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Study: Increased pay alone won’t attract employees

Retailers need to do more than raise pay and benefits to attract and retain employees.

That’s according to new research from UKG (Ultimate Kronos Group), which revealed that 63% of retailers expect 2021 could be the worst hiring season in memory. Still, nearly all retailers remain confident they can deliver a positive experience for shoppers and employees.

UKG’s “Retail’s 2021 Holiday Season Outlook” found that seven in 10 retailers made direct, long-term investments in their people in 2021 — including raised wages or offered innovative and impactful benefits. Others have committed to providing schedule flexibility, job stability, and development opportunities.

“Retailers need to know it’s not just about compensation,” said Dave Gilbertson, VP at UKG. “It’s about flexibility and showing that you value your associates and are going to keep them safe at work. It’s about training and developing your workforce and making sure people feel that they’re starting a career, versus just working day to day.”

According to the study:

  • 75% of retailers cross-train associates to thrive in multiple roles;
  • 56% provide professional development to help people advance within their company;
  • 54% engage in labor sharing and allow employees to work across multiple store locations;
  • 54% guarantee associates a minimum number of scheduled hours per week; and
  • 40% accommodate employees’ availability and preferences when building staff schedules.

More findings are below.

  • Sixty-three percent of retailers said they’ve raised pay for holiday hires — an average increase of $3.90 per hour.
  • Twenty-six percent expect holiday season staff shortages and unplanned absences to result in daily understaffing.

To dive deeper into the data, read the executive report: Retail’s 2021 Holiday Season Outlook.

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