From The Co-Founders


Tips, Tactics & Strategic Insights and Commentary
from The ROI Co-Founders, Pat Johnson and Dick Outcalt
Outcalt & Johnson: Retail Strategists LLC; Retail Turnaround Experts

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Having Trouble Attracting Employees?

Artful Idea for Retention Bonus

When asked "How many people work for you these days?", one owner we know responded, "Oh, about half of them."

Hopefully you don't share that same lament.

But, most retailers know all too well the challenges and high costs of competing for talented employees.

And, keeping staff – versus dealing with constant turnover – is even more important. Especially to your bottom line. 

So we were intrigued by this report in CNN Travel*:
  • Germany's Ruby Hotels, which has 16 properties across Europe, is offering new recruits up to €500 ($511) to get a new tattoo, piercing or haircut once they reach six months of employment.
  • And little over a month since the scheme started in June, applications to work with the brand have already gone up by 25% -- despite it being the summer holiday period in Europe. 

Uta Scheurer, Ruby's vice-president of human resources, explained that "the campaign is partly an attention grab. But, more crucially, it's to attract the kind of staff they want at their hotels. 'Team players who value character, soul, and individuality. We love people with personality and that's what we want to communicate.'"

Scheurer added, "By the way, everyone wants tattoos [not piercings or hairdos]. That shows we hit a nerve with our approach."

And for today's employees, offering a choice, rather than a single specific bonus, matters as well.  

There are signs everywhere of the changes in employee expectations: a clear career path; on-going training; very flexible hours; predictable schedules; frequent feedback; relaxed dress code; fun associates; bringing their dog to work. 

Retailing IS a mirror of society, and requires constant experimentation and adjustments. 

*"This hotel brand will pay for its staff's tattoos." Julia Buckley, CNN Travel, August 5, 2022.

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