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How to Achieve 90% Staff Retention Like Apple

Matthew Brew
Matthew Brew

As we’ve written about extensively under the Workforce Success umbrella, managing mass communication and imparting knowledge to thousands of employees, especially if those people are dispersed, is one of the headaches of the modern company.

Apple has 70,000 employees in 506 stores internationally. They all start their day watching a short video message where they are briefed on the most important “need to knows” of the day. This was revealed by Angela Ahrendts, former CEO of fashion house Burberry and until April 2019, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Retail. The reason for doing this is so that people can be “aligned” to Apple’s vision.

According to Ahrendts, this initiative of communicating extensively with their staff is a continuation of founder Steve Jobs’s original vision. “Steve told the teams when he opened retail 18 years ago, ‘Your job is not to sell, your job is to enrich their lives and always through the lens of education.”

“Many retailers have become so big they’re removed from their own employees. They are lucky if they keep more than 20 per cent every year. We keep nearly 90 per cent of our full-time employees.”

“Big companies have created a “tragedy in retail” by becoming remote from their customers and staff. — Angela Ahrendts, Apple Senior Vice President of Retail

Future-proofing your company

We find that this isn’t an occurrence in retail only. It’s all too common to look at the expenditure of building knowledge in a team as a cost, rather than as an investment in the people that represent your company.

This sentiment is echoed by Ahrendts: “It’s about cost-cutting the way to prosperity instead of investing in your people, and in that environment, big isn’t always good.”

What happens if you have employees that are unengaged with your company, your products? They are lacking in job enthusiasm and not offering their best for your customers.

Put simply – if you are not doing your best for them, they are not doing their best for you.

The majority of the global working population is deskless and 75% of the workforce is made up of millennials. This generation values learning and development very highly - in fact, it’s one of their top priorities when choosing where to work and whether to stay!

Whilst this is happening, there’s an ever increasing need to up-skill and re-skill people to stay competitive and to ensure that company objectives are met.

In a nutshell, your workforce expects that their 9-5 should look more like their 5-9 (i.e. leisure time) when it comes to seamless, effortless experience, largely enabled by technology.

There’s a barrage of information. Plus, there’s a need to surface the most important and relevant information from the noise. Plus, this information has to be accessible at the point of need and serve short attention spans-through short-form content-in an engaging way that fits with the way we work and consume information.

Introducing Video Messages

At eduMe, we’ve just made it possible for anyone to emulate what Apple is doing for their worldwide staff. As part of our Workforce Success proposition we have just released a new feature called Video Messages. It allows a company to send focused, segmented and scheduled video messages to their staff, wherever they are in the world. It’s easy to follow up with short learning nuggets on the back of video messages when that feels like the right thing to do. For example if a new product has just been launched and staff need to be trained on its features or if there’s a new campaign launched.

If you want to create alignment and engagement among your distributed workforce, using video messages is a great way to go and you’ll be able to replicate what one of the world’s most successful companies is doing!

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About eduMe

eduMe is a Workforce Success platform used by modern companies across 6 continents to train, engage and communicate with their workforce. By having effective learning and relevant information in the palm of their hands, the workforce at companies like Uber, Airbnb, Vodafone and Deloitte are empowered to perform at their best.

eduMe is a hyper-growth company based in London, UK.