Critical Thinking Styles and Forces of Influence.
A major problem facing retailers today is employee retention. Lowe's Home Improvement Centers are no exception to this problem. Every aspect of a store's operation is measured as a percentage against sales. As a new store struggling to capture market share, we were continually at the maximum amount allowed by corporate standards for our payroll. The store manager was continually juggling the employee hours in an attempt to keep the payroll to sales percentages in check. Frequently, this meant that we would enter peak sales hours with a skeleton crew of employees to provide the high level of customer satisfaction demanded by Lowe's. Management's viewpoint was that they were doing what was required to keep operating costs down. Employees saw this cost cutting initiative as abusive and requiring far more productivity than they should have to provide. .
It became obvious that cost cutting has major implications when associated with increased worker productivity. Retail suffers horrendous turnover. Our store was experiencing about a 70% turnover rate in the first year since opening our doors. Most of this turnover rate was voluntary. New employees go through a training program, and on the job training. During this time, job satisfaction seemed high. After training, and a period of time on the job, most employees would enter a period where they became comfortable in their jobs. It was sometime during this stage that a high percentage of employees seemed to become less satisfied in their work and soon thereafter made the decision to leave Lowe's employment. .
The management team at the store spent a great deal of time analyzing the situation and made it the focus of discussion at a number of staff meetings. We determined that an employee went through several stages during the time they are employed by Lowe's. First there is an entry stage where a person learns the store operations, what is normal during the course of a day, and what the expectations were surrounding the job they perform.