Retail does not have a good reputation for being a long term employment opportunity.
The industry enjoys one of the highest employee turnover ratios of all industries, with maybe the exception of a few. Hospitality and Car Dealerships. Hey, I’ve worked my entire career in two of those. I come from a place of real-world experience on the topic of turnover. Allow me to share the Top Ten Reasons Good Employees Quit. By the way, they all tie back to one person.
In my executive career, I’ve been responsible for probably thousands of stores both in a specialty, big box, and the used car industry: Kohl’s, G.H.Bass, Performance Bike Shops, Dress Barn, and CarMax to name most. One of my General Managers at CarMax joked at a group dinner one night that the only thing I have not been a horse jockey. That’s funny if you see my 6’4″ height and I won’t mention the weight, but I am not considered frail-looking.
Turnover certainly occurred in all of those companies, but as you looked at the retention of employee stats, the number rose and fell by location. Turnover is expensive, no matter the industry. The expense comes from the time and expense of interviewing and hiring. Then you have the time and expense of training. It typically takes a new employee up to 90 days to become competent at their job, if they become competent. Sales take a hit when you have too many new people working for you, customer service suffers, and productivity slows.
But why did some locations have really low turnover and some off the charts high? Same company, same product, same policies, etc. Well, it all goes back to the old saying, …
So, what makes the difference? After a couple of decades of observing and learning what the habits of the bad bosses are, allow me to share.
One commonality before I share the list. One of the first signs of one of these “Bad” bosses, is that they blame high turnover on everyone and everything other than themselves. Sign #1 is the lack of personal ownership of their shortcomings. The first place these people should look is into a mirror, but they don’t and usually won’t. They can be improved through a great dose of leadership training like my company, RDL Training offers. This training can improve the habits of bad bosses and create high impact managers that become world beaters. But only if these underperformers are given the feedback and opportunity to improve. They don’t know what they don’t know.