As we have reported before, it is critical for retailers to better understand and motivate their employees. With that in mind, what retailers are doing best with employee relations and performance?
Recently, Zeynep Ton, an adjunct associate professor the MIT Sloan School of Management, did research on this topic, which was summarized in the Harvard Business Review:
“Executives can run their operations in a way that uses people as interchangeable parts. Or they can run them in a way that leverages a skilled, capable, motivated workforce. Both ways can be profitable. But the employee-centered way is a better way — even in low-cost retail.”
“In my research, I’ve found that retailers using an employee-centered operations strategy, which I call the good jobs strategy, have two strategic advantages. First, they differentiate themselves by offering low prices and good service at the same time. Second, they are better at adapting to changes in customer demand, technology, and regulation. The good jobs strategy is a strategy in which everyone — customers, employees, and investors — wins.”
“One question I’ve been asked the most is: ‘How can investors or customers identify which companies in a particular industry are following a good jobs strategy?’ To answer this question, my MIT students and I set out to create a good jobs score. Focusing on the 14 U.S. food retailers that publicly file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), we scored them in a range of 1 to 10.”
Click the table below to read more from Ton’s HBR article.