The retail industry is one of the largest in the UK with around three million employees. However, the Covid-19 pandemic and spiralling cost of living crisis have both served to unsettle the sector. With talent shortages permeating almost every industry, talent attraction and retention is key to survival – and retail is no different. So, how can the retail industry hold onto its people?
In the retail sector, the ratio of central services staff, such as HR or Finance, to shop floor and customer services staff is quite low. These central services are often very stretched, so businesses struggle to deliver the notion of “connected teams supported by connected systems”. The management of talent is no longer just down to HR. Cross-functional collaboration between marketing, recruitment, HR and consumer experience functions is critical for acquisition and retention of all talent, as they all form part of one brand and one team. Retention of people in such a high turnover industry has never been as important as today.
Integrated HR platforms, such as Cornerstone’s, enable teams to have a more fluid, fully connected experience. Leveraging a platform that opens channels of communication encourages collaboration across teams, helping employees to build relationships – something that is critical for employee retention.
Finding and retaining talent will always be an issue for the retail sector. Retailers are competing for top talent, from strategic roles to senior managers, as well as for volume in their stores. This means that, aside from pay and salary expectations, skills and career development is becoming a key driver in retail organisations’ retention strategies. Without sight into potential growth and development opportunities, employees are likely to look to competitors that are actively offering career progression.
Leveraging an AI-powered HR platform can provide employees with just that, the opportunity to grow and develop within their given organisation. These platforms are able to filter through a library of learning content and recommended tailored learning materials that are in-line with each individual employee’s career goals. Employees can also have sight over the skills they need to develop to advance to the next stage of their career, encouraging internal mobility and boosting motivation and incentive to stay with a given company.
The retail world is tough. Economies fluctuate, pandemics hit, and shopping habits are constantly changing. When navigating this hostile environment, retail organisations cannot neglect their people. Training and retaining employees who are loyal to your company and equipped with the right skills are your key to adapting to the working world of the future.