Employee Motivation

What’s driving employee performance in the retail sector?

Do you know what motivates your workforce? OpenBlend looks at the challenges of managing a disparate workforce – and why holistic conversation is key.

The top employee motivators in retail sector revealed! 

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The retail workforce is unlike any other. It’s a melting pot of different ages, backgrounds and lifestyles, with an eclectic mix of people occupying a wide range of roles: from junior fulfilment operatives to senior department heads. 

This wonderful melting pot is essential to keep retailers running, but it presents a big challenge for people managers. How can you enable each individual to perform their best, when there’s such a disparate mix of priorities, challenges and motivations to consider? 

In retail – whether that’s eCommerce, supermarket, luxury, speciality, or other – a cookie-cutter approach to performance management is never going to work. For managers to unlock every employee’s full potential, they need to tailor every employee one-to-one; having the right conversations, with the right people, at the right time to get results. In essence, every manager needs some coaching skills, to be able to listen to their teams, understand their unique drivers, and take action to facilitate those needs – whether that’s changing shift patterns or helping them to cope with stress.  

If they don’t, the risks are no longer limited to low performance or poor employee satisfaction. There is a talent crisis, with a seismic shift in employee expectations and staff availability changing the way that companies need to attract and retain employees to maintain their workforce.  

Why do one-to-ones matter?

To thrive, organisations need to modernise their approach to performance management, adopting a people-centric approach that recognises each employee as an individual. Forward-thinking retailers have long realised that the performance management model needs to change – but with a combination of Brexit, post-pandemic burnout, generational differences and changing employee demands impacting the workforce, all retailers now need to explore a better way to manage and motivate employees if they want to secure and retain the talent they need. 

How to have holistic conversations  

Regular one-to-ones hold the answer to allowing managers to tailor employee experience, identifying and enabling personal motivation to boost performance, engagement and wellbeing. Retailers specifically need a performance management platform that allows managers to have the frequent, holistic and effective conversations they need to tailor those 1:1s to all aspects of their varied workforce.  

What's important to retail employees in 2022?

In 2021, we collected data from OpenBlend users in the retail sector – including global brands Gymshark, Dr Martens, Lacoste, Superdry -  to identify the motivators that were most important to retail employees. You can see the aggregate data in our recent guide, but what stood out to us is just how varied retail workers top motivators are across the board, with some surprising priorities. There are themes, but the top line is every individual is unique and holistic conversations are key to understanding what motivates employees and driving performance. Find out the top 5 ways to motivate your retail employees in our latest guide.

Why is employee motivation important?

A company’s performance is a collection of the performance of their people.  Understanding individual drivers makes a big difference to every employee’s performance. Bring all of those individuals together, and you create a high-performing, productive, engaged and happier team. The pandemic has changed the world of work forever and we need to change our approach to performance with it. All it takes is the right conversations. To find out how leading retailers are using holistic conversations to drive their workforce, and what you need to do to make it part of your own performance management strategy – download our 'Top one-to-ones in retail' guide today.

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