Retail Workers Ready to Walk Out on Holiday Season

November 22, 2006 ( - Forty-six percent of retail employees responding to a survey sponsored by Kronos Incorporated said they may walk off the job this holiday season.

According to a Workforce Institute press release, the “Black Friday: Inside the Retail Employee Psyche” survey conducted by Harris Interactive indicated employers who neglect the needs of their workforce are at risk for employees leaving them. The top three reasons given by respondents who said they might quit during the holidays were:

  • I am not treated with respect by my boss;
  • I am too busy at work because there are not enough employees; and
  • My time-off requests are ignored.

Almost half (43%) of retail workers surveyed said if they ask for a day off and it is denied, their job performance suffers, the release said. Specifically, workers said they would likely be less motivated at work, they could call in sick, or they may arrive late or leave early on a day they requested off but were scheduled to work.

“Too often, especially during the holiday season, retailers are focused solely on the needs of shoppers,” said Stuart Itkin, chief marketing office at Kronos, in the release. “[R]etailers need to ask themselves, ‘If consumers are ready to spend this holiday season but employees aren’t there to serve them, will we have a successful year?’.”

As for holiday hiring, the survey suggested an online application process is one key to attracting talent. Sixty-one percent of the 1,009 retail workers surveyed said they were more likely to apply with a company that provided online job applications. Workers said applying online allows them to apply at a time that fits their schedules, is faster, and leads them to believe the company is more innovative than other companies.

The Workforce Institute was established by Kronos to provide research and education on critical workplace issues facing organizations.