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To Recruit, Reengage, and Retain Retail Talent, Prioritize Everboarding

If you’re stretched to the limits and feel like there’s hardly any time to just take a moment out to think, you’re not alone. Our retail clients are busier than ever these days, taking on more tasks and projects with fewer resources, less budget, and less time to get things done. It’s a frantic cycle that is exacerbated by an overarching issue that often ends up getting pushed further down the list: devoting sufficient attention and resources to sourcing, engaging, and retaining talent.

It's not intentional. We’re all so busy and, at the same time, things are changing rapidly, the pace is not going to slow down, and the stakes have never been higher. The problem, though, is when we’re not investing enough — emotionally, financially, and through resources like training for our frontline and leadership talent — it’s going to catch up with us. Many retailers are now grappling with the very real costs of higher turnover and lower engagement that result from failing to prioritize talent issues or relying on outdated methods of recruiting, engaging, and building bench strength.

We’ve all heard the mantra “People leave bosses, they don’t leave companies.” This is as true in retail as it is in any industry. And when leaders are too busy to engage with their direct report teams, everyone loses — the company, the leader, the associate, and, worst of all, your customers.

Yes, retail has always been a high turnover business, mainly due to the number of part-timers employed in the industry. Yet today it is harder to keep and engage talent across all levels of the organization. Amid staff shortages, there is also a greater need for job sharing and cross training to develop more skills and expertise. Associates need to be able to do more, contribute more, and cover more areas and job functions than they may have been originally hired for.

While this may seem like career-pathing, without vertical mobility, it’s really just stretching teams to their limits — and leading to record quit rates in the process. The results of a recent survey by Quinyx show just how significant this issue is: 59% of retail frontline workers said they’ve considered quitting their jobs in the past year. As staggering as that number is on its own, it’s also a stunning 22% increase compared to 2023.

The warning signs are flashing. How will you respond?

There are a host of reasons why retail workers are considering quitting. By being proactive and thinking creatively, you can stem the turnover tide within your organization and get ahead of these issues rather than constantly playing catch-up and dealing with the ripple effects after the fact.

This month, I’m taking a look at a few of the key themes that have emerged about why retail workers are quitting, and I’ve outlined some action steps you can take right now to address them. The underlying theme is one of “everboarding,” a practice and a process that continues long after a new hire goes through the onboarding process. These are best practices that will not only strengthen your workforce but also position your company as a leader in the competitive retail environment.

Mary Beth Garcia, CEO

P.S. For more great tips and advice, be sure to join us on Tuesday, June 18th for our webinar, Strategic Talent Revival: Re-Engaging, Recruiting, and Building Bench Strength.

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Strategic Talent Revival: Reengaging, Recruiting, and Building Bench Strength

Tues., June 18

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While high turnover among frontline workers is a persistent problem for retailers, a number of economic and industry factors are adding to the challenges of recruiting, retaining, and nurturing top talent. Developing and reinforcing a positive, compelling employee value proposition has never been more vital.

Join us on June 18th for our next webinar addressing this hot retail topic and pick up practical strategies and best practices you can apply today!


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