Developing a career path in retail
A Harrods case study

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Page 4: Retaining talent

HarrodsEmployee retention is important for businesses. A low employee turnover can keep recruitment costs down. It also ensures a skilled and experienced workforce. Employee development is beneficial for both the employee and the business. However, sometimes employees think that their new-found skills will enable them to gain a better job elsewhere. Harrods, therefore, has put in place strategies to keep its talented Retail Managers. It has found that employees who develop within the company tend to stay. Those brought in from outside are more likely to leave. Another vital part of retention for Harrods involves identifying the ‘DNA’ (key factors) of great sales people. It then matches applicants to these factors.

To reduce employee turnover Harrods has developed a better management structure, improved benefits and created initiatives which make Harrods a ‘great place to work’. Harrods has put in place a system of rewards and incentives:

  • An excellent package of employee benefits including good pay, employee discounts and a good working environment.
  • Commission and sales bonuses for individuals and teams.
  • Improved work schedules which help to give a better work-life balance.

Harrods also has systems to improve employee communications so that it can listen to feedback and address any issues. There is an Internal Communications department, regular performance assessment meetings and SMART targets for employees to reach. These initiatives have seen employee turnover fall from 51.4% in 2006 to 25% in November 2011.

Harrods | Developing a career path in retail