May 02, 2018

Is your workforce re-subscribing? The new model for employee retention

Chances are that if you think highly of your people, another company will as well. So, start thinking about your relationship with employees as a subscription, and create experiences through which employees choose to actively re-subscribe to your company. Here are four tips to entice them.

Leah Mendelsohn

Leah leads the strategic positioning and messaging for the Dayforce Talent suite. She is passionate about bringing the best technology to the world of work, and brings a unique perspective to help reimagine the future of work and technology.

How do many people listen to music today? Spotify. How do they watch movies? Netflix.

The way we use and purchase software is changing. Historically, we purchased software, paid for it all upfront and kept that same software for years until it broke. These days, most of our software operates in the cloud, and is on a subscription model. Consumers pay for a service each month and have the power to change their service if their needs are not being met.

This creates a lot of power for the consumer and an interesting challenge for the provider on how to retain their customers. Providers need to continuously deliver value to their customers, like great customer service, new features and loyalty perks, or those customers are going to leave for a competitor who can.

The software world has shifted to a subscription model, but the employment world has not. It’s time that it does. Employers should start thinking about their relationship with employees as a subscription, and start treating employees like they would customers. As an employer, how are you continuously delivering value for your people?

Unemployment is at an all-time low at 4.1% in the U.S. It’s a tough job market – not for job seekers, but for employers looking to fill open positions. With a finite number of skilled people in the workforce, recruiters are being proactive and reaching out to top talent – top talent that just might be currently employed at your company.

Chances are that if you think highly of your people, another company will as well. And recruiters from these companies will be actively reaching out to your people. You cannot stop them from trying, but what you can do is create environments, relationships and opportunities for your people to which they choose to actively re-subscribe.

How do you entice your employees to re-subscribe? Here are four tips for a successful long-term subscription.

Understand what your “customers” want

It’s important to understand the needs of your customers, and in this case your customers are your employees. Managers should be able to clearly articulate what each of their team members’ personal career objectives are.

Building a plan to help your people achieve their career goals starts with understanding their needs. With the hustle of day-to-day work and deadlines, it can be challenging to take a step back and chat with employees about their careers, but it’s important to make time for this. Try setting up a weekly one-on-one with each of your team members to discuss topics outside their daily work and build a plan together.  

Give options to change or upgrade services

Customers these days don’t stay with companies forever, and neither do employees. To entice customers to stay, companies often offer different or customized packages to better meet their needs. Think faster internet, more T.V. channels, extra data, etc. You should be doing the same for your people.

As we discussed above, this starts with understanding the needs of your people and building a plan to help them get there. For example, employees want opportunities for advancement. This does not always require a promotion – it could be a lateral move to another team or department.

Build your teams from within through internal hiring, and retain your people by giving them different opportunities to grow and develop within your own organization.

Offer perks for your loyal customers

Who doesn’t love a perk for being a loyal customer? Exclusive offers, special discounts and early access are always appreciated. It’s time to start thinking about employees as loyal customers. Loyalty perks can be as simple as recognizing an employee’s anniversary start date and thanking them for their continued commitment.

Also consider implementing perks for milestones, like providing a few extra vacation days at the three-year mark. “Perks” don’t need to be just tied to loyalty. Recognition and rewards are key to making employees feel valued and appreciated. A quick email to someone’s manager after they do a great job can go a long way. 

Related: Three tips for effective employee recognition

Know your competition and stay ahead

To win in the marketplace, you need to beat the competition by convincing prospects that your company and services are the best fit for their needs. To do this, you need to deeply understand them. Organizations both large and small have teams dedicated to this, collecting competitive intel to understand what competitors are offering, so your business can effectively position and differentiate itself.

Likewise, you should be gathering competitive intel on companies that would be competing for your talent. Employees are checking sites like Glassdoor and PayScale for reviews and salary estimates, and you should be, too. Your organization needs to stay current on what the market is offering not just in terms of salary, but benefits, vacation time, work flexibility, etc.

To retain your people, you need to regularly revisit your full compensation strategy and make sure you are offering a competitive package.

Related: The new compensation strategy: Be more creative

Related: Evolving your talent management strategy? Here are five trends to think about

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