COVID-19 continued to make its presence known across industries in 2021. While businesses successfully adapted their work environments, many struggled to keep employees engaged, or even retain them, as well as find new employees to hire. Eighty-five percent of employees now feel unmotivated in their current roles, and 64 percent are job searching.
Employees want to feel connected to their workplaces, and they’re searching for opportunities that offer such an environment. To adapt to this current employee need, business leaders must create better environments for people to work in. A pivotal step in doing this is enhancing employee engagement and company culture.
Create a Culture of Service
A 2019 Glassdoor survey found 77 percent of adults consider culture before applying for a job, highlighting the importance of a strong company culture. One step in attaining this is creating a culture of service.
A culture of service is designed for company executives to serve their employees the same way employees are expected to serve customers. The hope is that employees take the positive experiences they receive from leadership and apply them to customer interactions. When employees feel valued within the company, they’re more likely to make sure each customer feels valued as well.
Strategies to create a culture of service can include an open-door communication policy that extends from your leadership team to every part of your employee base. This enables constant lines of communication throughout the organization and ensures complete transparency. Another idea is expanding mentorship programs for employees, allowing them to continue to grow professionally and personally, showing the organization cares about their development.
Invest Back Into Employees
As companies pour sizable efforts into bettering customer experiences, they should be making the same investments towards bettering employee experiences. Leaders should look to create internal initiatives focusing on the well-being and support of employees so they can be at their best when interacting with customers.
Some employee investments we’ve incorporated at TCC include an employee profit sharing program where employees can earn portions of company profits, company-wide fitness challenges to boost physical health, employee assistance programs and support groups for mental health, and employee-led committees throughout the organization.
Initiatives like these not only aid the health of employees, they can also increase productivity and job satisfaction. In fact, 70 percent of employees enrolled in a workplace wellness program reported higher job satisfaction after partaking in the program, ultimately improving employee retention in this up and down labor market.
Empower Employees to Give Back
Employees value how much their companies give back, and it’s on business leaders to discover causes their employees are passionate about and find innovative ways to benefit those.
Once those causes are identified, executives should empower their employees to lead and execute new philanthropic initiatives. This can be for in-store philanthropic events like giveaways or item drives where employees handle the setup and coordination, as well as collaboration with local organizations for a partnership event to raise proceeds. This can also include having employees nominate nonprofits to receive company donations or allocating paid volunteer hours for employees to positively impact their favorite causes and organizations on that time.
Whatever it may be, allow employees to have their fingerprints on these processes and let them make these projects their own. Empowering employees to give back can give them a sense of purpose in their role and a chance to further connect with their neighbors and community members.
Now more than ever, companies must be employee-centric if they hope to retain their current roster and create a workplace that suits prospects. With companies that have engaged employees outperforming those without by up to 202 percent, effective employee engagement strategies will be crucial in 2022.
Chad Jensen is the president of Round Room Holdings, which operates leading Verizon retailers, TCC and Wireless Zone.
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Topic: Talent Acquisition: Building a Team Structured for Success in 2022
Description: For indie retailers, the strength of your internal team depends on your ability to recruit capable employees and develop the training required to effectively service your customers. When you compound the wide variety of new skills (both digital and in-store) retailers were expected to master after the COVID shift, the bar was raised considerably for incoming talent.
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