Can’t get no satisfaction
This year’s employee satisfaction survey by Excel Recruitment certainly reflected the mood in the industry, revealing a worrying trend for the future...
27 August 2008 | 0
This year’s retail employee satisfaction survey makes interesting reading. On the positive side, people work in this industry for the challenge and opportunities it affords. On the negative side however, most grocery managers do not see themselves in this role for the duration of their career and whilst almost 75% find their work fulfilling, the majority do not feel they are adequately recognised within their role or receive adequate training to fulfil their potential.
The survey was carried out during June and August with retailers in both the supermarket and convenience channels, from multiples and independent stores. The purpose of the exercise was to gain an understanding of the levels of job satisfaction in the grocery trade and to gauge retention in the industry. In our survey we asked managers why they got in to the business in the first place, why they stay in the business and what they think of their roles, rewards and employers. We asked the managers their views on training and development in the industry and communication in their organizations.
Grocery sector fails to attract professionals long-term
When asked what first attracted them to the industry, respondents gave a variety of answers. The majority (31%) of managers came to the industry by taking a job a in a store while still in education. The second biggest reason for choosing to work in grocery (21%) was the variety of jobs on offer, followed closely (20%) by the opportunity for career development. The remaining third of managers surveyed claimed to have been attracted by the prospect of a good salary, a family business in grocery, or just a general interest in the food industry.
Career opportunities remained the driving force for most (26%) when it came to staying in the grocery sector, followed by financial reward and the variety of jobs available. Only 15% of respondents claimed to have continued working in the industry on account of a love of retail, which may in part explain why less than half said they would consider a long-term future in grocery. According to the survey only 43% of managers believe they will continue to work in the industry beyond the short-term, while 5% remain undecided.
Aside from the industry itself, employers have a role to play in attracting and retaining quality staff. When asked what would encourage them to stay with their current employer, it was the promise of career progression (32%) and promotional opportunity (26%) that attracted the majority of people. However, the survey revealed a curious level of dissatisfaction among retail managers. 61% said that they felt they didn’t receive enough recognition for their work, while 46% believe they are not sufficiently trained or developed to carry out their roles (12% weren’t sure if they were or not).
Although salary was not the greatest motivation for continuing to work for a specific employer, or for continuing to work within the grocery sector, 60% of managers said that they were not satisfied with their current salary. The majority said that they earned between €30k and €40k (38%) or €40k and €50k (24%), while only 30% earned over €50k.
Beyond financial reward, a job should be enjoyable, provide challenges and most of all a degree of work satisfaction. Here at least the vast majority of managers could answer positively, with 73% saying that they found their jobs fulfilling. However, most respondents (43%) also work over 50 hours a week, which doesn’t bode well for striking a good work-life balance in this profession.
Barry Whelan is managing director of Excel Recruitment Ltd