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3 key things to know about employee engagement and making work life better in retail

200388481-001By John Orr, Senior Vice President of Retail at Ceridian

As the retail experience has evolved with consumers using multiple buying channels, the skill sets of retail employees have evolved too.  Keeping retail employees engaged in this traditionally high-turnover sector is even more important — and not impossible — with the right tools. The more retailers can keep their workers engaged and productive, the more successful these businesses will be.

Retail organizations need to do what they can to support employee retention and productivity. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of work to be done in this area. According to Gallup research, only 13 percent of retail employees worldwide say they’re truly engaged with their work. In fact, nearly half of the respondents surveyed at Ceridian’s booth at the 2013 National Retail Federation Convention & Expo recognize employee engagement and retention to be a primary concern. Low employee engagement is often the result of numerous factors such as unpredictable scheduling or a lack of equity in assignments or work.

One way retail organizations can improve employee engagement is by leveraging human capital management software solutions. But, even the best technology won’t retain top talent if there isn’t a good understanding of the strategic objectives and a supportive culture.

Workplace culture leads to engagement
In retail, your employees are front line to your customers and reflect your organization’s values. Treating employees fairly and communicating clearly builds a better employee experience and culture. When employees feel that the organization cares about their well-being, it generates good will and better engagement. Managers are better able to accommodate work-life balance and employees are more   willing to cover shifts and help each other out. This ripple effect extends beyond the employee experience to customers.

Engagement improves customer experience
With 90 percent of all transactions still occurring in store, engaged employees matter. Retaining knowledgeable, engaged employees not only saves in recruitment and training costs, but it translates to a better customer experience.  A Gallup-conducted meta-analysis reveals a strong correlation between employee engagement and profitability. Companies operating in the top-quartile in terms of employee engagement post a median profitability 22% higher than those in the bottom quartile. Customers know when employees like where they work and it shows in their purchase behavior and repeat business.

Better HCM systems are a must
Addressing some of retail employees’ major concerns around communication and predictable and fair scheduling can be accomplished with holistic HCM solutions. Embracing Software-as-a-Solution (SaaS) designed specifically for better employee engagement and interaction, as well as improved predictability in scheduling, will go a long way towards supporting engagement. Retailers using legacy systems should consider adopting a new software solution that allows easy employee self-service and transparency of all data. Coupling a comprehensive and holistic HCM system with a people-focused culture can help retailers extend the stay of employees, enable higher performing operations, and improve the overall customer experience.

Learn more about Dayforce HCM for Retail. Dayforce HCM. Makes Work Life Better

John Orr

John Orr is the SVP of Retail at Ceridian. Follow him on Twitter at @John_Orr. 

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