Workplace Research Employee Engagement Employee Retention
2 min read

6 things retail employees are trying to tell you

Alexis Croswell

Alexis Croswell

Senior Content Marketing Manager, Culture Amp

Culture Amp's report, What retail employees want - insights for driving engagement and retention, gives insight into what makes retail employees tick. We find out that retail employees are some of the proudest around - more likely than employees in other industries to think their product or service is better than their competitors. But they're also the least likely of all industries to think their pay is competitive, and they’re willing to leave for a better offer.

The table below shows the top ten drivers of retail employee engagement, and how those rankings compare to retail employee drivers of commitment. We'll dive deeper into the top six drivers to understand what retail employees are trying to tell you. 

Retail Employee Engagement 2017.png
1. Money's important, but so is career development

Learning and development is a strong driver of engagement and commitment for retail employees. They want opportunities to develop skills and visibility on how they can move their career forward.

2. Feeling valued goes a long way

People want to know that their leaders understand and value their contributions at work. It’s a strong driver of both engagement and commitment for retail employees. It pays to be specific about how employees contribute to an organization’s success. 

3. Pay needs to be competitive

Compensation is the number one driver of commitment within the retail industry. This means that people will leave if they they don't believe their compensation is fair. It's also the number three driver of engagement for people in retail.

4. Provide opportunities for developing relevant skills

The opportunity to develop skills relevant to their interests is highly valued by retail employees. Initiatives need not be expensive - simply knowing what your team members’ interests are is a good start, then you can provide relevant opportunities when they arise.

5. Internal career growth matters

People want to know that they can grow with their current company. In the retail industry, the availability of career opportunities is the fifth highest driver impacting engagement and commitment. 65% of people in retail believe that there are good career opportunities for them at their company, which is 5 percentage points higher than in other industries.

6. The ability to arrange time off when it’s necessary is essential

The nature of retail work means that it’s sometimes seasonal, and workloads can be heavier during certain times of the year. In some cases, a person will be asked to find their own replacement in order to take time off. The more flexibility people have in taking time off, the better. This question of flexibility ranks in top five for an employee’s commitment to stay or leave a company in the retail industry.

We expect that retail organizations will be focusing on learning and development in the coming year since driver questions related to this factor appear twice as much as any other. Balancing reward and flexibility for people working in retail is an ongoing focus as well.