How is Peloton navigating the velodrome of uncertainty? Listen above or read an excerpt of the transcript beneath, which has been edited for clarity. We join the conversation as our hosts discuss the fitness titan’s new retention ideas…
Jon Kennard: I can’t believe that with a possible recession in the offing that quit levels are going to stay the same. But before we get to that we’ll talk about Peloton, another company that thrived during the pandemic for obvious reasons: people wanted to stay fit but weren’t allowed outside. Their stock boomed and then subsequently crashed. Now they’re switching up their retention strategies. Allie, tell us a bit about this story.
Allie Nawrat: Yeah, so I think it was back in February they laid off I think it’s 20% or 2,800 workers because of this drop in demand. And they also implemented a new CEO, to ‘change the business model’, I think is what they said. And now obviously, that’s rocked the boat a little bit and caused some issues. They’re now refocusing on retention, which is really good to see, again, in the Great Resignation.
It’s not just about hiring people who have quit, or hiring people to replace those that have quit, it’s also making sure you’re not losing people, and you’re actually doing things to make sure that they’re happy and productive while working for you. You don’t want to lose all that talent that you’ve invested all that money in, right? So they’re doing this retention, I think they’re going to change their stock compensation plans, and just generally thinking a little bit more broadly about it.
What I thought was also interesting, which is partly why I chose to talk about the story, is because they also looked at their pay parity and their pay equity and their pay gap, which is something that we’ve reported on a lot. If you remember on International Women’s Day, we looked at that little bot on Twitter that had all the companies being like ‘we’re really gender inclusive’…and then it turns out, they have like a 40% pay gap. So I think it’s really interesting. They’re looking at it, and they’re doing it with a company called Aon.
And we’re actually going to be talking to Aon and Peloton about, this pay gap decision. Why was this something they prioritize as part of their retention strategy. And it’s so important because inclusion, values purpose is really one of the driving forces of the Great Resignation.
People want to work for companies that share their values and share what’s important to them.
And for a lot of people that is diversity and inclusion, you want to work at a company that is reflective of society and has diversity of thought, and is just a nice place to work where everyone can be their true selves. And everyone’s doing the best that they can but not trying to pretend to be something that they’re not. So I think it’s really interesting.
I’m really looking forward to learning a bit more about that from Peloton, and it’s good to see a company that’s obviously had a bit of a rocky start to 2022. A lot of other companies are now having to do layoffs, [and] I think it’s really interesting that they’re ahead of the game. And I think there’s a lot that other companies can learn about the need for the return – despite some challenging times, you still need to focus on retention, you still need to invest money in it.
JK: Yeah, fair play to Peloton. I picked up that the new CEO is the old chief financial officer from Spotify. And he was very much like, ‘we’re not a family, we’re a team’. That struck me is interesting, I guess it’s against the grain of the way that CEOs often talk about their workforce and their company to make it sound very collegiate – not the teams can’t be collegiate – but I think he’s very keen on being competitive as a team and trying to win the Super Bowl, or however, you decide to put it.
But the way that they’re going about it seems really positive. And like you said, they’re ahead of the curve of what might come, which is good…
For the full conversation – listen above…