The retail industry has changed beyond all recognition over the last decade with the high street slowdown and shift to online shopping. It is a sector we know extremely well thanks to our work with companies like M&S, Tesco, Clarks, Sainsbury’s and Starbucks. What this means is that we have seen at close quarters the impact of this evolution and have been called upon to advise retail clients on changes needed to their people programmes as a result.

Common industry challenges

Retail employee engagement
  • Outside economic pressures – i.e. austerity, lower consumer spending, reduced footfall, Brexit uncertainty
  • Slow to adapt to changing consumer shopping habits (shift online)
  • Store closures/downsizing
  • Poorly managed organisational change
  • Skills shortages, particularly in digital field
  • Engaging front-line employees
  • Poor employee enablement – lacking resources to do their job

Want to talk about your people priorities?

How to tackle them

Retail employee experience
  • Focus on the employee experience, particularly enablement
  • Increase investment in L&D, e.g. upskilling leaders to navigate change effectively
  • Hire in or develop digital capability in leaders
  • Support managers to embed organisational changes
  • Better internal communications and employee involvement around change
  • Paying attention to how the organisational narrative and vision needs to change in line with new strategic direction

We are trusted by lots of top companies

We’ve built a strong, collaborative relationship with ETS and particularly value their understanding of what the future of employee experience is. They provide us with action-driven outcomes and help put the engagement of M&S colleagues back into the hands of our leaders.

Head of Colleague Experience, Marks & Spencer

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Related resources

Employee experience in retail: Special report

Discover more about the employee experience for retail staff using extensive benchmark data and expert insights.

Developing managers through 360 degree feedback at Tesco

Our 360 degree feedback programme has made it easy for managers at Tesco to identify and act on their development needs.

How M&S is building an excellent employee experience

Find out how we’ve supported M&S with their global employee survey and hear some of the secrets of their success in engagement.

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