CareerBuilder released a survey last month reporting that almost half of retail hiring managers are concerned they’re going to lost their top employees. That’s not surprising. One third of retailers saw an increase in turnover in 2011, and with a rebounding economy I think we’ll see that number jump.
While some turnover is healthy for a store/company, too much turnover, or losing top talent, can have a direct impact on the top and bottom lines. And while some people leave for more money, that’s usually not the reason people start looking in the first place.
I’m sure we could find plenty of surveys and studies about why retail employees leave their jobs, but it’s more important to know why good employees voluntarily leave. I believe it gets down to a few very avoidable reasons.
1. Not feeling appreciated by their manager or company. In some stores and companies, especially those that don’t track individual sales performance, the top performers get taken for granted. This is why you should have a well-defined and well-executed recognition program. Not necessarily an employee of the month, but a program that recognizes when people go above and beyond for the customer and their colleagues.
2. Lack of accountability by the manager or owner. Rarely if ever does a top performer say he/she is leaving the job because of this, but deep down they’re just frustrated with striving to do more that what is expected of them while other colleagues fall short with no consequences.
3. The job is no longer challenging. I believe one of the biggest mistakes we make in retail is to not keep raising our expectations of our employees. In most organizations people are trained to what is expected of the position, and then are no longer asked to develop and improve. I’ve always said that the more you expect of people the more they’ll give you, and the best employees will be even happier in their role.
4. The fun is gone. Remember what it felt like to go to work about three months into a job you loved? Everything was new and fun. After a few years that newness inevitably starts to wear off. Yes, I know that some of you still love your job the way you did after three months, but, sadly, is often not the case. That’s why contests, games, and on-floor activities are important to keep retail employees engaged. Top performers can keep their job fresh by changing companies. Great managers/owners/executives keep work fresh so they don’t.
There are more reasons than this we lose top performers, what I hope you see with this list is that you control most of the factors that lead people to stay or go. Top performers stay in their positions because YOU continue to grow and develop as a leader and a coach, and you ensure that all employees are engaged, happy, growing, and contributing to your store/company’s success.
So let me ask, are you in danger of losing any top performers?
To improve your coaching skills and help all of your employees elevate their performance including top performers, consider joining us in the next Extraordinary Coaching program that starts next week. This will likely be the last one before summer. Learn more here.
Doug Fleener is a proven retail and customer experience expert that helps companies dramatically improve their customer experience and their results. Visit our website or call Doug at 866-535-6331 to discuss how he can help you create an extraordinary experience and results.