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Why retail is such an unhappy industry

Lord Mark Price

Data from Engaging Works survey taken by over 10,000 people shows that employees in the retail industry feel they are under developed and are unhappy in their jobs- when compared to other sectors.  They also feel that their wellbeing is being cared for less than other sectors. Lord Mark Price – former Minister of State for Trade and Investment.

The Engaging Works platform, designed by Lord Mark Price, former Minister of State for Trade and Investment and former Managing Director of Waitrose, offers workplace happiness surveys and career development tools for individuals and businesses. Engaging Works has surveyed over 10,000 employees globally since its launch in October 2017.

Lord Price acknowledges many factors contributing to the downturn in retail including, “increased business rates, upward-only rents, the apprenticeship levy and the National Living Wage. And you can add to that increased import costs following the devaluation of sterling, which, with competition so fierce, has not really been passed on to consumers, resulting in a further challenge to profitability.”

Lord Price says, “it will not surprise you to learn that retail staff are among the most unhappy of any industry, according to my Engaging Works website, which measures the workplace happiness of thousands of individuals.  Our analysis involved asking 13 questions about issues such as reward, recognition, empowerment and wellbeing – and against every single one, the retail sector scored worse than the average of all others. In response to the most relevant question of all – “do you feel happy at work?” – just 58.2pc of retail workers said yes. That’s compared with an average of 64.7pc elsewhere and makes it the second worst sector result.”


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