By: Karina Beltran Romero, Manager, Member Relations, FMI
people-first culture

No one can deny that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a profoundly impact of the food industry workforce. According to The Food Retailing Industry Speaks 2022 report, 87% of food retail businesses and 86% of food supplier businesses surveyed report recruiting and retention of employees had a negative impact on their business. For 2021, food retailers saw a 48% employee turnover rate, well above the pre-pandemic level of 40%, and suppliers saw a 29% employee turnover rate.

In response, food retailers and suppliers have implemented strategies to hire and retain both full-time and part-time employees including better wages, improved benefits, training and skill development, flex time and more.

While these strategies are effective, a wholistic approach that involves building a people-first company culture can strengthen employees’ engagement for the long term. A people-first culture helps:

  • Increase employee active participation.
  • Build morale.
  • Employees become more vested with the company’s values.
  • Improves retention and supports recruitment.

Foundational to a people-first culture is communication. Building great leadership communication is an affordable way for any companies to implement unblock communication between an employer and employee, which nurtures the individual to succeed and achieve excellence. This is the first step in building a people-first culture.    

On Thursday, September 15 at 1:00 pm EST FMI will host a digital seminar on Store Operations Series: Two Underutilized Employee Benefits with Harold Lloyd. This session provides two simple strategies to improve communication and enhance engagement in the workforce by creating a people-first culture.