In a sector with high employee churn, it’s time to harness the power of learning and development (L&D) to boost retail staff engagement and retention.

Three out of five employees questioned in a recent survey indicated that having access to such career development opportunities would encourage them to stay with their employer for longer.

As so many of the industry’s workers start their careers in entry-level positions, engaging in L&D activities enables them to progress within the company.

It also increases retail staff engagement, job satisfaction, and loyalty. In fact, studies show that if employees (from any sector) are provided with suitable upskilling options, just under three quarters (73%) would stay put.

Examples of such potential L&D activities include onboarding training to help new joiners settle in. An effective approach works by enabling them to understand the company’s culture, policies, and procedures. It also clarifies their roles and responsibilities.

Other strands include offering product training to help employees assist and sell to customers more effectively. This in turn helps to boost revenues. Developing customer service skills also enables people to better manage customer complaints, handle difficult situations and create a more positive overall shopping experience. Leadership and management training, meanwhile, means employees can take on more responsibilities and progress in their careers over time.

Boost retention and cut recruitment costs

At a time of slowing sales and tighter-than-ever profit margins, are such activities an unaffordable extravagance? The data says a resounding ‘no’.

Investing in L&D can lead to considerable benefits and savings.

For instance, the retail industry experiences average staff turnover rates of more than 50%, according to the British Retail Consortium. But recent research indicates it costs an average of £2,577 to hire each new retail worker. It also takes at least 6.4 weeks to get even an experienced recruit up to speed.

This means it costs more to hire a new employee than to retain an existing one. In other words, keeping hold of staff can significantly cut your recruitment, and also your training, costs.

As we saw earlier, employees are more likely to stay when they are given good training opportunities.

By making the most of your home-grown, in-house talent, you can boost retention and reduce the need for expensive external hires to take on specialised tasks or roles.

What’s more, effective L&D activities can also help boost staff productivity and performance levels by equipping them with a wider range of skills and enabling them to multitask.

Enhance retail staff engagement with technology

Need to create cost-effective training programmes when budgets are limited? Harness the power of technology.

An effective talent management system will enable you to optimise the development of your team across the entire employee lifecycle.

Our talent management solution does this by providing you with a single, centralised platform to help, among other things, identify staff L&D requirements and monitor individual training and compliance. Being state-of-the art cloud HR software, it also helps to streamline the staff development process, empowering them to continuously grow and progress.

For example, the system makes it easy for line managers to collaborate with employees in setting individual goals. It also enables them to measure, track, and support the progress of individuals – and that of the wider team – using assessment-based appraisals. Updating pertinent records can also be undertaken in real-time.

From recruitment and onboarding to training, performance, and more: discover our advanced talent management system.