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5 Easy Ways to Stay Competitive as an Employer

Finding ways to remain a competitive employer is crucial. Across industries, finding qualified employees is often listed as a top challenge for business owners. As a retailer, you may find yourself concerned with how you can keep up with your competition to recruit and retain the best talent in your area. And with many generations currently working together at all levels, you may also find yourself questioning the best perks and benefits to please an increasingly diverse workforce.

Luckily, big structural changes and large benefits packages aren’t always necessary. Implementing smaller initiatives can go a long way in attracting young, skilled workers to your organization. Here are five points worth considering.

Make work fun.

Adding a little fun into the workday can go a long way in increase your employees’ levels of happiness and satisfaction with their jobs. Ideas to amp up the fun factor include things like facilitating friendly competition between employees. Who can sell the most of a certain item or get the most customers to sign up for your loyalty program?

Offer skill development options.

Many staffers, especially those from the millennial generation or younger, are interested in consistent career development. In a retail setting, you can provide ongoing opportunities for your employees to continue learning at a low cost to the business. For example, business owners can train their entire staff in areas like product knowledge, selling skills, merchandising, operations, accounting and more through the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA). Additionally, there are thousands of free training resources available online today. All you need to do is invest the time to let your employees continue learning.

Provide benefits.

Providing health insurance can be difficult, but it’s increasingly necessary to offer benefits in order to be seen as an attractive employer by potential hires. If you’re currently offering a plan that’s too expensive or you’re looking for an affordable way to start offering insurance benefits, consider the NRHA Health Insurance Plan. It was designed specifically for independent home improvement retailers with their unique challenges and needs in mind.

Show your appreciation.

Everyone appreciates praise and recognition. Knowing that the owner of the business is grateful for an employee’s work can go a long way to raise morale. One way to do this is to implement an employee of the week or month program where you can commend different staff members for their individual accomplishments. Another idea would be to implement bi-yearly or yearly company traditions where you can show your gratitude such as an annual holiday dinner or regular pizza parties.

Be flexible.

It can sometimes be difficult to be flexible in a retail environment, but in any way that you can, be understanding of your employees’ lives outside of work. Allowing them to shift their schedule to come in later or leave early to accommodate their other interests and obligations means they’re likely to be more mentally present at work and less likely to call off unexpectedly. Flexibility is an invaluable benefit that the majority of workers likely appreciate.  

About Hilary Welter

As marketing and research coordinator, it’s Hilary’s duty to keep retailers informed about NRHA products and services and to help coordinate industry research projects. Additionally, Hilary is the voice behind NRHA’s and Hardware Retailing’s social media accounts. She appreciates a good book, spicy food, well-made horror films, craft beer and exploring new places near and far.

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