As the Holiday Shopping Season Approaches, Korn Ferry Survey of Top US Retailers Examines Employee Turnover

-- Turnover Down Slightly: Experts Point to Raises in Minimum Wage, Possible Fears About an Uncertain Economy as to Reasons More Workers are Staying Put --

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- In advance of the holiday shopping season kick-off, a new Korn Ferry (NYSE:KFY) survey of top retailers is revealing insights into employee turnover.

The survey finds that of all retail positions, part-time hourly store employees have the highest turnover rate, with 76 percent average turnover in 2019. That’s down from an average turnover of 81 percent in 2018. Less than a quarter (24 percent) of respondents say they’ve seen an increase in employee turnover since the beginning of 2019. That’s down from 29 percent in 2018.

“With increases in minimum wage and start rates at many retailers, workers are hard-pressed to find new jobs that pay more than what they are already receiving,” said Craig Rowley, Korn Ferry Senior Partner, Retail and Consumer. “In addition, increased store closings and automation, such as self-serve checkout, are decreasing the number of workers needed. As many employees worry about economic uncertainty and decreasing job opportunities, they are choosing to stay where they are.”

Corporate positions saw the lowest turnover rates in the industry in 2019 (17 percent), which is about the same as it was in 2018.

Respondents cited “better opportunities / promotions” as the No. 1 reason for departures in the retail industry, followed by more money and a desire for a more predictable schedule.

When asked what they will be doing to curb turnover moving forward, retailers cite “better communicating the company’s employee value proposition,” “career pathing” and “changes to compensation plans” as the top focus areas.

“While it is decreasing, employee turnover is still a very real issue for retailers,” said Rowley. “To retain top employees, employers need to lay out clear career paths, offer training, pay competitive wages and provide predictability in work schedules. It’s critical that employees feel nurtured and part of the organization instead of just having a job.”

About the Survey

The November 2019 survey included responses from HR and compensation professionals at 72 major retail organizations, representing more than 1.5 million employees.

About Korn Ferry

Korn Ferry is a global organizational consulting firm. We work with clients to design their organizational structures, roles and responsibilities. We help them hire the right people and advise them on how to reward, develop and motivate their workforce. And, we help professionals navigate and advance their careers.

Tracy Kurschner

Source: Korn Ferry