If you tired of hearing “Thank you for shopping at …..”, “Welcome to ……”, and other inane greetings from sulking, lifeless, store employees, get used to it. There is an industry wide plague that has pushed retail chains to the bottom of the employee engagement index when compared to that of other major industries.
According to the 2011 Kenexa WorkTrends Survey, employee engagement in the retail sector dropped to all time low. Even Government employees are more engaged than those working in the retail space.
In 2011, Kenexa surveyed 30,000 full-time employees working for organizations with more than 100 employees. The employees worked in all skill levels and jobs in the world’s biggest economies, including Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and 19 other countries. I would like to highlight two key summary findings from this survey:
1. Low employee engagement scores translates into increased attrition, greater loss due to employee shoplifting and theft, lower customer satisfaction.
2. The best ways to increase employee engagement are through Leadership Effectiveness, Work-Life Balance, Fair Compensation, and Innovative Climate.
The most striking point from the report was the explanation provided for what it means to have an Innovative Climate. According to the report, Employees are likely to enjoy a work environment that allows them to try new things and share their ideas with others. The chance to be innovative both challenges and motivates them to perform at their best. I only hope retail chains take this finding seriously and invest in employee training and in building systems that will encourage innovation at work.
Enjoy this video on employee engagement.