The Retailer Spring_09.05_FA

Figure 2 -- When thinking about the reasons for which you work in retail, which are most important to you? (select up to 3)

But, it turns out that many retail colleagues perceive flexibility and higher management positions as incompatible. 60% of respondents said that they would accept a promotion only if they were able to keep their part-time status. Also, of those that did not apply for a promotion, a quarter (24%) said that they did not do so because they feared losing their part-time status, suggesting that in many organisations higher positions require full-time status, implicitly reducing flexibility.2 Finally, three quarters of employees (72%) have ideas about how things could be done better, but half of them (49%) believed they were overqualified for their roles and many (38%) felt that their ideas were not being taken seriously. All this suggests that engagement within the industry would improve if: 1. More higher management positions were available on a part-time basis, to allow for a more flexible schedule for different roles within the hierarchy of the organisation. 2. A greater overlap was found between the concept of flexibility as understood by an employee and that understood by an employer, since flexibility entails different aspects for the two parties. 3. More employees’ suggestions were considered seriously. Of these three points, arguably, the third one is relatively easy to implement. Taking employees’ suggestions into account, besides increasing engagement, it’s very likely that it would provide some insight for addressing the other two points.

2 63% of respondents said that in their organisations, people were less likely to be promoted if they needed to work part time.

the retailer | spring 2019 | 49

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