Why Investing in Employee Engagement is the Key to Great In-Store Execution

September 19, 2018

Employee engagement is one of the key factors that keep turnover low. It’s these engaged employees that lead to great execution.

If ‘low employee turnover’ isn’t one of your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for measuring the success of your retail store, it should be! Implementing measures to attract and keep the best employees will not only increase customer satisfaction and boost sales, but will lower the time and money you invest in recruiting, training, and monitoring employee performance. Here we outline ways you can attract, train and retain the best employees, and avoid the staggering costs of high employee turnover.

Having enough well-trained staff is crucial

Have you ever been shocked by how much your retail sales vary from month to month? Decreases in sales can often be traced back to having an inadequate amount retail associates to cover your floor. In order to build customer loyalty, you need an appropriate amount of well-trained associates on hand, ready to help any customer at any time.

For retail associates, visibility and positive customer interactions are key. One negative interaction with retail staff can practically ensure you lose a customer. Or if a customer has to wander around in search of an associate, they may get discouraged and not purchase at all. In today’s competitive market, that’s something no business can afford.

The costs of high employee turnover

The average turnover rate for hourly store employees can be as high as 65%, according to a study by the Hay Group Division of Korn Ferry. Deloitte found the average time to fill a position is 52 days. When you’re down an employee, it can be difficult to ensure you’re providing both great customer service and a positive customer experience. It can also add extra burden on current employees and stretch them too thin to perform at their best.

The Talent Acquisition Factbook 2015, published by Deloitte, found the average cost to recruit and hire a new employee to be $4,000, or 16 percent of one year’s salary. Onboarding a new employee costs an average of $3,328, or 10-20 percent of one year’s salary, and ongoing training, another $3,000-$6,000 over the next 2-3 years (according to ZaneBenefits). Add to this the valuable managerial time spent recruiting, hiring and training, and the costs of constantly replacing store employees can be truly astronomical.

The solution: Finding and keeping the best employees

To avoid the high costs and potential loss of sales associated with employee turnover, it pays to invest in hiring the right employees. From writing accurate, engaging job descriptions, to showcasing your company culture on the website, even asking a few questions on the job application helps to attract the right talent from the start.

Once you’ve hired an employee, communication is key to make them feel valued and included. Communicate expectations and goals clearly and make sure you’re providing positive feedback and recognition for good work. Engage and inspire them through showing them why their work matters and how it fits into the bigger corporate strategy.

Ask them what they value (surveys are a great tool for this), and encourage open communication, dialogue and discussion by giving them access to leadership. Sharing company news and business decisions can be another way to ensure they feel part of a team.

It’s not about completing singular tasks. It’s about giving stores the ability to keep track of work and helping them understand why it matters in an engaging way. Videos, images, GIFs, web links, etc. are all part of creating engaging, effective communications. Make sure you have a platform that supports this.

Excellent customer experience, all the time

And of course, it’s important to equip your employees with proper training, tools and information to ensure they deliver an excellent customer experience in every interaction, every time. Consider implementing easy-to-use technologies that can track performance and streamline store communications.

Zipline’s systems are shown to keep employees happier and lower turnover.

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