In a recent survey conducted by Deputy, the average annual turnover in Australian retail is 41%, compared to a 16% national average for all industries. Whether you are trying to meet your sales numbers for the fourth quarter or you are implementing an expansion strategy for next year, the right staff makes all the difference in your success. In a business sector known for high turnover and staffing difficulties, these tips can transform your retail environment.
#1: Hire with Intention. Company cultures are not formed in a day. Whether you have 10 or 100 employees, the right hiring decisions help build a dedicated team. Hiring based on a gut feeling may sound right at the time but it isn’t effective or efficient. Listen to your gut, but hire with intention. A future employee should fit in with what you believe to be the future of your company.
#2: Onboard Your Employees Quickly. One frustration that turns new employees off immediately is a slow onboarding process. You should have a tight process for interviewing, following up, offering a job, and onboarding. Don’t drag out good news – you could be losing the best candidates to faster companies.
#3: Understand Geographical Differences Between Your Locations. Retail locations especially suffer from a disjointed company culture because one location dictates the culture for every franchise. Your company should have an aligned mission and values but geographical differences should be considered. If you change sales strategies for different stores, why not adapt your HR strategies in a similar manner?
#4: Listen to Employees with Ongoing Feedback. One of the biggest culprits of employee turnover occurs when a staff member doesn’t feel heard. Giving employees a voice within the organisation via regular meetings, written feedback, or surveys helps everyone get heard.
#5: Implement Changes Based on Feedback. This step goes with the previous section because collecting information is only the first step in helping employees feel heard. The next is implementing some of the suggestions given by staff members. Not all of your changes will require a lot of money, it could be as simple to sticking to scheduled break times or supporting staff on the floor more regularly.
#6: Give Your Employees Ownership in the Face of Change. If there are rumours about downsizing or employee changes are occurring, talk about it openly with your staff. You employ a group of adults and should treat them as such.
#7: Go Back to the Basics with Employee Handbooks. Too many organisations overlook the value of writing down policies, giving a copy to all staff members, and getting the handbook signed. While this may seem repetitive to you, it is absolutely essential for the legal safety of your business. A clear company culture is a strong company culture.
#8: Reward Good Work. Whether you do this through pay raises, responsibility changes, or other incentives, rewarding good work is noticed by your staff. For example, a sales competition among stores builds camaraderie among your teams and pushes all team members to work harder.
#9: Compensate at a Fair Market Rate. All too often, retailers overlook the value of good pay. Loyalty only goes so far but when your staff feels fairly compensated they will work extra hours, show up early, and come in with the willingness to work.
#10: Partner with the Right Organisation. Automating certain parts of your HR process makes the whole system easier. If you are able to do manual tasks and payroll with the click of a button, you are free to focus on people. It is called Human Resources after all!
With a commitment to a strong business and a focus on the future, these HR tips can transform your company culture. Retail HR is a tough atmosphere for those at the helm of an organisation but consistent efforts pay off in a steady workforce, less training costs, and a bigger bottom line.
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