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Uncharted Workforce Data: Big Retailers Have The Advantage

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In RSR’s May 2022 benchmark report on the state of the retail workforce (Has The Era Of The Empowered Workforce Finally Arrived?), we saw another example of “why Winners win”. It has become almost emblematic of RSR benchmarks reports that we’ll find a set of behaviors among over-performers (“Retail Winners”) that sets them apart from their lesser-performing competition. That was the case in the new workforce management report too. In fact, we found that in the face of difficulties in finding and retaining store employees, Winners are far more likely to “put their money where their mouth is”.

Specifically, we found that Winners are far more likely to prioritize better pay and benefits for the employees they do have, and, as a result, are more likely to hang on to them.

But when we looked inside this datapoint, an interesting difference revealed itself that had nothing to do with performance, but everything to do with the size of the company. Here’s what we found:

Figure 1: For Employees, Big Is Better

Source: RSR Research, May 2022

The question is, is that investment paying off? The short answer is, yes! While only slightly fewer Winners than average and under-performers struggle to find and retain employees (55% compared to 61% of all others), significantly fewer of the largest retailers ($5B+) experience those problems to the same degree (Figure 2).

Figure 2: Proof PointSource: RSR Research, May 2022

It turns out that this dynamic is hinted at in other studies. For example, a February 2022 study conducted by financial news network CNBC found that small businesses report having a more difficult time finding employees than their larger competitors.

Figure 3: Validation

The implication is clear: Retailers get what they pay for!

Read the Report!

Just a few short years ago we titled this research, “What will it take to build a better workforce?”

Now – today – in the wake of a pandemic, supply chain shortages, rising inflation and a help-wanted sign hanging in the front window of nearly every retail storefront, the question has shifted to something far more meaningful: can retailers now shift quickly enough to adapt their workforce management behaviors to meet the needs of a world that has completely changed all around them?

We conducted this study to find out.

This brand new research, sponsored by Manhattan Associates and Workforce Software, features 22 charts across 25 pages of in-depth analysis. It also features 6 recommendations for all retailers to consider based on our findings.

Like all RSR reports, it is completely free of charge to registered users. Registration is also free, and only takes a moment.

https://www.rsrresearch.com/research/has-the-era-of-the-empowered-workforce-finally-arrived