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The Future of HR in the Retail Industry: Insights from an HR Veteran

By October 11, 2023May 1st, 2024No Comments

The Future of HR in the Retail Industry: Insights from an HR Veteran

Oct 04 ,2023

Discover how the retail industry’s HR landscape is evolving, with insights from an industry veteran. Learn about attracting talent, fostering employee engagement, and staying ahead with data analytics and automation.

Join Adrian Tan and our esteemed guest Ng Lip Gee, General Manager, Group Human Resources at Eu Yan Sang. We delve into the evolving landscape of HR in the retail industry. Learn about attracting talent, fostering employee engagement, and staying ahead with data analytics and automation.

The Future of HR in the Retail Industry: Insights from an HR Veteran

The retail industry is known for its distinct HR challenges, including long hours, standing for extended periods, and the need for excellent customer service skills. However, these challenges can be addressed by providing a supportive and caring work environment. Eu Yan Sang, a leading health and wellness company with a presence in multiple countries, has prioritised creating a positive employee experience.

According to our guest, HR plays a crucial role in retail, focusing on serving and caring for people. Contrary to common misconceptions, HR in retail is not just about administrative tasks but involves designing programs to support and develop employees. The retail industry requires specialised knowledge, especially in health and wellness, where product expertise is essential.

Talent Attraction in the Retail Industry

Attracting talent in the retail industry can be challenging, especially compared to office jobs. However, Eu Yan Sang has implemented several initiatives to make the company an attractive employer. They provide financial assistance to undergraduate students pursuing a double degree in biomedical science and Chinese medicine. Additionally, they offer scholarships to top students from NTU.

Eu Yan Sang also focuses on continuous employee training and education, ensuring they have the knowledge and skills to excel in their roles. They provide specialised product training for retail store employees and emphasise the importance of customer service. By investing in their employee’s growth and development, Eu Yan Sang creates a positive and engaging work environment.

Employee Engagement and Retention

Employee engagement and retention are crucial for the success of any organisation. Eu Yan Sang strongly emphasises caring for their employees and ensuring their well-being. They have implemented various programs to support the employee journey, from customised orientation programs to regular town hall meetings. They actively seek employee feedback through surveys and focus groups, demonstrating their commitment to continuous improvement.

By creating a culture of psychological safety, Eu Yan Sang encourages employees to share their ideas and suggestions for improvement. They value their employees’ input and take action based on their feedback. This approach has increased employee engagement and a stable workforce, even during challenging times like the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Importance of Treating Employees Well

Treating employees well is not only the right thing to do but also has a significant impact on a company’s success. Happy employees lead to satisfied customers, which ultimately drives business growth. Research has shown that companies with high employee satisfaction outperform the S&P 500 index.

However, some business owners and managers may not prioritise employee well-being for various reasons, including inherited management styles or a lack of awareness. It is essential to break the cycle of treating employees poorly and instead focus on creating a positive work environment. Organisations can foster a culture of care and support by educating managers and role-modelling the proper behaviour.

Keeping Up with HR Trends in Retail

HR professionals must stay updated on the latest trends and developments in the fast-paced and dynamic retail industry. Our guest stays informed through various channels, including subscribing to journals, attending conferences, and networking with peers. They also emphasise the importance of understanding retail trends to align HR strategies with the evolving needs of the industry.

Data analytics and system automation are emerging trends in HR and retail. Leveraging data can help HR professionals make informed decisions, such as predicting turnover and implementing intervention plans to retain employees. Automation can streamline administrative tasks, allowing HR teams to focus on more value-added work, such as employee engagement and development.

The Future of HR in Retail

Looking ahead, the future of HR in the retail industry is promising. Integrating data analytics and automation will continue to play a significant role in HR strategies. HR professionals must adapt to the changing retail landscape, including technological advancements and evolving consumer preferences.

The focus on employee well-being and engagement will remain crucial, as happy employees are likelier to deliver exceptional customer service and contribute to business success. HR professionals must continue finding innovative ways to attract, develop, and retain top talent in the competitive retail industry.


HR in the retail industry is a dynamic and challenging field that focuses on employee well-being, continuous learning, and adapting to industry trends. Eu Yan Sang’s approach to HR exemplifies the importance of caring for employees, providing growth opportunities, and fostering a positive work environment. By prioritising employee engagement and development, HR professionals can contribute to the success of their organisations in the ever-evolving retail industry.

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Rolling Arrays has been driving SAP SuccessFactors-led HR Transformation since 2009. The company specialises in SF consulting, implementation, and support and also builds applications to enhance the utility of the SuccessFactors platform. It is committed to designing systems that help its customers to attract, develop and retain talented individuals. In 2021, Rolling Arrays was recognized as one of the top 75 fastest-growing companies in Singapore by The Straits Times & Statista.

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