The last time Chris Cameron, retail expert and managing director at Deloitte Consulting, sat down with us to talk about retail talent, it was late 2019 and a very different world. Since then, so much has changed for retail frontline workers, but many things have remained the same. Now, he’s back on the Workday Podcast to talk about why the first impression is more important than ever to the success of retail organizations.
Here are a few highlights of our conversation, edited for clarity. Be sure to follow us wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts, so you don’t miss an episode. You can find our other podcasts here.
It's still hard to attract and retain talent in retail. It got a lot harder during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’ll remain a preeminent issue. There are a number of things that are important to frontline workers, and at the top is wages. There’s an ongoing discussion about the importance of providing a living wage, and many retailers have started to respond to that very important issue.
As we transition to talking about what the future of work looks like, retailers will be looking for more workers to fill customer-impacting roles. It's incredibly important to continue to think about what motivates workers to be at their very best as they interface with customers.
The next generation of retail frontline workers will need skills that revolve around technology fluency, helping workers pivot from working at a cashier station or walking the aisles to see if a shelf is properly stocked, to engaging with consumers. There's tremendous opportunity for retailers to continue to evolve the skill sets of frontline workers, which will result in jobs that are more interesting, more appealing, and potentially higher paying.