Retailers Face Big Challenges in Employee Hiring and Retention, But Highest-Performing Retailers Are Rising to the Challenge

58% of retailers are allowing flexible scheduling and have improved employee pay, resulting in better employee retention

MIAMI, June 23, 2022–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Retail Systems Research, LLC recently announced its findings from its 2022 Workforce Management Report, Has The Era Of The Empowered Workforce Finally Arrived? The report, based on a survey of 82 qualified retailers, found that retailers are being forced to drastically rethink their relationship with store associates in the face of a sea change of disruption.

“We conduct this research every year,” says Steve Rowen, managing partner at RSR Research and co-author of the report. “A few years back we titled it What Will It Take To Build A Better Retail Workforce? Now we have our answer. It took a pandemic, and inflation, and growing income inequality, and a help-wanted sign hanging in the window of nearly every store front. Retailers no longer have the option to treat their workers as expendable.”

Key Findings of the research:

  • Retailers’ top business challenges set up a vicious cycle: Retailers are lowering prices for shoppers, resulting in smaller margins. And even though 59% of retailers report that “good employees are hard to find, train and retain,” lower profits mean fewer resources to find, train, and retain good employees.

  • Thankfully, Retail Winners (those whose sales are outperforming the norm) are tackling these challenges more proactively. Nearly 80% of Retail Winners “strongly agree” that their customer-facing employees have a significant impact on their annual sales, and as a result are steadily moving away from the churn-and-burn thinking that clearly no longer works for our industry

  • The overwhelming majority of retailers who responded to the survey indicate that they are moving quickly to address shortcomings they have in empowering their store employees with (usually mobile) communications capabilities. Consumers expect to deal with informed, knowledgeable store associates, and 67% of retailers are equipping their associates with mobile devices for consumer engagement, as well as customer self-service shopping tools.

Has The Era Of The Empowered Workforce Finally Arrived? contains analysis of the business drivers, opportunities, and organizational constraints surrounding how retailers are approaching Workforce Management. It also examines retailers’ budgets and plans for technologies, and ultimately offers baseline recommendations for navigating this brave new world for retailers. The report is part of RSR Research’s ongoing efforts to provide market intelligence on retail technology trends. It is sponsored by Manhattan Associates and Workforce Software and can be downloaded for free here:

About RSR Research: Retail Systems Research (“RSR”) is the only research company run by retailers for the retail industry. RSR provides insight into business and technology challenges facing the extended retail industry, and thought leadership and advice on navigating these challenges for specific companies and the industry at large. To learn more about RSR, visit

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RSR Research, LLC
Linda Wolfe, 774-284-4679

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