Amid the increase in awareness on the issues of diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) during the past year, a new Korn Ferry survey finds a small number of retailers are beginning to include DE&I incentive metrics in their compensation plans.

Of the more than 50 major U.S. retailers surveyed, only 9 percent say DE&I metrics are included as part of their compensation packages, and a mere 3 percent say they include environmental, social and governance (ESG) metrics that are not focused on DE&I. However, almost no retailers used these metrics just two years ago.

“Retail consumers are incredibly diverse, with buying power that equates to trillions of dollars. It is critical that companies recognize this and consider linking executive compensation to performance metrics that go beyond traditional measures of profit and shareholder value,” said Korn Ferry Senior Client Partner and retail expert Craig Rowley. “New metrics tied to diversity and inclusion and related ESG priorities better reflect emerging priorities for their customers and the world around them.”

Hiring in general continues to be a pain point for retailers. Nearly all (94 percent) say they are having difficulty filling vacant roles, with 32 percent saying they are facing significant challenges. Nearly a third (32 percent) say they have implemented a referral program to help in hiring, and 29 percent say they are offering sign-on bonuses.

“Retail hiring is intensely competitive today, and to win the war for talent, companies must create a positive employer brand that is genuine and consistent for all employees,” said Rowley. “Right now in the U.S. there are an inordinate amount of job openings overall, so retailers have to be creative in how they attract and retain talent.”

Despite the issues facing the retail industry, there is bright news. Eighty percent of respondents say they expect a rise in sales in 2021 and nearly two-thirds (62 percent) believe fall sales will be higher than spring sales. 

“We’re turning the corner and retailers are no doubt very anxious to put this difficult period behind them,” said Rowley.

Survey Results :

Does your company have ESG metrics in its incentive plan?

Yes 9%

No but considering for future 38%

No 53%

Does your company have ESG (excluding DE&I metrics) in its incentive plan?

Yes 3%

No but considering for the future 28%

No 69%

Press release by Korn Ferry

Publié le 28 mai 2021