Posts Tagged 'ZEST'

$2000 to quit your job?

As blogged on this space before, we’re totally focused on staff engagement and the ultimate customer experience here at Smartgroup. The two absolutely go hand in hand and it’s just as important to present a compelling value proposition to employees as it is to customers.

So in August 2012, we introduced ZEST, meaning Zeal, Engagement, Satisfaction and Trust. We want our employees to come to work every day with Zeal and Engagement, and leave work feeling a sense of Satisfaction with their work, and Trust in us.

At the three month mark, every new starter is offered the option to leave with a ‘thank you’ cash payment for giving it a go. If they don’t feel ZEST in their role, for whatever reason, it allows for a graceful departure and a greater sense of goodwill for everyone involved. To be clear, this program is not a replacement for a sound performance management process. It’s simply an option for those who aren’t feeling ZEST!

3-money-bags-with-dates

We initiated the program with a cash payment of $500, but got an uptake of only 2%.  So we raised the offer to $1000, and still could manage only a 2% uptake.  So now, we’ve decided to raise it to a $2000 cash payment, and will also be making the offer a 2nd time at the 6-month mark.

We hope the take-up rate will be slightly higher than 2%, so we know that it is having some effect, but hopefully it won’t be too much higher!  We will keep you posted!

Certainly, we are not the first to do this . . . Zappos, an innovative online US retailer launched such an offer at $100, and gradually increased it to $2000.  Today Amazon, which subsequently acquired Zappos, gives an exit bonus of up to $5000!  That does seem a bit high to us, but perhaps it shows that there is still an opportunity to further improve our culture and employee value proposition, such that $5000 doesn’t seem so high.

Of course, the more engaged our staff and the higher performing our culture, the better service you, our loyal customers, are sure to get.  We’ll keep striving to do whatever we can to ensure that we are as good to you, as you have been to us!

Have you got ZEST?

We’re totally focussed on staff engagement and the ultimate customer experience here at Smartgroup. We believe the two go hand in hand and it’s just as important to present a compelling value proposition to employees as it is to customers.

We put a lot of emphasis on making sure that our team is at the top of its game and part of that is ZEST, which we introduced about 18 months ago. ZEST means Zeal, Engagement, Satisfaction and Trust. We want our employees to come to work every day with Zeal and Engagement, and leave work feeling a sense of Satisfaction with their work, and Trust in us. At the three month mark every new starter is offered the option to leave with a ‘thank you’ of $500 for giving it a go. If they don’t feel ZEST in their role, for whatever reason, it allows for a graceful departure and a greater sense of goodwill for everyone involved.

zestSince the programme began in August 2012, we have issued a total of 123 new employees with ZEST offers. Only three people have taken up the offer and left the company. We’re delighted with the results – these figures translate to a 98% stick rate, which is testament in part to our recruitment and on-boarding, as well as our ongoing commitment to increasing staff engagement.

What initially seemed to be a very counter intuitive idea has given us great feedback on true levels of engagement and satisfaction. Given our low take up and desire to further improve our culture, we’ve decided to increase the tension and raise the offer from $500 to $1000. We’re interested to see if this will increase uptake and thus enable us to maintain only the most committed staff. We will keep you posted!

No ZEST for work?

Not totally engaged with your work? No worries. At Smartsalary we’ll pay you to leave voluntarily! Check out the memo we recently distributed to staff:

Does your job give you ZEST?

SmartGroup believes in inspiring ZEST in our staff. Think 4 simple words:

Zeal

Engagement

Satisfaction

Trust

But why is ZEST important? Isn’t in enough to come to work, do your job and go home?

Maybe.

But a happy workplace also equals productivity, motivation and innovation.

That’s why we want our employees to come to work every day with Zeal and Engagement, and leave work feeling a sense of Satisfaction with their work, and Trust in us.

So if you don’t think your job is giving you ZEST, we’re offering you $500 to leave – no questions asked.

This offer is available to anyone who has just completed three months with us. You’ll have a fortnight after the three month mark to decide whether we’re the right fit for you.

If we’re not – no hard feelings! Please enjoy $500 on us in return for giving it a fair go.

We got the idea from Zappos, an online retailer purchased a few years ago by Amazon for nearly $900m. They are an innovative company, well known for their exceptional service. In fact, we featured them on a previous blog post!

Yes, performance management is as important as ever but sometimes staff who are performing well simply aren’t engaged. And yes, we are still growing very fast – averaging well over 20% growth over the past several years. And we are actively recruiting – we currently have almost 20 job vacancies.

Nevertheless, we are absolutely passionate about engaging staff. The philosophy is that we can’t possibly service our customers as best possible unless we have staff who have ZEST for their work.

So what do you think? Good initiative? We’re curious to see whether staff take it up and how this impacts on our overall engagement levels.

Leave a comment here.


Deven Billimoria
Chief Executive Officer
Smartgroup

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