2018,” says Mercer’s Merdinger. “It’s not unique
to retail but it plays a really big role in retail.”
Retailers, he adds, need to clearly understand the
value that is derived from developing and sustaining an engaged workforce that is empowered
to deliver an excellent customer experience.
Keeping retail employees engaged can be
very difficult as competition and internal changes intensify, especially when those internal
changes consist of strategic shifts that significantly alter what is expected of the workforce.
The skills required to sell as much product as
possible are not the same skills required to curate
a delightful experience or to develop a solution
after listening to a customer’s unique needs. In
the coming years, going to a store may not even
involve much shopping in the traditional sense,
Merdinger notes. “Instead, that interaction may
be more experiential or entertaining,” he con-
tinues. “That’s very different from walking in a
store to buy a pair of shoes and then leaving...
And it’s really changing the way businesses need
to interact with their customers.”
Thriving in those types of interactions requires
changes in how retailers recruit, hire, develop,
manage, engage and reward their employees. It
can also change the store’s optimal mix of full-
time and part-time employees, Merdinger adds.
Retailers’ growing investments in CRM technology, data analytics and other forms of advanced
technology also require the acquisition and development of new skill sets. The “biggest challenge
we hear from CEOs,” according to Boston Consulting Group Partner Chris Biggs, who leads the
firm’s global retail sector work, “is around people—how to attract and retain the scarce digital
talent required to drive this new type of organiza-
The following EQ-i 2.0® reports are available
in both coach and client versions
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