Turnover up among retail employees as holiday season gets in gear

23 November 2018 Consulting.us

In a recent survey from HR consultancy Korn Ferry, almost a third of retailers said that they’ve experienced increased employee turnover since 2018. The study also found that retailers are giving wage hikes to existing employees as firms are forced to boost starting pay amid low unemployment.

The Korn Ferry survey, which drew on responses from HR and compensation professionals at 53 major retailers, found that 29% of respondents reported an increase in turnover this year. ‘Better opportunities/promotions’ was the number one reason for departures in retail, follow by ‘more money’ and ‘more hours.’

Meanwhile, the survey unsurprisingly found that part-time hourly store employees had the highest turnover rate among retail positions (81% in 2018), an increase of 5% from 2017. On the other hand, retail corporate rates had the lowest turnover rates in the industry, though turnover was higher in 2018 (15.6%) than in 2017 (13%).

To combat turnover going forward, retailers identified ‘training’ and ‘career pathing’ as the top focus areas, followed by ‘better communications on the employee value proposition’ and ‘changes to compensation packages.’Turnover among retail employees up as holiday season gears upCommenting on the survey findings, Craig Rowley, Korn Ferry Senior Partner, Retail and Consumer, said: “Retailers are in a Catch-22 situation this holiday season. While high consumer confidence and a strong economy mean year-over-year sales are predicted to grow, low unemployment means there just won’t be enough workers to fill retail positions. To combat the situation, retailers are in a bidding war for hourly retail workers, and they are giving existing workers more hours to fulfill the need.”

Korn Ferry’s study also found that retailers have been hiking wages of existing workers to retain them, as well as to bring their compensation in line with the higher starting wages of employees – which have risen due to heightened competition/record low unemployment. 34% of retail respondents said they gave wage hikes to existing employees as a response to increased starting wages.

The consultancy recommends that retailers reinforce other aspects of the employment experience aside from simple compensation (though it remains central) to cut turnover. “To retain top employees, employers need to lay out clear career paths, offer training and pay competitive wages, added Rowley. “It’s critical that employees feel nurtured and that they feel part of the organization instead of just having a job.” The above-mentioned elements are especially imperative as retail employees enter the sometimes disillusioning hellscape of the frenzied holiday season.

In other human capital research news, Korn Ferry has found that entry-level workers have seen their real wages decline in the last decade. Another study from the consultancy has found that there is an increasing proportion of gig professionals working at companies.

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Korn Ferry rolls out SoFi financial wellness products to its US workers

16 April 2019 Consulting.us

Consulting firm Korn Ferry has partnered with personal finance firm SoFi to offer financial products and tools to its US workforce.

Financial stress is a heavy burden on US workers, with long-term stress often leading to mental and physical conditions. Stress reduces the ability of the immune system to fight off bacteria and viruses, while chronic stress can impair memory and increase aggression.

Financially stressed workers are also less productive, with an estimated $250 billion in US annual wage losses attributed to the effects of stress, according to a 2017 Mercer study. The average American employee spends 13 hours per month worrying about their financial security.

The central issue related to stress at work is low pay, according to surveyed employees, followed by inadequate staffing and company culture.Korn Ferry rolls out SoFi financial wellness products to its US workersFirms will sometimes implement financial wellness programs as a part of their overall benefits package, aiming to create happy and healthy workers with hopefully less outlay than massive salary increases. For firms that pay competitive wages – like most consultancies – financial tools such as investment advice and budgeting software are another feather in the cap of an impressive overall benefits package meant to attract and retain top-end talent in a shrinking market.

Likewise, human resources consultancies such as Korn Ferry have to set a good example with their own benefits and practices outside of the simple goal of effective talent management. After all, how can you expect companies to trust you as a benefits advisor if your own organization doesn’t have a first-class set-up?

To this end, Korn Ferry has further expanded its financial wellness offering for its US employees through a partnership with online personal finance company SoFi. Korn Ferry workers will now be able to access SoFi’s student loan refinancing, personal loan, home loan, and investing products, as well as financial guidance via SoFi financial advisors.

“We offer a complete package of wellbeing benefits that appeal to our colleagues’ physical, emotional, financial, and social wellbeing,” Brian Bloom, vice president of global benefits at Korn Ferry, said. “This new financial offering from SoFi is a natural addition to our Korn Ferry Cares package. We continue to look for new offerings and services to help our global Korn Ferry colleagues and their families.”

Korn Ferry’s global workforce is more than 50% millennials and Gen Z – groups that would be especially well served by SoFi’s refinancing, loan, and advisory offerings.

SoFi’s roots trace back to a loan pilot project devised by a group of Stanford business school graduates, wherein alumni would offer loans to low-risk students. Since 2011, the San Francisco-based firm has expanded to employ more than 1,000 people, and posted $547 million in revenue in 2017.

Korn Ferry and SoFi previously worked together on KF Advance, which expanded career development offerings to SoFi’s 600,000 members. The platform delivers online assessment, resume review, career coaching, and other services drawing on Korn Ferry’s extensive expertise in the area.