Retail Workers Struggling With Wellbeing

New research from WorkScore shows that retail workers have the lowest wellbeing scores across 3 keys areas: mindset, work and fuel and they are the unhappiest employees at work. Close to 50% of retail workers feel regularly anxious, 60% experience stress most days at work and nearly 45% rate they receive little recognition at work. Not only do they rate their wellbeing as the lowest but they strongly feel that work is to blame, with close to 25% stating work has a significantly negative impact on their wellbeing!

  Retail workers have the lowest wellbeing scores and work is to blame We recently reviewed the scores from over 1,000 employees across six key industries: retail, education, government, health care, engineering and financial services to better understand the wellbeing needs of Australian workers. Our survey results reveal that retail employees have the lowest wellbeing scores.

WorkScore measures employee wellbeing across 5 key elements: Work | Body | Fuel | Fitness | Mindset. Based on WorkScore’s rolling survey results we discovered key differences in employee wellbeing needs across the 6 industries. In this article we highlight the unique wellbeing needs of retail workers and demonstrate the importance of supporting retail employees and investing in their workplace wellbeing.

Our results identified 10 key areas that are impacting their physical and mental health, and happiness at work:

Recognition at work | Stress at work Happiness at work | Feeling depressed Feeling anxious | Poor wellbeing Feeling negative | Unhealthy diet Work negatively impacting wellbeing Work impacting ability to eat healthy

Poor Mindset & low wellbeing:

Retail employees are 10% more anxious and depressed than the average across all industries with 48% rating that they have felt anxious in the last week. Shockingly almost 40% rated as feeling depressed most of the time. They are the least positive of all the industries scoring 10% below the average. They also rate their wellbeing the lowest out of all the industries and prioritise their wellbeing the least.

Stressed and unhappy at work:

Retail workers rated as the unhappiest at work, with one quarter of employees feeling very unhappy whilst at work. They are also 10% more stressed than the average and a staggering 59% of retail workers rated that they experience stress at work most days. They also report a lack of recognition at work; 42% of retail employees rated that they do not receive recognition at work leaving them way below (15%) the average score in this area.

Fuelled by sugar:

Retail workers have the unhealthiest diets and feel work is to blame. They consume the most sugary drinks and sugary foods each day and the least serves of vegetables giving them the lowest fuel score. Disturbingly, one third of retail workers rated that they feel work prevents them from eating healthier and they also feel more strongly than other industries that work is having a negative impact on wellbeing! In fact 22% rated that work has a significantly negative impact on their wellbeing.

The results are crystal clear: it’s time to invest in retail employees’ workplace wellbeing. Here are three ways you can promote the wellbeing of your retail employees:

Improve mental health:

The retail industry needs to build a supportive culture and encourage all employees to look out for each other and speak openly about mental health conditions. Digital mental health programs such as MindHub can open up conversations and guide young adults on getting the right support.

Implement healthier diet options:

The connection between a healthy diet and improved mental health is well reported and employers should support this in the work environment. Encourage your employees to bring healthy snacks or provide fruit for everyone to share and replace sugary drinks and foods in vending machines with healthier alternatives. Encourage staff to move during their breaks as a balanced diet and regular exercise can help reduce stress and improve concentration.


Improve workplace culture:

It’s important to give regular positive reinforcement for a job well done. Ensure leaders give genuine commendation, rewards, bonuses or certificates of achievement. Employees thrive on acknowledgement and appreciation.

Invest in workplace wellbeing:

Of course, there are several factors that can influence an employee’s mental health and wellbeing and understanding the unique needs in your business is the best place to start.

WorkScore’s wellbeing experts measure and improve employee wellbeing by teaching employees how to make healthy habits the norm. If you’d like to boost business performance by improving employee wellbeing, contact us on 1300 972 673 or email [email protected]

There has been enough damage to retail employees’ health and wellbeing. It’s time to spark positive change in the retail industry.

Retail employees have the unhealthiest diets compared to the other industries and feel work prevents them from eating healthy.