All signs point to the fact that retailers must invest in the employee experience. Retail employee turnover rates increased from 57% in 2015 to 65% in 2016, with the cost of replacing a $10/hour employee topping $3328 USD. By focusing on creating a great employee experience (EX), retailers can build teams that are happy, motivated, and willing to go the extra mile.
A great EX not only helps to build high-performing teams, but also impacts overall revenue and profitability. In fact, research by the Temkin Group showed that 82% of employees at companies with strong financial results are “highly” or “moderately” engaged, compared to 68% at underperforming companies.
With 85% of sales still coming from physical stores, a lack of emphasis on the employee experience can jeopardize your main source of sales. When retail associates aren’t engaged and motivated at work, customer experience can suffer as a result. To solve for these challenges, we’ve put together a guide to help brands build high performing retail teams, which you can download here.
Below is a summary of our 5-Step Playbook for Improving the Employee Experience:
1. Hire and Staff the Right People for Your Brand
Research from the University of Iowa shows that employees who have a good fit with company culture perform better, express greater job satisfaction and stay with their employer longer. Hiring these perfect fits; however, is no walk in the park. It requires close attention to all hiring processes, including the tools and guidelines used in the recruiting and interviewing phases.
Once hiring is completed, it is crucial to focus the onboarding process around communicating brand values and vision. By helping employees understand how they contribute to the overall success of the company, they’ll feel more connected to your larger strategic objectives.
2. Train to Develop Happy, Motivated and Productive Employees
Continuous training facilitated by microlearning lays the foundation for an excellent staff experience. In fact, a report by Software Advice showed that microlearning creates 50% higher engagement than typical forms of learning.
Mobile devices are the most effective channel for facilitating microlearning for retail employees, as most workers tend to have their phones on them during their shifts. A Microsoft study found that 67% of people will use personal devices at work, regardless of the company’s official bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy.
3. Empower Employees to Create an Authentic Customer Experience
Employees that are passionate about the brand they work for are more likely to create a great experience for your customers. Unfortunately, according to Gallup’s 2017 State of the American Workplace, only 32% of US workers describe themselves and engaged.
To empower their frontline teams, many brands are turning to new technology and improved communication channels. Using software such as an employee app, organizations can encourage two-way collaboration across their business and recognize employees for their ideas, feedback and performance.
4. Improve Performance Through Gamification and Real-Time Interactions
Gamification has been used to effectively engage customers and create a great customer experience. A survey conducted by Boston Retail Partners found that 87% of retailers are planning on using gamification to engage their customers by 2020. While retailers recognize the value of customer-facing gamification, internal gamification can be equally beneficial.
Research has shown that frontline employees would benefit from gamification, with nearly 80% of learners saying that gamification would make them more productive in their workplace. With a growing trend in workplace collaboration, creating team-based challenges focused on specific business objectives is the most effective way to foster that engagement.
5. Evaluate and Improve Employee Program Success
Ongoing measurement is crucial to the success of engagement initiatives. Armed with the right data and an effective tool for communication, training and incentives, retailers can proactively evaluate their programs and make changes in real-time.
Using mobile software for empowering frontline staff, organizations can: monitor associate engagement, confidence and knowledge rates, compare data to transactional performance, source feedback on in-market campaigns and more.
Empowering retail associates is the most effective way for brands to create an in-store experience that fosters satisfied customers, increased revenue and repeat visits. But, barriers like high turnover rates, broken training systems, and poor communication are preventing retailers from creating meaningful interactions with their customers. By following these 5 simple steps, brands can shift away from old, stale paradigms and foster happy, well-prepared frontline associates who drive stronger, long-term relationships with the brand.
Download our guide to get an in-depth look at the 5 steps brands can take to transform the employee experience. At each step, you’ll learn best practices, get ideas for measuring success, and read case studies from brands that are using mobile solutions to engage their staff.