Where Have All The Good People Gone?

With all that retail has had to put up with over the last 18 months or so, it’s been a tough road. Store closures have meant many staff have been forced to look elsewhere for employment and a number won’t be back when stores reopen. In the US, retail staffing numbers are down around 300,000 compared to pre-pandemic levels. Worse still, a survey uncovered that 42% of retail workers were considering or planning to leave.

A similar pattern will be happening here. To combat this, retailers are considering lifting minimum wages to attract new staff, however this on its own is just not working. With so many more of the younger generation now heading into the workforce, pay rate is not the biggest driving force.

A recent Gallup survey found out that most younger generation workers value employers who care about their well-being. They also want to work for an organisation with ethical leadership and they value diversity and inclusiveness in their workplace. In addition to this, younger generations want to feel appreciated for their unique contributions and want to be coached and developed in the workplace.

Of course, pay is important but here are 5 keys areas that retailers have to also focus on to attract and retain the right talent:

1) As well as a decent wage, include incentives such as profit share, bonuses and other benefits like tuition assistance and childcare

2) Employers who are flexible with working hours, offering shorter shifts, options on days of the week or easy to trade working hours

3) As personal development is high on their agenda, offering training and personal development is a high priority

4) As their well-being and that of others is a high priority, they want to work in a company that focuses on team members safety and well being

5) Encouragement of diversity, a clear common purpose and inclusion is also very high up their list of requirements.

The above 5 criteria will take extra work, it’s much quicker and easier to pay more, but this isn’t the currency of the younger generation. If you want to stay ahead of the competition it means spending time investing in your people.

Roger Simpson – CEO, The Retail Solution and Author of “The Ultimate Retail Sales Experience” With over 35 years’ industry experience, Roger Simpson is recognized as Australia’s #1 Authority on customer ROI in the retail industry and as a global expert on staff coaching, customer service, and selling skills.