5 Simple Ways for Grocers to Retain Employees

As of April 2020, the turnover rate for all retail businesses was 58.3%. This high number was even greater for part-time and non-management employees; at one point this number surpassed 60%. These figures pose difficulties for grocery store managers and owners. 

 

Having high turnover rates can be a huge setback for grocers wanting to advance their business. In the supermarket industry, these changes cost employers on average $190,000 a year. This is not to say that small businesses/local grocers are plagued by the same high costs and turnover issues. However, it is safe to say that all grocers would like to keep their turnover rates as low as possible and retain great employees as long as possible.

 

It is fairly common sense to imagine the reasons for high turnover rates in grocery stores, especially for young employees:

  • Low wages
  • Poor benefits
  • Poor work-life balance
  • Feeling underappreciated and unhappy in role
  • No opportunities for advancement

 

Here are the 5 top tips for grocery store companies to retain their workforce:

1. Attract Like-Minded Young Talent

Before having the opportunity to retain good employees, one has to find the right ones. This may be a long form strategy, but it will be rewarding in the grand scheme. Attracting the best talent is a big challenge in an industry known for employees ending up in roles as a last resort.

 

Not to worry, this does not mean that your business has to suffer the same fate. Knowing your company’s vision, selling new recruits on it, and being open and honest in the process will help attract the right people. Talented young people can be excited by a good company culture, ethical and sustainable practices, and even industry-leading technologies and novel ways of doing business. The right people may not realize that all of these opportunities exist within the world of grocery retail. 

2. Have Flexibility with Time Off, Leave, and Breaks

It may sound counterproductive, but seasoned investors know that investing early on will be rewarding in the long term. This is why progressive HR tactics like raising wages, providing insurance coverage, and providing plenty of time for rest are good ideas. They will eventually save you money, because studies have shown that the cost of filling vacancies after turnover can end up being 75-150% of the role’s annual pay. 

Paid time off, family leave, and substantial breaks can be major selling points but also reasons to stay. Without these crucial benefits, your employees’ mental health can also suffer, leading to employees choosing to part ways.

 

One company that has been a benchmark for keeping turnover rates low is Trader Joe’s. Significant differences in HR policies compared to other competitors have kept them as one of the leaders in this regard. However, good wages and benefits haven’t been the sole reason behind their success. Other cultural and value considerations have led to their good employee retention.

3. Be Open To Dialogue to Change

Employees do not want to work in an environment where they don’t feel like they align with the values and direction of the company. This is why employers must be open, first, to listening to the ideas and feedback of all of their employees. Then, you must be willing to compromise on company culture and work towards changing to meet the desires of your employees. This shows a commitment to your workers and establishes a rapport.

 

Alternative points of view are what keep companies growing and thriving. For this reason, it is highly favorable to hire people with these mindsets, particularly “younger workers who may come from other industries, tap into other channels when it comes to purchase decision-making, or have a better grasp on the attitudes of their demographic.”

4. Create an Infrastructure for Career Development

The last thing that an employee wants is to get stuck in a position that has no opportunity for advancement. It is often cited as the top reason for employees to want to quit their job.

 

Young people are changing jobs at a higher rate than ever. They are looking for career advancement, and when companies are unable to offer any prospect of that, they look for something new. For this reason, establishing leadership positions, promotions, and internships/marketing roles could be one way to retain employees and keep them happy. George Goodwin, of Goodwin’s Organics says “for the past 7 years, this has been the main way of getting interns for my family store Goodwin’s organics.” Having an infrastructure that keeps employees engaged and feeling like they are advancing is key to employee retention.

5. Invest in Technology to Support Your Business

As mentioned previously, new technology can be a major selling point for recruiting younger demographics. Having good technology can make one’s work experience run a lot smoother, have the ability to identify chances for raises or promotions, and predict when employees might want to leave. On the physical store side, to the HR analytics side, state of the art technology offers grocers the chance to retain good workers. 

Bonus 

Your company’s image online or even brick n mortar matter so review your social media platforms, create one or even update them. Make sure your store is clean and well organized. Need help email george@itretail.com, I’ll help you revamp you social media account. 

     

    How IT Retail Can Help

    At IT Retail, we are all about innovating technology that makes everyday transactions as effortless as possible. We have the POS software to prove it. For more information, connect for a quote today!

     

    Key Takeaway Points

    • Turnover rate for retailers is roughly 58%
    • Many employees cite low pay, poor benefits, uncertain schedules, and poor advancement opportunities for leaving such positions
    • Employers can help reduce turnover by attracting the right talent
    • Employers should respect workers’ time and ensure they have adequate time to themselves for breaks, vacation, and leave
    • Good employers are willing to talk with employees to learn how to improve
    • Employers should set up workers for success by making it clear how to advance
    • Employers should prioritize innovative technology

    P.S. Come say hi, at NGA show our booth is 319. 

    5 Simple Ways for Grocers to Retain Employees

    Author: George Goodwin

    George Goodwin is a Marketing Director for IT Retail POS solution. He has a background in marketing for health food grocery stores and online software. He is a 3rd generation grocer who has worked on business partnerships, social media, website SEO, and content writing. George graduated as a student-athlete in Economics and English from the University of California, Riverside. With a post-graduate degree from Graduate Institution of Biblical Studies.