The retail sector has witnessed a series of seismic changes in recent years. Driven by socio-economic changes and turbo charged by technology, the evolution from town centre to out-of-town to online has caught many operators on the back foot, with inevitable consequences.
The danger for high street retailers is real and present. Figures from Deloitte reveal that 118 retailers in the UK became insolvent in 2017, an increase of 28% compared to 2016. Larger retailers, defined as those with 10 stores or more, were even more proportionately impacted with 17 collapses in 2017, up 55% on the 2016 tally of 11. In 2018, we have already seen the demise of well-known store chains such as Maplin and Toys R Us.
In this Darwinian fight for survival, high street retailers are turning to a hybrid model of physical stores and online retailing. For this evolving breed of retailers, the challenge remains unsurprisingly static. From their store staff, call centre staff, online chat and social media teams, right through to their delivery people, it’s vital that everyone is delivering the service expected by consumers. The key to that is, undoubtedly, engaged employees.
People buy from people. It’s also true that people work for people and this is perhaps at the heart of keeping employees engaged. It’s vital that the retail sector, beset as it is with high rates of churn and low rates of engagement, enables its CEOs to lead by example and to evidence to their customer-facing (or chatting) employees that they hear and understand the challenges they face.
Here are some stats that reveal the advantages of getting employee engagement right and the perils of failure
77% of UK retail employees are not engaged with their company brand values (Source: Engage For Success)
In challenging times, it’s important that all employees are bought into the mission and vision of the organisation. Offering employees a two-way forum to express ideas and feedback, and giving them the opportunity to interact with management, increases engagement and helps employees feel valued and closer to your organisation and values.
Retail stores with high employee engagement have 5% higher customer satisfaction scores (Source: Aon.com)
The customer experience is impacted by all the interactions they have with your employees, an engaged and positive employee will go the extra mile to make sure they deliver the highest possible customer satisfaction.
There is a proven correlation between employee experience (EX) and customer experience (CX). Engaged employees understand what excellent customer service is and are trained, skilled and motivated to deliver just that.
Retail has one of the highest turnover rates of any industry. The Hay Group reports a median turnover rate of 67% for part-time retail employees
High employee churn is a huge cost to the retail sector and presents an ongoing challenge in attracting and retaining talent. By addressing the core drivers that lead to attrition – principally, lack of engagement – you substantially decrease this cost.
What can your organisation achieve by adopting a leading mobile platform to engage employees:
- Increased productivity and better company results – Giving your employees a voice and show that you are listening. When your people are bought into the organisation they are far more productive.
- More efficient onboarding – Give your new hires access to everything they need via their mobile device and get them up and running quickly.
- Achieve your sales targets – Motivate your team by offering sales incentives and promotions, such as targeted push notifications to sales employees on the deal of the week, product focus, leaderboards, seasonal sales, etc.
- Create brand advocates and improve your Glassdoor ranking – Over 50% of your employees share their views about your organisation online. When your employees feel engaged and connected to your organisation they will become your best brand advocates.
- Increased efficiency and improved operational procedures – Messaging features enable instant peer-to-peer and group chat to get fast, secure updates on order processing and procurement, store deliveries, targets and more.
- High-performance Internal Comms – User-generated content being shared across your organisation builds a connected workforce. Employees can share stories and successes, creating unity and synergy with their peers.