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Transforming Store Employees from Expenses to Assets

Retailers have underestimated the value of their workforce for a long time, to the extent that it has become essentially store policy. The retail business model practically assumes a transient, mostly part-time workforce. Employees (especially those working in stores) tend to be hired quickly; they are undertrained, underpaid, and undermotivated to be great at what they do and the roles they perform. This creates a self-fulfilling prophecy of worker dissatisfaction and constant turnover that prevents retailers and workers from performing their best and reaching their highest potential.
Transforming Store Employees from Expenses to Assets

Workers can enable long-term success for retailers, but only if they’re properly valued, trained, and supported.

Read the Full Report

Following up on their previous research—Has the Era of the Empowered Workforce Finally Arrived?—the analysts at RSR Research have expanded their research with a new report Transforming Store Employees from Expenses to Assets. It shows how winning retailers are beating out their competition by moving away from the industry’s previous “churn and burn” mentality toward workers and also shows how employee enablement is the key to success with both associates and customers.

Here are some key insights you can find in the full report:

  • Younger employees have different values than previous generations, with Millennials and Gen Z showing more interest in work they value, better job benefits, stability, and flexible hours.
  • “Retail Winners” put a higher emphasis than their competition on pay and benefits (58% vs. 39%), schedule flexibility (55% vs 31%), and using consumer-grade tech to maximize employee productivity and engagement (48% to 29%).
  • Retailers say modern shoppers want more—more access to informed staff (45%), more self-service options (41%), and more access to product information (38%).

Influenced by online shopping, what consumers seek from store associates during their in-person shopping experience has evolved significantly. Generational changes and evolution in the nature of in-store work have also caused leading retailers to pursue employee enablement as a better method of management that pays off. By preparing customer-facing employees with increased job training, communication technology, and better ability for peer-to-peer collaboration, customers enjoy their experience more, purchase more merchandise, and return to the store more often. Simultaneously, workers feel valued, empowered, and are more engaged in their roles (and stay onboard longer).

Read Transforming Store Employees from Expenses to Assets for more insights on where retailers should focus their efforts to win the hearts of both their associates and customers.