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Omni-connected retail workforces—a new dynamic


Are retail employees getting what they want and need?

The pandemic and its aftermath changed everything for the retail workforce. With more than two years of worries about their health and job security, employees reflected on what was most important to them, both professionally and personally. 

The dynamic between retail employees and employers shifted. They have a different relationship based on a new employee mindset focused on purpose, personal fulfillment, choice and trust. Whether they work in the head office, distribution center or store, retail employees have a newfound understanding of what matters beyond a benefits package. 

There is no “unknowing” what retail employees discovered during the pandemic. They found out just how supportive working environments can be. They experienced flexibility in where and how work gets done. And many came to know how it feels when employer and personal values align.

With record-high talent shortages, and a focus on attracting, retaining and nurturing employees, it’s time for retailers to understand not just how their employees work, but how they feel about it.

Just like most retailers focus on curating the best customer experience, they should also focus on creating the best employee experience that supports the workforce’s desire to:

  1. Be seen: Empowered to bring their whole selves to work in an environment that cultivates equality.
  2. Be heard: Asked about their views and assured that there is room for their contributions and ideas.
  3. Learn: Encouraged to build skills to remain employable in the future in roles that are satisfying.
  4. Feel safe: Strengthened by a culture that values wellness and trust as non-negotiables.
  5. Advance: Offered predictable career paths and skills to continually take on new challenges.

This comes down to fostering employee experiences in which employees feel highly connected to each other, their leaders and their work. We call these omni-connected experiences.

1 out of 8

Only one in eight retail employees feels omni-connected at work.

Omni-connected experiences make employees feel highly connected to each other, their leaders and their work—and support their desire to be seen, heard, learn, feel safe and advance.

Create retail employee value with omni-connected experiences

Based on our latest research, we’ve identified four key actions retailers can take to create value for people and business through omni-connected employee experiences.


Instill modern leadership: Lead with empathy, transparency and trustworthiness.


Grow a thriving culture: Nurture cultural norms that prioritize purpose, authenticity and psychological safety.


Enable the agile and resilient organization: Take flexibility further and scale new ways of working.


Empower people through technology: Give people power over technology, not the other way around.

Read more about the Retail workforce for Store of Tomorrow.

Now is the time for retailers to make the omni-connection

Omni-connected experiences can meet retail leaders’ goals for growth, speed and sustainability—and employees’ needs for flexibility, equity and meaning. However, they must be envisioned and executed with trust at heart and value at the core. Retailers that embrace this opportunity can strengthen culture strategically, unlock employees’ potential and move their organizations forward, by design.

Most retail CEOs would agree that the past few years can be defined as an equal mix of unpredictability and tough decisions. Working toward omni-connected experiences is the opposite. It can result in lasting, positive outcomes for consumers and the business alike. That, of course, makes it one of the best investments a retail leader can make.


Paige Prepula

Managing Director – Retail

Dr. Peter Rinnebach

Managing Director – Accenture Strategy, Retail

Rob Bate

Managing Director – Workforce Transformation