Whether you operate a single retail location or a chain of stores, your retail employees are your best asset. They are the ones who interact with your customers daily and can create a positive or negative association with your brand. 

But, with a 69% employee turnover rate in retail — 12% higher than the U.S. national average — it can feel like most of your time and resources are spent on hiring and training new staff rather than nurturing existing employees to be your best brand ambassadors. 

With an approximate price tag of $3400 to replace one employee, a retention strategy should definitely be on your radar.

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High retail turnover isn't just hard on your bottom line, though. It affects staff morale, which can cause a ripple effect throughout your organization — more employees quitting and customers taking their business where workers are more enthusiastic and eager to help. 

So, what is the root cause of high retail turnover? 

A lack of internal communication tops the list as a motivating factor to quit. Keep reading and discover how to lower employee turnover with better internal communications. 

Related: When Retention Is Most Critical

Four Ways to Improve Retail Communication and Reduce Turnover

Lower wages, limited opportunities for growth, and an unpredictable work environment are significant contributors to high retail turnover. But thankfully, you can overcome these issues with improved internal communication.

Include the following tips in your communication strategy to improve employee retention levels at your locations. 

Encourage Retail Employees to Bring Their Mobile Phones to Work

Encouraging phones at work might feel counterproductive. But there is a positive side to allowing your retail staff to use their cell phone on the job. 

To start, it gives your employees the autonomy to serve your customers better. Rather than wait for a manager to become available or brush off a customer, they can look up information on their phone or call another store to see if an item is in stock.

Allowing your workers to bring their cell phones to work lets them know you trust them to make good decisions. Of course, not all will, but don't let the minority impact the majority.

Sending out text messages to your staff is also an easy and fast way to relay information and keep in touch. If your employees have their phones with them, you can send text messages with confidence, knowing your staff will receive them. 

Use Technology to Reduce Retail Turnover 

If you still rely on a verbal chain to transmit information or outdated communication channels like email, social media or an employee handbook, it's time to acknowledge tech as your friend

Sending emails to your retail employees might seem like a modern communication tool, but aside from the manager, retail employees are out on the floor interacting with customers, not sitting in front of a computer.

And expecting retail staff to read work emails during their personal time, come in early, or stay late for a meeting sends the message that you don't value or respect their time. Retail employees work hard and often for little pay, so when they are not on the clock, the last thing they want to do is check in with work.  

Utilizing a texting tool like goHappy, for example, offers a faster, more direct opportunity to communicate with frontline employees in your store. 

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97% of Americans own cell phones. And since you're encouraging staff to bring their mobile phones to work, you can feel confident knowing your messages will reach them. Even if an employee is not on the floor when a message goes out, you can rest assured they are more likely to read a text than check their email.

A texting tool can help to communicate messages such as:

  • Last-minute schedule changes
  • Product updates
  • Flash sales
  • Employee recognition
  • Store closures for events like bad weather or a flood
  • Welcome to the team 
  • Birthday messages
  • Company wins

… and so much more. The options for sending out text messages are only limited by you!

Implement Two-Way Communication

Since retail employees don't sit in on meetings with upper management where they can voice their concerns, share creative ideas, and ask questions, they end up feeling despondent and disconnected from the company. 

Frontline employees are often spoken at and rarely given a chance to participate in open dialogue with upper management. Expecting retail workers to show up for work happy and engaged and perform their job well while being left out of the conversation is out of touch and can be viewed as an autocratic leadership style. 

Over the last few years, we've learned that frontline employees no longer want to be viewed as fringe employees. They are valuable to your company's success and want to participate more deeply. 

Opening up the lines of communication will improve the employee experience at your retail outlet by showing you view them as free-thinking individuals. 


Ask For And Listen to Feedback

Like all frontline employees, retail workers have emotional needs. And when they feel like their needs are not being met, their job satisfaction can quickly degrade. 

Poor job satisfaction leads to more missed work days, apathy during shifts, and increased negative customer interactions. All things that impact your business. 

Sending out regular employee engagement surveys and opportunities to provide feedback is an excellent way to engage retail staff. It will show your employees you value their input and offer valuable insights on employee happiness. 

It's easy to send out frontline feedback and engagement surveys with a texting tool like goHappy. 

Collect feedback on everything from display ideas, theme ideas for the next staff party, and opinions on product quality. Allowing your retail staff to contribute will remind them they are a valuable member of your team and not just an easily replaceable worker. 

Retail workers are more likely to stay at their job for longer when they are better engaged

Improve Internal Communications with goHappy

Improving internal employee communication is critical if you want to increase retention rates. 

A natural shift will occur when you focus on the employee experience and take measures to treat workers as individuals with thoughts and feelings. When retail employees feel you care about their well-being, they will show up to work happier and more willing to go the extra mile. 

A communication platform like goHappy can help you achieve this. 

goHappy is an easy-to-use texting tool that promotes better communication. Because there's no learning curve, and no app to download, your workers will always receive messages — text messages have a 98% open rate and typically get read within three minutes of receipt.

Send out text blasts to your entire retail team or segment your messages by region, department, and position if you have multiple store locations. 

Are you ready to improve internal communications and lower turnover rates at your retail business?

Schedule a demo with our team and learn how easy it is to get started with goHappy. You could be sending text messages by next week. 

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