Title: Devising retention strategy for front-end employees in retail: an application of analytic hierarchy process

Authors: Pallavi Pandey; Saumya Singh; Pramod Pathak

Addresses: Department of Management Studies, Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, Sardar Patel Nagar, Dhanbad, Jharkhand 826004, India ' Department of Management Studies, Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, Sardar Patel Nagar, Dhanbad, Jharkhand 826004, India ' Department of Management Studies, Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, Sardar Patel Nagar, Dhanbad, Jharkhand 826004, India

Abstract: Despite decades of studies employee turnover still remains one of the major issues in the retail industry. As higher attrition continues to lead to loss of talented employees, retail organisations are trying to figure out strategies to cope with the problem and contain the higher administrative cost that they have to incur. Focusing on developing retention strategies is thus the need of the hour in an industry that is facing high employee turnover. But the basic issue is to identify the reasons so that effective retention strategies can be formulated. The present paper is an attempt to identify the factors that may contribute to retention of retail employees. Analytic Hierarchy Process has been applied to test the retention elements. The hierarchical model consists of three criteria (work environment, managers, and employees), seven sub-criteria (autonomy, socialisation, fairness, support, behaviour, attitude, and capability) and three alternatives (management by objective, engagement and management by instruction). Findings of the study reveal that management by objectives rank first, followed by engagement and management by instruction in explaining retention. In addition, weights of criteria and sub-criteria exhibit the importance of other decision elements (autonomy, socialisation, and managers support) in achieving retention.

Keywords: retail industry; analytical hierarchy process; AHP; retention strategy; front-end employees; retailing; employee retention; employee turnover; work environment; autonomy; socialisation; fairness; management support; employee behaviour; employee attitudes; employee capabilities; management by objective; engagement; management by instruction.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSEM.2016.081868

International Journal of Services, Economics and Management, 2016 Vol.7 No.2/3/4, pp.222 - 245

Received: 03 Aug 2016
Accepted: 04 Jan 2017

Published online: 27 Jan 2017 *

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