Reduce Retail Employee Turnover With These Tips

Retail businesses tend to have higher turnover rates in comparison to other industries. Anticipating and managing employee turnover is critical for the success of your operation—losing employees regularly can become a big burden on your bottom line.

You aren’t fighting a losing battle, though. From hiring the right people to raising wages, here are some tried-and-true ways to manage, and even reduce, employee turnover in your retail store.

Hire passionate people

According to a study conducted with the University of Pennsylvania, researchers found that sales from “knowledgeable, engaged store associates brought in 69 percent more money on average than sales by those who weren’t.”

Finding and hiring these wonderful people can be difficult, but you should still aim to hire employees who are passionate about your industry or the products that you sell. At the very least, attempt to hire employees with prior knowledge when possible. For a wireless retailer, try searching for candidates with a passion for technology. In a clothing store, see if you can fill your schedule with staff who truly care about the latest trends. If you own a pet store, consider hiring pre-veterinary students. There’s bound to be people with a passion for what you’re selling if you’re willing to look for them.

“Audition” seasonal staff for full-time work

Hiring new employees during a busy season doesn’t just get you through the holiday craziness—it can also be a great way to audition and test your employees. Try to notice who seems happiest doing their job, or who always goes the extra mile to make a customer happy.

These people make great candidates for full-time employment, and their enthusiasm and passion can make them excellent and loyal full-time workers. If you’re concerned about attracting candidates who want to work full-time, you can even ask them about their ideal future within the company during the interview.

Raising wages for retail workers to reduce turnover

It may seem impossible, but raising wages is one method that tends to drastically reduce employee turnover in a retail setting. Raising wages signals to employees that they are valued and not easily replaced, and can actually save you a lot of money. In 2014, turnover in retail averaged 66% for part-time and hourly sales associates. For full-time employees, who are more likely to have health insurance and other needed benefits, the average turnover was 27%. It’s unlikely that all of your employees will be full-time and require the necessary benefits, but the percentages speak for themselves.

As an example, major retailers like Wal-Mart and TJX Companies have raised wages in recent years, all in an attempt to reduce employee turnover. Of course, if your wages are already above industry standards, this technique might not be relevant for your particular retail store.