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Beyond Paychecks: How Retail Companies are Cultivating Thriving Workplaces

Lady cooking in the kitchen

The Indian retail industry is undergoing rapid change. According to the BCG-RAI 2024 report Post-COVID, Indian retail saw a strong recovery, set to reach $2Tn in the next decade. Consumer confidence is high, fueled by a growing middle class with a taste for premium goods. The future holds a tech revolution, with AI, computer vision, and 5G transforming how we shop.

However, when it comes to the workplace culture of the industry, the story is slightly different.  According to our recent research report on India’s Best Workplaces™ in Retail, there seems to be concerns about equity in the workplace, particularly for female employees. While 87% of employees believe their organization is a great place to work, there is a 4% drop in this perception among female employees.

The graph is showing the trend of Perception for Employer as a great workplace. In 2019 it was 85%. From 2020 to 2023 it was 88% and it dipped to 87% in 2024.

Even though female employees do not overtly perceive gender bias at their workplaces, their perception in key areas of Equity and Impartiality lags by almost 7% compared to their male colleagues.

The graph depicts Males having 82% Equity and Females with 75%. For Impartiality the same trend for Male with 78% and Female with 71%.

To address these issues, leaders must prioritize building gender equity. Achieving gender equity in the workplace is essential, and requires leaders to take concrete steps:

  • They must address the persistent pay gap between men and women.
  • Valuing potential over traditional qualifications can help identify talented individuals who may be overlooked. Creating a welcoming environment during onboarding sets a positive tone from the start.
  • Ensuring women have access to senior leadership increases their visibility and opportunities.
  • Empowering women to share their stories fosters a more inclusive and understanding work culture.

By actively addressing these challenges, the retail sector can cultivate a thriving workforce, ultimately contributing to its long-term success and sustainability. Let us have a closer look at a few of India’s Best Workplaces in Retail and their best practices. 

What India’s Best Workplaces are doing differently  

Flipkart’s Breaking Barriers, Building Futures

Flipkart is dedicated to empowering women through various tailored programs and interventions designed to support them at various stages, including those who have taken breaks from their careers.

Enhancing Representation

Flipkart prioritizes increasing the representation of women across business groups through initiatives such as:

  • Vidyarthini : A campus initiative to attract more women MBA students to India’s supply chain.
  • GirlsWannaCode (GWC): Empowering women in technology through specialized learning and skilling programs for women engineering students.
  • Neev: Internship and hiring programs targeting women-only colleges, particularly focusing on supply chain roles.
  • Flip Forward: Offering return ship opportunities for women on career breaks, providing a pathway for them to restart their careers.

Developing Women Leaders

To cultivate a pipeline of women leaders, Flipkart offers programs such as:

  • Catalyze: A comprehensive 6-month development journey utilizing the GROW model to support women in transitioning into leadership roles.
  • Prerna: A platform for senior women leaders to come together, share experiences, and learn from each other.
  • Ignite & Soar: A holistic diversity development program tailored for women in Tech, fostering strong leadership talent in junior and middle management positions.

Sustaining Support

Flipkart fosters an equitable work environment by leveraging Employee Resource Groups, including:

  • Mom on Board Employee Resource Group
  • Women in Tech Business Resource Group
  • Ekayam: A dedicated network of employees committed to driving Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives within the supply chain.
  • Flipkart Pride Collective

Through these initiatives, Flipkart endeavors to create a workplace culture that champions gender diversity, supports women’s career progression, and fosters an inclusive environment for all employees.

Flipkart’s Commitment to Safety, Equality, and Inclusivity 

Flipkart is dedicated to ensuring the safety and security of all employees, especially women in the supply chain. Their commitment to this cause is further strengthened by bold and audacious program that aims to address women’s attrition rates in the workforce.

Image showing Retention Efforts Especially for Women and Ensuring Safety of Women.

Shopper’s Stop Motivating for Innovation

While constantly evolving, Shoppers Stop focuses on building trust among employees by providing a safe and secure environment where employees can grow, innovate and are recognized for their efforts.

Building Trust through Reward - Happiness Cheque Book, Innovate - ReSSet Program and Grow - L.E.A.P & L.E.A.D Programs.

Lifestyle’s Landmark Happiness Movement 2.0

With the primary goal of enhancing the overall well-being and engagement of employees, Lifestyle International structures its initiatives around four pillars, Care, Connect, Inspire, and Innovate, each representing a key aspect of the organization’s approach to creating a positive and thriving workplace.

These case studies underscore the importance of proactive measures in addressing workplace challenges and cultivating environments where all employees can thrive. By prioritizing inclusivity, equity, and innovation, these organizations not only set benchmarks for excellence but also contribute to the long-term success and sustainability of the retail industry.

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