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U.S. Retail Turnover Rates Highest Since the Great Recession

Nov. 23, 2016 — Nearly 40% of HR and compensation professionals at 66 U.S. retail organizations have seen an increase in employee turnover since the beginning of this year.

The retail organizations represent more than $75 billion in annual revenue, and with the holiday season approaching, increasing turnover rates have employers looking for ways retain talent, according to a survey from the Hay Group division of Korn Ferry. 

"We haven’t seen retail turnover rates this high since before the Great Recession," Craig Rowley, Korn Ferry Hay Group senior partner, retail and consumer, said. "Decreasing unemployment rates make competition greater, and as retail sales rise, retailers are hiring more people and increasing starting salary rates to lure employees away from their competitors."

Hourly store employees have the highest turnover rate at 65%, followed by retail distribution positions at 23% and corporate positions with turnover rates of 18%.
 
Positions with the highest turnover cited better opportunities/promotions as the No. 1 reason for leaving, followed by more money and desire for a move/geographic change.

The survey noted the following focus areas as solutions to curb retail turnover rates moving forward:
  • Career pathing
  • Training
  • Better communications on the employee value proposition
  • Compensation packages

"To retain top employees, employers need to lay out a clear career path, as well as offer training to stay ahead of today’s omni-channel options, such as helping fulfill customer orders online. It’s critical that employees feel nurtured and that they feel part of the organization instead of just having a job.", Rowley said.


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