Employee engagement in the retail industry

The employees that operate retail stores are the face of the business. Retail is unique in the sense that how employees feel about their role is directly projected onto the customer. Customer-facing staff can make or break the customer experience. They have the closest interactions with customers, and thus shape customer perceptions of the organization. On a day-to-day basis, they will help execute the customer-facing component of business strategy. But if employees’ emotional commitment to the organization and their daily work is weak, then the execution will be weak as well.

A strategy to improve retail employee engagement will not just influence engagement as a singular metric, but rather a variety of conditions that improve the whole employee experience.

Engaged employees greet customers with a smile, are knowledgeable and offer great assistance. Disengaged employees tend to provide poor customer service and drag the rest of their colleagues down with them.

A Gallup report found that engaged employees are 17% more productive. Clearly, there’s a direct link to the quality of work.

96% of customers say customer service is important in their choice of brand. Engaged employees = better customer service = more sales. If you’re a boss in retail, your life would be a lot easier if your employees were engaged.

Invest in retail employees to create a good customer experience.


  • Develop a great orientation program.
  • Make career plans that prevent your new employees from viewing retailing as a temporary job.
  • The speed of the retail industry can tire people out. Take action.
  • Note the leadership qualities of your operational managers.
  • Get ongoing feedback from employees.
  • Reinforce your rewards and recognition programs.
  • For the customer to be king, the employee must be a prince.
  • Improve employee well-being. – Physical, financial, emotional…-
  • Take care of your employees’ work-life balance.
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