Employee turnover has been an issue at my store, and I’d like to strengthen my efforts in retaining quality staff. Do you have any suggestions for this?
According to Business.com, companies should aim for a 10% annual employee turnover rate; however, most fall into the range of 12% to 20%. Certain industries report higher employee turnover because of the nature of the job, and unfortunately retail is among those. That said, the following strategies can help reduce employee turnover and boost employee loyalty.
Create a Strong Company Culture
From store rituals such as First Friday Pizza Days to supporting a culture that nurtures personal and professional balance, there are many ways to support your employees so they’ll better appreciate your store. Consider who your primary employees are — whether they’re college students, moms, or a combination of many generations working — and design a culture to meet the needs and wants that your employees will most value. For example, depending on the culture you want to create for your one-of-a-kind store, you could provide occasional lunches, paid days off for birthdays, or other creative benefits. Offering social outings beyond working hours and creating an environment that welcomes open communication and support are great ways to promote staff unity.
Nurture Individual Professional Goals
Employees are more loyal to companies when they feel appreciated. To help achieve this, make sure you understand what the unique goals and important work attributes are to each of your employees. For some, this may mean gaining stronger opportunities in merchandising store displays. For others, this may mean working morning hours only to better support home responsibilities. In other words, take the time to find out what matters most to each of your employees. Having no less than biannual reviews is a great way to gain these types of details, and always keeping an open-door policy to welcome employee feedback, concerns, ideas, and more is important as well.
Communication will be a key factor in boosting employee retention and enhancing loyalty, so be sure to keep that top of mind as you aim to improve turnover. Additionally, don’t neglect offering praise when it’s due and rewarding employees as they meet goals, exceed expectations, and even simply work hard and do their job. After all, it’s this you want to nurture versus having to start from scratch — again — to find someone else to do it.
Avoid Micromanaging Your Team
Let’s face it, no one wants to feel like they aren’t doing their job and, thus, someone keeps telling them how to do it better. To avoid this, make the effort to empower your employees with proper training, which will also build mutual trust and confidence and improve their job performance. This can be reinforced through training sessions and collective team experiences throughout the year to help improve overall employee efficiency. What it should not do is include nit-picking and micromanaging, as this is a key driver in employee turnover.
Finally, smile. Say thanks. Let your team know you value them. Listen when they talk. Hear their ideas. Consider their thoughts. Welcome social employee experiences. And always avoid talking about any employee behind another employee’s back. While these may seem like obvious actions, you’d be surprised at how easily these things happen in the busy-ness of retail days.
Putting these three strategies into practice should help you nurture more long-term employee relationships.
Nicole Leinbach Reyhle is the Founder of RetailMinded.com, a well-respected retail industry resource that has been recognized worldwide for its leading business insight since 2007. Her work has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, the UK’s Telegraph, CNN, the Today Show, and countless other industry resources. Additionally, she has supported American Express’s Small Business Saturday as a spokesperson and is the author of the book Retail 101: The Guide to Managing and Marketing Your Retail Business, published by McGraw-Hill. With a core concentration on small businesses and independent retailers, Reyhle welcomes you to connect via Instagram at @RetailMindedWorld and Twitter via @RetailMinded.