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fresho online ordering staff turnover

The problem of staff turnover

In the wholesale food industry, keeping employees motivated is especially challenging due to its fast paced environment and unsociable hours. Unengaged employees cause high turnover rates, which leads to wholesale food suppliers struggling to retain staff. 

Employees are the wheels that keep a business turning and without staff retention, the fresh produce industry is taking an avoidable financial blow. If you are a food wholesaler this piece will unpack the food industry’s continual struggle with staff turnover, analyse why it occurs and offer potential solutions.

Why is staff retention at an all time high?

Labour shortages

Labour shortages occur when insufficient qualified candidates are available to fill job vacancies. 

On a global scale, employment conditions are alarming, and labour shortages are widespread. A recent report by Korn Ferry found that by 2030 more than 85 million jobs could go unfilled because there aren’t enough skilled people to take them. 

This makes the issue of staff turnover more important than ever and understanding how this could impact your business is valuable insight into growth. 

The Office for National Statistics has published a report revealing the extent of the crisis in the food service industry.

'Over half of businesses with 10 or more employees reported experiencing worker shortage.'

Breaking down the  industry segments, we can understand the weight of these issues.

What is the impact of this?

Staff retention is not an unfamiliar challenge with food wholesalers.  Yet, global staff shortages are now making matters worse.

As staff leave, hiring effective replacements becomes an almost impossible task. Wholesale business owners have to make quick hiring decisions.  

As a result, an increasing number of temporary staff may be less invested in the success of the business and employees lack the necessary training and skills to be productive. 

Already on the back foot, staff are more likely to distance themselves from their work and wholesale business owners fall into the vicious cycle of increasing their staff retention rate. 

Costs, costs, costs...

The impact of this is two-fold:

  1. Time wasted on hiring and training.
  2. Rising costs.

Hiring is an expensive and time-consuming process. Without the resources to effectively train new starters, business costs will surge. Further to this, with an absence of labour, operations are already suffering and the outcome of this combination can be damaging. It’s an endless loop and the only way out is by addressing its core; staff retention. 

McKinsey reports the number 1 way to improve staff retention is:

‘enhance the employee experience.'

How can food wholesalers improve the employee experience?

By making employees feel that their work is purposeful and meaningful. One easy way to do this is to automate tasks employees might consider mundane. In the food industry, this could be finding a solution to order entry – a tedious process.  Another example could be to streamline the invoicing process- a monotonous task that could be improved.

Changing the employee experience in these areas provides more opportunities to scale a business. Motivating employees to be part of this growth can reduce staff turnover.

A solution in software

Fresho’s cloud-based software can automate these processes. Reducing time spent in these areas, employees have more opportunities to complete meaningful tasks. 

Businesses embracing technology can also be reassuring to employees. It demonstrates that they are able to modernise and adapt to changing demands. 

Read Fresho’s supplier guide to find out the 5 biggest challenges in food wholesale and how software can help. 

Finding solutions to these problems can not only improve efficiency but also create a working environment where employees can thrive.

Changing the employee experience in these areas provides more opportunities to scale a business. Motivating employees to be part of this growth can reduce staff turnover.

What employees can do: How will this improve employee satisfaction:
Increase efficiency
Increase employee engagement
Reduce boring/mundane tasks
Maintain employee interest in their work
Implement technological change
Reassure employees they are with a company able to modernise with the industry
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Evie Jones
Evie Jones
Being a member of the UK's launch team, Evie has developed strong relationships with UK suppliers and an understanding of all things wholesale. She has kicked off new sustainable partnerships and loves to involve Fresho's technology to improve the food and hospitality industry. On the weekends, her love of the sea can often see her escaping London life for some quality water time in Devon.
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