How Top Organizations Prevent Employee Turnover

3 min read
Jul 11, 2022 9:27:00 AM

The best way for an organization to grow is to retain key staff. Maintaining these important players allows you to retain historical knowledge, maintain culture and values seamlessly, and better the customer experience.

Turnover, to some degree, is inevitable. People relocate. Major life events happen. But if your culture encourages growth and gives your team members a voice, why would your staff choose to leave? 

Let’s take a look at how some of the leading organizations of our time encourage employee retention through engagement.

Seek Feedback

The best way to assess the health of your organization is simply to ask your team members. Getting feedback from your team on their day-to-day satisfaction is the only way to truly understand if your culture is thriving or dying.

One company that understands the importance of feedback is Arby’s. In 2011, Arby’s was struggling. The company was experiencing millions of dollars in losses and hundreds of stores were closing. In 2013, Paul Brown was brought in as the new CEO. He had very little experience in the restaurant industry, so he turned to the people with the most experience: his employees. He asked them one simple question to help turn the trajectory of the company around. What would you do if you were me?

That one question helped Paul Brown to understand the perspective of frontline workers. With this knowledge, he empowered them, causing changes in the customer experience, keeping many stores open, and increasing profits. In an industry with notoriously high turnover rates, Arby’s has been able to prevent turnover because of the way leaders interact with team members.

eBook: effective one-to-one meetings

Measure Success

Employee pulse surveys (EPS) give organizations the ability to measure employee engagement. They are generally short, easy surveys that track the same information, such as engagement or values, over time. Organizations that use EPS’s find that the data is hard to ignore.

One company that excels in measuring team pulse is REI. The sporting goods co-op uses its REI Employee Engagement Index to determine the health of its culture and prevent turnover. Their survey uses eight statements to measure employee engagement.

  • I would recommend REI to a friend as a good place to work.
  • I work beyond what is required to help REI succeed.
  • I believe strongly in the goals and objectives of REI.
  • I fully support the values for which REI stands.
  • It would take a lot for me to look for another employer.
  • I am proud to be associated with REI.
  • REI energizes me to go the extra mile.
  • At the present time, are you seriously considering leaving REI?

REI strives to have its employees feel connected to its core purpose. This results in higher engagement, better customer service, and only 14% of employees seriously looking to leave the company.

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Leadership Development Initiatives

Leadership development aims to improve the skills and abilities that current and future leaders need to perform effectively in their roles. As the next generation enters the workforce, they are looking for employers who take the time and effort to invest in their development.

Wegmans, a popular grocery store in the northeast, understands the importance of investing in its employees. In 2018, Wegmans spent $50 million on employee development to ensure that their workers had the resources to be experts in their field. International trips were scheduled for deli workers and butchers to learn from masters of the craft in France, Italy, Germany, and South America.

In addition, Wegmans finds that many of the most qualified applicants to leadership positions come from within their own company. Up to half of the vacant positions can be filled by promoting internally, something that can only be accomplished when time has been spent preparing employees to become future leaders.

As a result, Wegmans has maintained a low turnover rate. In an industry where turnover rates of 40% are the norm, Wegmans has been able to keep turnover around 17% for all employees, including hourly and part-time workers.

Your Guide TO Building A Comprehensive Leadership Development Program

The secret to preventing employee turnover starts with a plan to invest in your biggest resource: your people. Frequent feedback, pulse surveys, and leadership development initiatives are proven methods for improving employee engagement and retention. 

At Leadr, we have compiled all the tools that you need to start investing in your teams today. Request a demo to learn more about how our people development software can help your organization thrive by putting the focus back on your people.


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