Retail Leaders Explore Workforce Challenges, Opportunities

Recap: 2022 21st Century Retail Workforce Summit

RILA recently hosted our virtual 21st Century Retail Workforce Summit. The Summit is an excellent opportunity for retail executives to exchange knowledge, resources, strategies, solutions, and more. Over two afternoons, we hosted a variety of speakers presenting on issues around AI, automation, alternative workforce models, upskilling front line associates, human capital management, as well as major public policy issues that impact retail. To view all of the recorded sessions, please click here.

Explore highlights from this year’s summit below.

Day 1

J.D. Dillon (Axonify) and Matt Metzger (Dollar General) discussed how retailers should think about employee training and development. Specifically, whether retailers are telling the story to engage their employees in the way they want to be engaged and whether the processes and systems are in place to train workers for various tasks as well as how to spot potential managers.

Melissa Hassett (ManpowerGroup Talent Solutions) unveiled a new report entitled “Attract and Hire People for Who They Are: A Persona Driven Approach to Retail Hiring.” Melissa spoke to creative strategies that can be applied to various types of retail job candidates ranging from veterans/military to retirees to brand loyalists and champions.

Kelly Caruso (Shipt) and Denise Kulikowski (Party City) dove into several fascinating topics like each company’s empathetic and transparent approach culture as well as their learnings about retail transformation throughout the pandemic. They both provided the audience with amazing levels of insights in the current and future trends we will see with both employees and consumers.

And finally, we were treated to EEOC Commissioner Keith Sonderling and Camille Olson (Seyfarth) to explore the opportunities and risks associated with utilizing A.I. in the employment context. Specifically, they each provided great recommendations as to how retailers should vet and implement new technologies to ensure legal and regulatory compliance.

Day 2

Autozone and First Horizon Bank spoke about the new Corporate Equity Center at the National Civil Rights Museum. They discussed how immersion and education about our history can improve of present and future.
Ben Gitis from the Bipartisan Policy Center spoke about the likely long-term tension between workforce policies and labor participation rate. And how the debate in Congress is evolving to blur the lines between Republicans and Democrats which may result in compromise on rethinking the safety net that supports workers.

Nicholas Whittall and Stephen Wroblewski (Accenture) provided expert observations about the changing nature of retail and the workforce. They gave insights and recommendations on how leading retailers should think about the big changes that are happening and how they effectively evolve.

Congressman Bryan Steil gave us a look into Congress and how policymakers on both sides of the aisle are tackling the future of work, the changing economy, and how policies should support Americans and encourage work.

Thank you to all the retail participants and speakers but most especially our strategic partners Seyfarth Shaw, IRI Consultants, Axonify, ManpowerGroup Talent Solution & Accenture who provided amazing expertise and analysis.
We’ll be diving into more workforce-related topics at our upcoming LINK2022: The Retail Supply Chain Conference in Dallas. Learn more and join us here.

  • Workforce
  • Diversity
  • Public Policy

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