Flexibility might be the key to building loyalty in retail work for new talent

February 16, 2020
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Laponi (formerly known as Merito) supports retail players on a daily basis in their desire to better enhance their main asset in the face of competition: people.

One year after the launch of its employee-sharing platform dedicated to this sector of activity, the start-up wanted to tackle a major problem for its customers: absenteeism and turnover rates among their youngest employees.

On the strength of the analysis of statistical data from its platform, but also the rich feedback from its customers, Laponi delivers below some answers. But the question is, does choice of flexibility create the solution to attract and keep the millennials?

Turnover and absenteeism among young employees: Crucial problems for managers

We regularly organize discussion times with our customers. This allows us to better “feel” the market and to be always up to date with their questions, their problems, which they can freely discuss on this occasion. It is clear that currently, the main concern of store managers lies in the high turnover and absenteeism rate among the younger generations ... One of our customers, a major player in mass distribution, told us that more 50% of the young people under thirty he recruits leave the structure even before the end of the first year! A turnover rate which drops to 30% on average among older employees.

Marion Oliveira, CEO and Co-founder of Laponi

In the retail sector, the absenteeism rate for those under 30 is between 15 and 20%. However, according to an Ayden study carried out in 2018, each year, absenteeism costs European retailers €16.3 million in turnover - in particular due to too long wait times in stores.

In mass retail, the main staffing needs of a store are in two time ranges: in the morning, from 6:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. for shelving and at the end of the day, from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. for cash desk management - constraining hours, difficult, and both low-paying jobs, which unfortunately do not meet the expectations of newcomers to the job market any longer.

Millennials are looking for more flexibility in their working hours, when previous generations more easily accepted these constrained hours. Our internal statistics prove it: by giving employees the freedom to choose when they want to work more, independently, they find interest in their work and are more diligent. They are more respectful of their commitments because they have chosen them. Winning the youth bet will therefore necessarily require a change in mentalities and operating methods!

Marion Oliveira, CEO and Co-founder of Laponi

How to reconcile the expectations of store managers and those of employees: The challenge of Laponi

The Laponi platform provides store managers with a solution to the problems of understaffing that they regularly face, in particular due to absenteeism. If previously they were forced to urgently use temp agency services, now these professionals have, via Laponi, an internal flexibility tool, allowing them not only to solve their specific problems, but with staff who are motivated and above all already trained. By thus making use of their internal pool, there's a significant saving on interim budget of the order of 40% on average.

Laponi also allows these managers to experience more calmly the restructuring of their personnel costs: they thus have a new adjustment variable by calling on on-demand employees when they need reinforcement. This gives them the opportunity to work more effectively with shorter teams if necessary.

Laponi gives us the opportunity to call on our trained employees to compensate for absenteeism. This allows us to gain customer satisfaction and productivity, while offering a modern solution for our employees who can earn more when they decide.

Frank Chastanet, France Sales Manager at Bio c 'Bon

Betting on flexibility thus allows retail players not only to no longer lose part of their turnover due to absenteeism, but also to retain their employees as well, as they are happy to have more autonomy in the management of their working time.

And using the platform is not without interest on the employee side either:

Employees on fixed-term or part-time permanent contracts need more flexibility and freedom in their employment, this has been observed for several years. Only based on the principle of volunteering, our solution allows employees who want to work more to do so easily, by applying for a complementary mission. They are thus more in control of their working time, and also have the opportunity to discover other working environments, by working in other stores of their group.

Marion Oliveira

February 16, 2020

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