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UK high-street retailers are leaving their employees overworked and understaffed, with almost half of retail workers (47%) agreeing that there simply weren’t enough staff on hand over the festive period. That’s according to new research from employee experience company, Qualtrics.

The findings also indicate a troubling pattern of discontent emerging from these cost saving measures, with 22% of retail employees saying they would actively discourage others from working at their company over the holidays.

This dissatisfaction is then compounded by a lack of recognition, with only 29% of seasonal workers feeling recognised for a job well done – compared to 86% of full-time employees.

Commenting on these findings Sheila Kearney, retail expert at Qualtrics, said: “Having a bare bones approach to staffing over the festive period is very short-sighted. What is seen as ‘cost-saving’ is actually losing some high-street retailers revenue during what should be their most important sales season.

“By sacrificing employee experience in the name of saving money, some retailers are actually shooting themselves in the foot. When we talk to our customers, they recognise that people are much less likely to have a positive in-store experience with stressed, overstretched and undervalued employees manning the helm.

Sheila Kearney concludes: “The leading retailers know that happy employees lead to happy customers – and this all starts with employers taking the time to listen to, and act upon, how their staff are feeling. But we’re well beyond the stage where a simple survey will cut it. With platforms that have the capability to integrate EX management into your CX programmes there’s no excuse to be letting your employees and customers feel undervalued.”

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