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Kronos Global Survey Finds that U.S. Retailers Think of the Workforce as a Competitive Advantage More than Other Regions

A new survey titled “The State of the Workforce in Retail: Taking a Global View” commissioned by Kronos Incorporated and independently conducted by Aberdeen Group reveals that when compared to other countries, the U.S. leads in understanding that the workforce is more than just an expense but rather a competitive advantage. The survey also shows that retailers that focus on their workforce as a competitive advantage lead in key outcomes such as lower turnover, absenteeism, and overtime.

News Facts

  • “The State of the Workforce in Retail: Taking a Global View” surveyed managers, directors, and senior executives within more than 220 retail organizations across four regions – U.S., Western Europe, China, and Mexico/Brazil.
  • When asked how they view their workforce, 45 percent of U.S. respondents describe the workforce as a competitive advantage followed by Mexico/Brazil, Western Europe, and China at 30, 25, and 10 percent respectively. Though moving at a slower pace than the U.S., the survey shows that retailers in every region have stopped categorizing the workforce as merely a cost and are evolving their view of how the workforce can contribute to the overall business success. And retailers that view their workforce as a competitive advantage have lower turnover, absenteeism, and overtime expense by 19, 25, and 42 percent respectively.
  • The survey also finds that organizational goals clearly shape how retailers view their workforce. In the U.S., retailers rate improving the customer experience and loyalty as the top two business goals, at 68 and 40 percent respectively, and they also view their workforce mostly as a competitive advantage. Whereas retailers in China and Mexico/Brazil are most focused on labor productivity, rating it as their number one business goal at 54 and 55 percent respectively and are more likely to view their workforce as a flexible asset or a resource.
  • When it comes to building a brand, U.S. retailers rely on the customer experience more than any other region, with 65 percent stating it is the top factor influencing brand value. In other regions, product quality is as the highest factor influencing brand value, with 56, 62, and 63 percent of respondents from Western Europe, China, and Mexico/Brazil respectively rating it as most important for influencing brand value.
  • According to the survey, retailers around the world are starting to better understand the role of workforce management technology in mitigating more than just compliance risk. All regions recognize that these tools can put the right person in the right place at the right time to help meet consumer demand, drive sales, and improve overall operational excellence. And majority of U.S. respondents – at 53 percent – identify supporting customer satisfaction as a top goal for workforce management solutions.

Supporting Quotes

  • Liz Moughan, director, retail and hospitality practice group, Kronos
    “This survey confirms what we have known intuitively for some time. The U.S. market has evolved to an extent where retailers understand that the workforce is a competitive advantage because the margin of error when it comes to customer service is shrinking dramatically. Consequently, U.S. retailers have adopted more advanced tools to ensure a productive and engaged workforce that helps them stay ahead of the competition. While the focus outside of the U.S. has not been as strong on the customer experience, retailers around the world are beginning to understand the strategic significance of the workforce in achieving business goals.”

Supporting Resources

  • Kronos made this announcement from the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) 103rd Annual Convention and Expo being in held in New York from Jan. 12-15. Kronos is exhibiting in booth #2939.
  • Connect with Kronos via Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
  • Subscribe to our workforce management blogs.
  • Take a look at the lighter side of workforce management in our Time Well Spent cartoons.

About Kronos Incorporated

Kronos is the global leader in delivering workforce management solutions in the cloud. Tens of thousands of organizations in more than 100 countries — including more than half of the Fortune 1000® — use Kronos to control labor costs, minimize compliance risk, and improve workforce productivity. Learn more about Kronos industry-specific time and attendance, scheduling, absence management, HR and payroll, hiring, and labor analytics applications at Kronos: Workforce Innovation That Works.

© 2014 Kronos Incorporated. Kronos is a registered trademark and Workforce Innovation That Works is a trademark of Kronos Incorporated or a related company. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

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