Local retailers need to upgrade employee skills to survive #saveourshops

Local retailers in the UK must transform the customer experience to thrive for the future.  In a new white paper, Questionmark, the online assessment provider, explores how retailers can identify where skills to drive improvement exist in the workforce and to develop those that are missing.

Despite the trend toward online purchases, experts agree that the physical shopping experience also has a future.  But how can employers ensure they have the information they need to make good decisions about how to deliver that experience through the people they employ?

Common 'employee challenges' in local retailers include:

* Finding the right staff - surveys show that eighty-five percent of people admit to lying on their CV.    

* Staff turnover - available research demonstrates that the average turnover rate among retailers is more than 60%.  This level can damage productivity and increase recruitment costs. 

* Creating a consistent customer experience - retailers with multiple outlets need to ensure a consistent customer experience across branches. 

* Upskilling the workforce - only 25% of investments in training are effective.

To get critical information to inform decisions to address these issues, employers can use online tests and assessments to understand the skills, attitudes and aptitude of their workforce.

Assessments identify skills gaps among the workforce.  Testing staff after training shows whether it has been effective.  By assessing staff before hiring them, retailers can ensure they are recruiting staff with the skills and attitude to deliver the right customer service experience.

Lars Pedersen, CEO of Questionmark said: "By ensuring that staff have the knowledge, skills and attitude to maintain a consistently high customer service experience, retailers have the chance to thrive.  Assessments will give employers real knowledge of the state of play.  This can inform good decision making and help retailers reach new levels of success."

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