Front-Line Retail Employees Don’t Feel Heard

A report finds that 63% of retailers are planning to invest more budget into the overall employee experience in 2022.

March 09, 2022

Tired Retail Worker

TORONTO—Thirty-seven percent of front-line retail workers don’t feel heard by their companies, while 68% of workers say feedback is very or extremely important to them, according to a new report by Nudge.

The Deskless Report: Retail Edition reveals the widespread discontent front-line retail workers are experiencing due to lack of communications, feedback and engagement, among other issues.

“Retail can't escape the impact of The Great Resignation and corporate leadership is finally catching on,” said Jordan Ekers, co-founder and COO of Nudge. “Turnover and resignations are still on the rise because front-line retail workers want better. Better communications, better feedback, better engagement and a better employee experience.”

The study found that this year employee experience will be a priority, with 63% of retailers planning to invest more budget into overall employee experience in 2022, with 32% planning to invest more into communication, and 23% plan to invest more money into feedback.

Eighty-one percent of retail leaders feel they're sending out meaningful, quality communications, but only 59% of retail workers say the communications they receive are somewhat to not-at-all useful.

It’s no surprise that retail leaders are still struggling with turnover, with 27% of retail leaders stating that turnover was their biggest challenge. Thirty-seven percent of polled retail workers said they want to quit their jobs because of a combination of poor management, pay and benefits and poor communication.

The struggle to find labor has some companies rethinking job qualifications, as well as the types of incentives used to attract employees. Many companies are dropping education requirements and background checks for applicants, and some companies no longer requires college graduates to submit their grades. Applicants at the Home Depot could receive a job offer within a day of applying through an accelerated hiring process. Fast-casual restaurant chain Dig is testing a four-day workweek with its full-time staff, and one company Tech allows its new hires to take two weeks of paid time off plus health care coverage before they start their job at the company.

Are you looking to hire? NACS has conducted extensive research on what people want in jobs to help retailers communicate the context of jobs by showcasing how they tie into what applicants care about most and what they treasure from previous jobs. Additionally, NACS Magazine dived into how to hire the Gen Z workforce—by understanding what this generation wants from an employer.

The pandemic has increased anxiety and tension for everyone, especially those on the frontlines. NACS Magazine discusses this serious topic in “Mental Health in the Workplace” in the September 2021 issue.