About the Study
The CitiSales Study, one of the first major research studies to focus on employee engagement among lower-wage, hourly workers, finds that six workplace dimensions are critical components of employee engagement and customer satisfaction in the retail industry. The dimensions are:
- Effective Supervisors
- Job Fit & Adequate Resources
- Opportunities for Career Development
- Schedule Satisfaction
- Schedule Flexibility
The CitiSales Study is a large multi-method research project that examines the individual and organizational effects of quality workplaces on workers employed at national retail company referred to by the pseudonym, CitiSales. The project has two components: a study of hourly workers and a study of older workers. More information and findings from the two studies can be found in
Retail jobs are among the many service occupations that are projected to account for nearly half of all jobs by 2016. Despite this stunning statistic, businesses reliant on a lower-wage, hourly workforce have been slow to adopt workplace practices that characterize quality employment. This fact seems particularly puzzling because job and workplace characteristics inherent to quality jobs have been shown to reduce turnover, enhance job satisfaction and promote employee engagement.
Retaining a qualified hourly workforce is a universal challenge among retail companies. Employers within this industry report turnover up to 60% depending on the type of company. Costs associated with turnover among an hourly workforce can significantly burden retail businesses' profit margins.
One strategy retail companies use to address costly high turnover rates is to make efforts to promote employee engagement among their hourly workers. Engaged employees, it is said, are those who are invested in the job, willing to go the extra mile and loyal to the company. In addition, organizations with engaged employees are likely to have increased customer satisfaction, and satisfied customers are more likely to frequent retail stores, which in turn may affect sales.
Given the continued growth of the retail market in the U.S., along with the changing nature of employment and working families, it has become important to find out what constitutes job quality in the new millennium for hourly, retail workers, and how these dimensions of the work environment promote individual and employer outcomes. The CitiSales Study was launched to answer these questions and to develop action steps for creating quality jobs for hourly workers in retail.
Investment in quality jobs for hourly workers makes good business sense. This website has been designed as an "employer toolkit." The nine issue briefs translates research conducted within the CitiSales Study into valuable tools and resources that will assist your supervisors, managers and businesses leaders in creating jobs that will help recruit, retain and engage your hourly and older workforce.