Retailers investing in employees to fight turnover


The job market in much of the country has firmed up, and restaurants, retailers and hotels in particular are all seeing a lot of employee turnover. That’s led to a declining customer service experience. But some retail leaders have a plan to change it…

Walmart, Kohl’s investing more into their employees

I told you recently about the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) survey of retailers. Overall satisfaction with retailers has declined significantly year over year. That’s because stores are having trouble attracting and retaining workers. The inevitable result of all this is that wages are headed up.

Now, the pay hikes are not because of political pressure or social movements. It’s simply that the marketplace demands a pay raise.

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This is the week that Walmart bumps up most of its workers’ pay another dollar. By the company’s own admission, it’s having trouble keeping workers. Walmart came in last place in the ACSI survey. So now they are funding 200 training academies across the country for employees. Some 150,000 employees will go through this program each year in order to try to improve the customer service experience.

So as the marketplace demands more pay, it also demands service with a smile from players in the service industry. You don’t get that if employees don’t feel appreciated or feel a connection to the employer!

Kohl’s, meanwhile, is going so far as to reduce the inventory they stock to free up money to pay workers more in order to reduce turnover and improve the shopping experience.

For you as a worker, you have more bargaining power today than you have had in the last 10 years. You’re more in a position to ask for a raise or a promotion, or to go test the waters with other employers in this economy.

For people who graduated from college in the depths of the recession and were underemployed working at jobs that didn’t require a degree, know that the opportunities are opening up for you too. Maybe you lost confidence in yourself. Maybe you reached a point where you felt like you would never get a job you went to school for. But that was then and this is now. Get out and give it a try again. There may be opportunities that didn’t even exist in your graduation year.

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