Deloitte and NRF survey points way to retail talent success
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Deloitte and the National Retail Federation (NRF) have
released the results of a comprehensive survey of 29 top 100 retail companies designed to provide an in-depth
look into where retailers are succeeding on the talent front. The survey, which may be downloaded online, also
reveals opportunities for improvement in retail talent management programs.
"The retail sector is largely built upon the relationship
between retail employees and customers, putting talent management high on the
list of critical success factors for the industry,” said Thomas McElroy,
principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP and U.S. retail talent leader. "Since employees have the first and
last interaction with customers nearly every day, improving the
customer-employee relationship may present a significant opportunity for retailers
to drive sales and ultimately enhance customer value.”
The study reports that while the majority of respondents
agree that talent management is part of their company’s strategic planning
process, they appear to be challenged in translating strategy into action. The study identified key challenges
facing the retailers surveyed and opportunities to better align their
operations with talent management objectives, including:
• Closing the leadership development gap. More than eight out of 10 (83 percent)
of participants rank leadership development as critical to their organizations’
success, although one in five (21 percent) do not monitor their future supply
of critical talent and one-third (34 percent) believe that their succession
planning efforts are not effective.
• Addressing the deficit of human resources technologies. Forty-one percent of retailers who
participated in the survey said they do not have the HR technology (including
candidate identification and learning and training systems) to support talent
management within their organizations.
Nearly as many (38 percent) do not have a process in place for
documenting and retrieving the knowledge of skilled workers — potentially
missing an opportunity to pass along the organization’s intellectual capital
and knowledge base to younger workers.
• Adjusting to demographic changes. Retailers are beginning to feel the
demographic shifts that are impacting their workforce and customer base,
according to the survey. More than
four out of 10 (45 percent) of the respondents cited greater workforce
diversity as a very or extremely critical issue to their organization.
Retailers surveyed also indicated that attracting new talent
and retaining top talent are two critically important areas. However, nearly three-quarters (73
percent) of respondents indicate that their organizations know what is required
to motivate and retain top talent.
The top three tools cited to attract and retain talented employees include
financial rewards and incentives (76 percent), training and development
opportunities (69 percent) and brand affiliation, with two-thirds (66 percent)
of the surveyed executives citing brand attraction as a key tool.
"The study suggests that retailers understand the talent
management imperative and are focused on improving their competitive position
in the talent market,” said Dan Butler, vice president for retail operations
for the NRF. "Retailers that take
a proactive approach to engage top performers, develop the next generation of
leaders and increase workforce diversity through effective recruiting,
development and retention strategies may be well positioned to drive positive
business performance through an economic recovery and beyond.”
For the complete survey results, visit www.deloitte.com/us/RetailTalentSurvey. For more information about Deloitte’s retail sector, please