The Challenge of Turnover: Engaging Gen Z Employees

Workers born in the late 1990s are making up an increasing part of today’s labor force. Businesses need to adapt training programs so they resonate with those workers. Nearly everyone who’s been in the retail or restaurant industries is familiar with the challenge of high turnover. Although the average turnover rate for U.S. businesses as a whole in 2018 was just above 44 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics it was 58 percent for the retail industry and a whopping 75 percent for the foodservice trade. In fact, it’s rare for a business in either of those industries to have a full staff for any length of time. The reasons for high turnover are many. For some, a job in a restaurant or retail store provides a bit of spending money while they’re in high school or college, and graduation often means a move to a different career. For others, the sheer size of both the foodservice and retail verticals combined with a strong economy means workers often have their choice of jobs. If they’re unhappy at one operation, chances are there’s another one just a block or two away with a “Help Wanted” sign in the window. And often, that unhappiness stems from a feeling on the part of workers that they haven’t been provided with the training they need to adequately perform their jobs. Meeting them where they live The bulk of the people staffing restaurants and retail stores today are members of the so-called “Generation Z,” or those born after the late 1990s and raised on video games and smartphones. According to consulting firm Bridgeworks Generation Z totals 61 million people, and they’re making up an increasing part of the labor force. So when business operators look for ways to retain staff and provide training in a way that engages employees, they’d be well advised to adopt practices that resonate with those Gen Z workers. That begins with delivering training programs via the platform with which they are most familiar: mobile devices. A recent study conducted by consulting firm CommScope found that 96 percent of those people categorized as Gen Z own a smartphone, and they spend as much as 74 percent of their free time online. It only makes sense that leveraging those devices to deliver training programs is the perfect way to engage those workers. To meet the need for training platforms that help businesses train and retain workers, technology firm Multimedia Plus recently unveiled INCITE 5.0, the latest version of its INCITE mobile Associate Communications Platform. INCITE enables communications and training via interactive, in-store mobile devices, ensuring front-line employees are prepared with the skills and information that impact customers. INCITE already serves as the tool of choice for several major retail brands to train and improve communications with front-line sales associates. INCITE helps retailers train associates via state-of-the-art features including: • Video without streaming• Drag and drop publishing• Branded experiences• Quick and easy deployment• Security and scalability In addition, the INCITE platform provides managers and executives with access to data-rich metrics from bite-sized video-based communications and training programs. They can then measure that data against key performance indicators at levels ranging from individual associates to the entire organization, using those measurements to make informed decisions that will drive growth. Turnover will always be a challenge for the retail and restaurant industries, but there are steps operators can take to keep it to a minimum. That starts with effective training. Want to learn more? Contact Multimedia Plus at (212) 982-3229 or email