When I first started my career in retail, I worked at a Betsey Johnson boutique in Woodbury Commons, an enormous outlet located in upstate New York. I used to refer to this job as the “boot camp” of the retail world. Unfortunately I now realize that my job at Betsey was luxurious in comparison to most retail jobs today, especially in the big box sector.
The retail world has one of the highest employee churn rates, and it’s no surprise. Employees are given zero incentive to stay with their employers. Believe me, I understand that as a business, decisions that protect and increase the almighty “bottom line” are important, but at what cost?
It has long been my opinion that retailers should take better care of their employees. This can be done in a host of ways: set scheduling, higher wages, fair vacation policies, and better work environment, etc. The recent advances made by retailers like Walmart + TJX have set a clear precedent for retailers everywhere. These major players have finally begun to measure the costs of employee acquisition and training against the cost of increased wages.
Mark my words, happier employees will work harder and lead to decreased churn rate, and retailers will see increased profitability. As Henry Ford once said, “A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.” That service begins with the service you provide not to your customers, but to your employees. It’s really that simple.
Recommended Reading: Why retailers are suddenly desperate to keep their least-valuable workers
*Image Credit: Business Insider*