Among hourly workers at restaurants and retail stores, online job board Jobdiagnosis.com has identified a new trend beginning to take shape that makes customer support jobs more attractive and rewarding for employees. This trend is taking place in the form of addition of benefits such as tuition reimbursement for multiple levels of education, health insurance, retirement plans and paid time off. Here are some examples of major American companies taking initiative in this development:
- In June, Chipotle restaurants implemented an extension of benefits such as tuition reimbursement, sick pay and vacation pay to all of its employees, from cashiers to cooks to management positions. Formerly, these benefits were only offered to salaried employees in higher-level positions. The company’s tuition reimbursement initiative is particularly impressive, covering 90% of the costs for not only classes, but also books, supplies and other university fees as well.
- In April, Starbucks, which has been recognized for some time as an excellent place to work due to the excellent health care and retirement plans they offer to employees that work a minimum of 20 hours, announced they are now expanding their tuition reimbursement plan as well. In June 2014 they launched the “Starbucks College Achievement Plan” with Arizona State University’s online program, but according to FoxBusiness.com, at the time it only covered juniors and seniors looking to complete their education. Now, the program will cover all students.
- Also in April, McDonalds announced a new and improved benefits package for its employees, which includes pay increases, paid time off, free high school education and college tuition assistance. This was in response to the company’s declining sales, in hopes that offering these benefits will motivate their employees who in return will provide better customer service.
- In February, Walmart announced that it will be giving an hourly pay increase to more than 500,000 of its full-time and part-time workers, according to CNN Money. They also vowed to dedicate more time and resources to training so that their employees will have more opportunity for advancement.
“If this trend gains traction and spreads, it will have a positive influence not only on the hourly workers, but on the job market and economy in general,” says Michael Derikrava, President of Jobdiagnosis.com, an online job search engine that produces millions of job search results, and focuses heavily on customer service jobs. “People will gain skills that will enable them to move up to management positions, which will open up additional opportunities for more entry-level customer support jobs. This will also reduce employee turnover for the companies, because of the economic advantage these benefits will give their employees.”
The implementation of better employee pay and benefits is also likely to get attention of more qualified workers who otherwise wouldn’t consider taking the job. Increased competition in the labor market could be a result of a drop in unemployment. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the unemployment rate was at 5.1% as of August 2015, down from 7.1% as of August 2013. According to Nation’s Restaurant News, Chipotle promoted 10,000 employees last year from entry-level restaurant staff positions to management roles. One of the driving factors behind Chipotle’s tuition reimbursement plan was to attract more high school and college employees to these customer support jobs, who are likely to stick with the restaurant throughout their college careers, at the very least.
This trend will also benefit the customers, because a happier workforce delivers better customer service. In a Marketwatch press release, McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook stated, “We know that a motivated workforce leads to better customer service, so we believe this initial step not only benefits our employees, it will improve the McDonald’s restaurant experience. We will continue to evaluate opportunities that will make a difference for our people.”
Starbucks chief executive Howard Schultz is particularly passionate about the company’s education benefits because the cost of education today leaves many people with oppressive debt, or keeps them from pursuing a degree altogether. As a result, the company estimates spending at least $250 million on tuition reimbursement over a period of ten years, in hopes of enabling at least 25,000 of their employees to graduate by 2015.
About Jobdiagnosis: Jobdiagnosis.com is an online job search engine that produces millions of job search results. A large portion of employment opportunities hosted on the website are customer service jobs and food service jobs. The online job board also holds a wealth of information on job search topics such as interviewing, resume tips, and how to find the right job. Jobdiagnosis.com is an excellent resource for staying up to date with the latest job opportunities out there.
Below are some popular searches for customer service representative jobs:
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