Learning from Juno

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Learning from Juno

While the popular dramedy about teenage pregnancy may contain a lot of life lessons, that Juno isn’t the focus of this post. Juno is an upcoming ride-hailing company similar to Uber and Lyft in many aspects but one-- how it treats its employees. Their business model of putting drivers first comes with many perks and benefits not available to your typical driver: higher commission, 24/7 phone support, tips, the ability to block customers, and best of all, shares of stock for drivers working full-time.

Their strategy is an interesting one-- by investing so much in drivers, they’re trusting their app to beat out Uber and Lyft on customer service-- it’s only natural that the best driving service to work for would have the best drivers. They’re fighting against name recognition and potential pricing issues, as Juno may not be able to initially offer the same low fares as its competitors. I believe they will succeed because they’re focusing on the variable that’s hardest to control, but most important: people.

The idea isn’t new. It’s common sense that a credit union could have the cleanest website, fastest mobile app, and best rates, only to have their image ruined by a teller with a bad attitude. Every messaging variable must be controlled, a nearly impossible feat in a world filled with differing perceptions. Thus, companies must take the Juno approach: if employees love their company, they’ll do their best to ensure its success. This attitude requires more than simple perks-- every company has its issues, and the lowest level employees often have the best insight on how to solve them-- listening is key. Consider Juno’s approach:

Higher Commission: This isn’t just about more money-- it’s about fairness. All employees want to be treated fairly. Technically, Juno doesn’t always guarantee higher commission-- they take 10% off every fair, whereas Uber takes 5%-25%. Juno’s flat-rate will never surprise its employees, and consistency is key to creating dedicated employees, rather than folks that drop in and out for cash.

24/7 Phone Support: As a consumer, I know how frustrating it is to need support and have to wade through automated-service assistants, only to be put on hold for another hour before I can speak to a “representative,” usually from a foreign country. As an employee, it goes beyond frustrating to downright offensive. With this, Juno is saying “we have your back.” It builds employer-employee trust, another element that goes far in creating happy, dedicated employees.

Tips: Uber’s platform doesn’t allow for tipping, which makes it really easy for the customers, but not so great for the drivers. I’ll admit, after having a great driver, it does feel weird to not tip. Obviously credit unions aren’t going to install tip jars, but the philosophy is the same: great service should always be rewarded, in some way or another.

Blocking Customers: You already know the mantra: “the customer is always right.” Thing is, this attitude doesn’t make any sense. The employee almost always knows more about a relative issue at hand than the customer, and is forced to apologize for company policy they didn’t create. By putting faith in its drivers to determine right from wrong, Juno is once more saying “we’ve got you covered.” Applying this strategy at a credit union may not win the hearts of members, but it will create confident employees, ready to undergo challenges with the support of their employer.

Stock: Nicky Stanard, the training and culture coordinator at Juno, has a great quote about Juno’s decision to include stock options for its drivers:

“The driverless car is a real thing," Stanard says. "The difference between us and other companies is that when the driverless car comes, what do you think will happen to you? We want you to continue to benefit from your labor."

Juno isn’t just looking to the future; they’re looking to the future to protect their employees and ensure their financial well-being. A credit union with an array of financial advisory services would do well to follow in their stead.

Most businesses, especially non-profits like credit unions, try to do their right by their employees. The best of the best take it to the next step by listening to employee grievances and instituting solutions. Happy employees create an atmosphere of positivity and energy that can’t be matched-- the best ROI you could ask for.

If you’re looking for branded training or employee rewards programs, contact The Pod Advertising. Let’s Bloom Creative together!