What Is Meant By Employee Retention?
Different companies measure success by different measures – annual turnover, market share and percentage of annual growth being among the most notable measures. But what factors have the greatest impact on those measureables – that is, of all the factors that determine whether or not your company is succeeding, which ones have to be considered essential?
Abigail Saunders, Director of Human Resources at Yonkers, N.Y.-based Greyston Bakery, believes there is one factor that has a definite impact on the potential for companies to sustain success year after year. “Employee retention is crucial,” says Saunders, who has played a key role in Greyston Bakery’s successful employee retention rate. “When you have employees who are with you year after year, employees who know their jobs and do them well, that creates a certain momentum that has led to positive results in terms of our ability to grow and sustain success.”
What Does Greyston Bakery Do To Retain Employees?
When asked this question, Saunders does not hesitate. “We offer very competitive compensation packages,” she said. “Apprentice bakers make $45,000, which is a much higher salary than most entry-level positions. We also offer a good medical, dental, and vacation benefits package, and our employees are guaranteed a 46-hour work week. Eighty percent of our employees work 40 regular and six overtime hours per week.”
In addition to salary and benefit package, Saunders emphasizes that “not everything is monetary” when it comes to creating a good work-life balance that leads to job satisfaction that, in turn, helps to keep turnover rates low. “A lot of our employees travel a lot on their vacations, and some considerable distances,” she says. “If an employee, for example, needs more vacation time than they’ve accrued, then we work with them to take part of it as unpaid time. They appreciate that.”
An Underrated Employee Retention Strategy
Formulating an employee retention strategy that accomplishes the goal of increased retention rates and improved employee satisfaction, Saunders notes, is not easy but not difficult, either. “We found that employee morale is important,” she says by way of example. “Here at the bakery, we have a lot of employees who experienced a lot of people in their lives who didn’t listen to them. We do listen to our employees, we talk with them, we go the extra mile to work things out that are troublesome for them. It’s a unique position to be in, to be able to help people with things that are so important to them and their lives. It’s kind of amazing when you think about it.”