Need help persuadingthat raising wages, providing steady schedules and offering training that may lead to promotions will benefit your organization? Dust off some of the ideas employers used back in the late 1990s to attract and retain great employees.
Need data to back up that argument? Look no further than Walmart. Back during the Great Recession, the retailer slashed costs wherever it could. It cut employee pay. It trimmed inventory.
One thing didn’t decline: customer complaints. For years, Walmart receipts have invited shoppers to go online to complete surveys about their in-store experience. Amid recession-inspired belt-tightening, complaints skyrocketed about everything from cleanliness to low-staffing levels.
Five years after the recession ended, shareholders began to complain about falling sales and profits.
In 2014, Walmart began responding raising wages, offering more training opportunities and plotting a clearly defined path from entry-level positions to management. It also began offering more flexible and predictable scheduling in a number of its smaller stores.
In the two years since the changes began, sales are up and customer complaints are down. Walmart is also experiencing less turnover and claims to be attracting better-skilled applicants.
You may not have Walmart’s resources, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn from the retailer’s experience. Can’t raise wages all at once? How about implementing a schedule of regular, small increases?
Perhaps you can redesign training programs to create a clear path toward promotion into better-paying positions—giving employees a shot at careers, not just jobs.
Work on building more flexibility into schedules so employees who want to take a course at the local community college can do so without losing hours and parents can take time off to attend school events.