Retail employee turnover is on the rise – jumping from 76 percent in 2017 to 81 percent last year. Retaining quality employees is an issue that every company faces, and it’s one that directly affects the bottom line.

A recent study from WorkJam found that 63 percent of retail managers believe the retention of just one employee could improve monthly revenue by at least 6 percent. Therefore, employee retention should be one of focus areas of your retail business in 2019.

Here are five strategies to help decrease retail employee turnover.

Hire the Right People

Research shows that replacing an hourly worker cost roughly 16 percent of their annual salary for employees earning $30,000 or less a year. Retailers can mitigate this expense and reduce employee turnover by hiring the right people.

Hiring the right people starts with creating a job description that clearly communicates the expectations of the position and what’s required of the employee. These details should include daily tasks, qualifications needed, physical requirements of the job, and traits that the ideal candidate should possess.

Along with a detailed job description, your hiring manager should execute a thorough and honest interview with the candidates. Try to understand their motivation and look for opportunities to hire employees who are an excellent fit behaviorally and culturally. Also, don’t shy away from the negatives of the job – the employees will quickly see the realities of the position if they are hired.

Learn Why People Are Leaving

Before you can fix your employee turnover issue, you must know from where it’s coming. If you’re experiencing high turnover in your retail store, take time to uncover the causes.

While it’s common for staff to leave for reasons out of your control, there are plenty of other areas that may be causing your employees to leave. A study from Gallup says that 75 percent of people quit because of their managers – not the position itself.

You can understand these issues by conducting exit interviews with your employees – asking for honest feedback. You should also look for opportunities to detect problems before your employees leave. Try implementing anonymous surveys to your staff to collect ongoing feedback and maintain an accurate pulse of your organization.

Improve Your Scheduling

Scheduling creates some of the biggest conflicts for retail managers and employees. One study found that 62 percent of retail managers attribute losing employees to scheduling conflicts.  

Surprisingly, many retailers fail to set schedules for their employees – which makes it difficult for staff to make personal plans and creates uncertainty of whether managers have enough or too many employees on the clock.

Many retailers are starting to look towards integrated technology to help streamline scheduling. Macy’s was actually able to decrease employee turnover by 28 percent thanks, in part, to an employee scheduling software that let staff select their own shifts. Even something as simple as allowing employees to provide the manager with shift preferences can improve scheduling and employee satisfaction.

Reward and Recognize Your Staff

Creating an engaged and motivated workforce can improve employee satisfaction and retention rates for retailers – this starts with rewarding and praising exceptional workers. While incentivizing employees through monetary rewards and bonuses can increase motivation, it’s not the only way to show appreciation or inspire your workers.

Focus on creating a company culture that encourages praise and positivity. Create an environment where everyone feels heard and respected – from the managers all the way to the front-line employees. Take time to get to know all your employees, and find ways to recognize the little wins, just as often as you do the big ones.

By building a company culture that rewards and recognizes staff, you can reduce employee turnover and create a more enjoyable work environment for everyone.       

Implement Training and Continued Education

To further engage your retail staff, consider implementing training and providing educational resources for your employees. A study from Axonify found that 32 percent of retail employees never received any formal training.

Formal training can help you motivate your staff and increase their performance – but, it’s also helpful for getting new employees up-to-speed efficiently. Employee turnover will always exist in the retail space, so implementing training can help you onboard new staff quickly and effectively.

While adding training and educational resources sounds great, it’s much harder to implement. Creating, organizing, administering, and managing employee training can be a headache for any retail store – which is why many retailers are turning to Learning Management System (LMS) software.

LMS software is an affordable and easy-to-use solution to help streamline learning courses and on-the-job trainings for your staff. Using a digital LMS makes it easy for your employees to learn your policies and workflows while also encouraging their professional growth.

Always Look for Ways to Decrease Employee Turnover

Employee turnover is a real issue for many retailers. While you can’t prevent every employee from leaving, there are ways to increase employee retention by focusing on hiring the right people, creating a better work environment, and finding ways to engage and motivate your staff. Keep the five ideas above in mind if your retail store is experiencing high employee turnover.  

Christine Soeun Choi is a digital marketing associate at Fit Small Business. Currently based in NYC, she has a background in business studies and math with a passion for business development. Outside of work, Christine enjoys taking photos, exploring artwork, and traveling.