s Toolbox have both been designed for ease of use and are easily accessible for paint & decorating retailers to use for training new and existing employees. Both are free, also.
Use Gaming Apps – Your young employees love to play games online; that’s a fact. Apps that provide training in the form of a game are becoming increasingly popular in the retail world. Some actually reward the employees for completing training modules with things like movie tickets and restaurant gift cards as well as tech items like printers, laptops and monitors. Atrivity and SellPro are two to take a look at.
The high rate of employee turnover among young part-time employees is a definite concern to small independent retailers, but keeping retail employees engaged is one of the keys to keeping turnover low and keeping your bottom line high.