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War for Talent: Measuring the ROI

Retailers play the recruitment-and-retention long game

CHICAGO -- As unemployment hovers near full employment, leading retailers are playing the recruitment-and-retention long game. For Chris Moore, district leader at Ridgeland. Miss.-based Sprint Mart, a new training approach for management staff has resulted in a 34% decrease in employee turnover. Moore leads his management team in a role-playing exercise that he says is helping them work through dealing with disciplinary issues and focus on active listening and positive recognition.

“Training is everything,” he says. “[We need to] give them the correct tools.”

For the 66% of retailers surveyed who increased wages this year, the boosts have had some interesting side effects. Many operators polled are more discerning in their recruitment of new employees, while others are reducing the number of hours per worker or hiring fewer people.

But 29% of respondents indicate they haven’t realized any positive benefits from wage increases—which mirrors consumers’ job-search priorities.

“Employees are not looking just for the right pay; they are also looking for purpose, flexibility and benefits that can adjust to their lifestyle,” says Renzo Bassanini, director of field human resources for Atlanta-based RaceTrac.

“Everybody wants to be well-paid,” says Mike Thornbrugh, director of public and government affairs for QuikTrip, Tulsa, Okla. “Everybody wants to have the best healthcare they can [get]. … People still want the opportunity to grow in the company. … If we don’t do things like that and you don’t provide opportunities, you are going to lose a lot of good people.

“We want to keep and promote and advance. If you don’t grow people, they leave.”

Source: Technomic’s Winning the War for Talent Report, sponsored by DirecTV 

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