Amid an ongoing labor shortage, retailers are considering merit increases to help with retention.
Nearly all (96%) of retailers said they are having trouble finding store employees, according to a new Korn Ferry survey. And 88% said it’s difficult to find workers for distribution centers.
“We’re seeing the impact of a retail worker shortage in several ways, including stores scaling back on open hours and customers waiting in long lines to check out,” said Korn Ferry retail expert Craig Rowley. “Organizations need to be creative in finding ways to attract and retain employees.”
One way retailers are working on retention is offering larger salary increases. More than half (57%) are considering merit increases of 3.5% or more. Thirty-six percent said they are considering increases of 4% or more. Merit increases have historically been at 3%.
In addition, 58% of retailers said vaccines are not mandated for corporate jobs. Thirteen percent said vaccinations are required and that workers who refuse will be terminated. Twenty-two percent said vaccine or regular testing will be required and workers will be terminated if they refuse. (Seven percent marked “other.”
In other findings, 72% of retailers do not require vaccines for store and distribution center jobs. Nineteen percent said vaccine or regular testing will be required and workers will be terminated if they refuse. Only 6% said vaccines are required, and workers will be terminated if they refuse.
In other survey results, 53% of retailers said that employees must use PTO to quarantine (and if no PTO, no pay), while 32% said they continue to pay outside of PTO and 2% continue to pay but at a reduced rate. (The remaining marked “other.”
The Korn Ferry survey of more than 100 major U.S. retailers, with annual revenues between $500 million to more than $20 billion, took place in late January 2022.