Research has found that women in retail are far more unhappy with current levels of workplace wellbeing than their male counterparts. This is a critical issue for businesses given that 60% of UK retail workers today are women.
The research from ICM, commissioned by Income Protection specialist Unum, found that less than half of women in the retail sector (47%) said they felt well looked after by their employer, compared to 76% of men. Only 23% of women in the sector felt their wellbeing had improved over the last three years, compared to 30% of men, and almost a third (32%) felt their wellbeing had actually got worse over the last three years.
A number of elements that impact on perceptions of wellbeing have been identified. When women in retail were asked what they considered important, 89% said a good relationship with their line manager, 84% said reasonable hours and 78% said feeling empowered at work. It also found one of the most tangible ways for employers to show they care was a full and comprehensive benefits package which was important to 63% of women in the sector.
Marco Forato, CMO of Unum said:
“This research shows that retail companies face the very real risk of losing talented female workers if they don’t take steps to improve perceptions of wellbeing. With staff turnover costing, on average, £20,114 per employee in the retail sector and women representing an important majority of the retail workforces, this is an issue retail businesses need to tackle now. One of the most tangible ways to do this is to provide a best practice employee benefits package, including long-term benefits like Income Protection which supports staff financially if they fall ill.”