Understanding employee needs and motivations for Pret
Pret A Manger knows that its employees are central to providing the unique customer service the organisation is celebrated for. But Pret face a similar challenge to many Quick Service Restaurant chains; staff recruitment and retention.
Whilst Pret recognises it will always have a relatively transient workforce, it wants to make sure it continues to attract and retain the highest calibre of employees – those who will thrive in its fast-paced environment and grow with the organisation.
So, Pret wanted to understand both how to attract the best employees and to evolve their employee experience and culture to retain them.
We undertook extensive research with previous applicants and current and ex-employees to really get a broad and deep understanding of employee motivations – what attracts them to this type of role and sector, how, what and where they find the information they need, what they like and dislike about the role and what motivates them to stay or move elsewhere.
Answers ranged from practical needs such as location and flexibility of hours to more emotive factors, like the organisation’s values, or an undefinable ‘feeling’ the brand gave them.
We also ran focus group sessions with current and former employees to help us get a real understanding of day-to-day working life at Pret – both good and bad. We wanted to learn what caused valued employees to leave as well as stay.
Finally, we benchmarked Pret’s recruitment collateral, including its website, against competitors to see how we could differentiate our communications and drive more applications.
Working at Pret can be hard work, so this needed to be communicated to prospective employees to increase the quality of applications and better retain new starters.
We helped Pret create a website that painted an accurate picture of the realities of a role in a Pret store, but also presented the fantastic benefits a career at Pret offered, from fast career progression to a competitive bonus structure. We also showcased ‘softer’ benefits that also defined the company’s culture, like regular social events and opportunities to contribute to the local community.
We tailored messaging to employee demographics Pret wanted to attract and applied the company’s benefits to their needs. For example, focusing on the student who needed to work flexible hours between study and the Mum who wanted to return to part-time work.
Our insights from existing employees resulted in a number of new employee communication and retention initiatives across the business, from optimising the onboarding process to reduce churn amongst new employees to more transparent recognition programmes.
In Month 1 after the launch of our newly created ‘Pret jobs’ website application rates increased by 45% versus the previous year.
Pret has also seen employee satisfaction and retention rates steadily improve as a result of new initiatives.
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