Experts, business owners share the secret to success amid worker shortage

Posted at 12:50 PM, Nov 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-03 18:30:14-04

(WXYZ) — It's been a struggle for many businesses to hire during the pandemic, but one local retailer says sometimes it's the small things that helps a business find and retain talent.


"We've been very fortunate to have 100% retention pre-pandemic workers that came back, and we're very fortunate to have just hired five new staff," said Rachel Lutz, proprietress of The Peacock Room.
It's a success story you may not hear very often amid an ongoing worker shortage for businesses throughout metro Detroit.

But The Peacock Room, a woman's clothing and accessory boutique with several locations in Detroit, apparently found the right formula.

"I think what really matters to people isn't just a wage right now. People are looking for happy environments. They're looking for challenging work. They're looking for work that they're passionate about," she said.

And with the official start of the holiday shopping season here, we often see retailers looking to hire extra help to meet customer demand.

Experts are also weighing in on what it takes for retailers big and small to recruit and retain workers.

"The top three things are better benefits, meaning better pay, better healthcare coverage because that's always important to have good healthcare coverage, bonuses, signing bonuses across the board," said Jennifer Rook, Vice President of Communications & Marketing for the Michigan Retailers Association.

Rook says workers have left retail to find jobs in other fields, like the cannabis industry.

Dr. Angela Hall, a human resources and labor relations expert at Michigan State University, says some people are also realizing they can make do with less money and she believes retailers won't be able to cover for the shortages that already exist.

Hall agrees an extra incentive is needed to draw talent.

"I think it's really important for retailers to do things ... to advertise how they're a great place to work. Another thing they can do are incentives that are financial ... maybe gift cards, bonuses," she said.