Turnover is part of life in retailing. After all, this industry tends to attract young employees, part-time workers and others who may see retail as a stepping stone rather than a career path. Still, when turnover is higher than usual, it can leave you struggling. If your store is suffering high turnover, here are some steps you should take to reduce employee turnover.
How to Reduce Employee Turnover
Conduct Exit Interviews
When employees quit, find out why they’re leaving. If they’re honest, you’ll learn whether employees are quitting for reasons that have nothing to do with management, such as moving or graduating from school, or whether dissatisfaction with your workplace is driving them away. Do employees consistently quit to get higher pay or more flexible hours elsewhere? Do you have a “bad apple” among your store managers that you don’t know about? When you know a problem exists, you can work to solve it.
Make an Extra Effort to Boost Morale
When employees leave, your remaining workers have to carry extra work for a while — and they may miss their former co-workers, too. Lift their spirits by bringing in donuts or pizza, organizing fun activities or rewarding employees for their hard work with praise or prizes. Feeling appreciated is a huge morale-booster.
Find Out What Your Remaining Employees Want
Make time to talk to your team and see what would make them happier in their jobs. Do they want more responsibility, more recognition or more opportunities for advancement? Retail work can get boringly routine, so offering employees new challenges, such as managing your store’s social media account or training other team members, can renew their enthusiasm for their jobs.
Last-minute schedule changes, constant miscommunications or inflexible hours can drive retail employees away. Try to give employees their schedules at least one week in advance (ideally, two). Cloud-based employee scheduling apps make it easy to switch the schedule around and instantly tell everyone affected, instead of playing endless rounds of phone tag.
Develop a Backup Plan
Think about what would happen if some of your key employees decided to quit. For example, if your store manager left, is there anyone on staff who could quickly step into the role? If you don’t have a “bench” of qualified employees ready to fill key roles, start developing one. Cross-train your employees so they can perform each other’s jobs. (This is also invaluable when somebody calls in sick.)
Turnover is inherent to the retail industry, but you can make it easier by being prepared to move quickly. Create job listings you can place at a moment’s notice if someone quits. Know which employees you can call on to work overtime when needed. Have a system in place for bringing new employees on board efficiently and getting them up to speed right away.
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