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Other Programs Also Address Retention

February 1, 1993
Related Topics: Retention, Featured Article
To reach its goal of becoming the provider of choice in the areas it serves, Silver Spring, Maryland-based Manor Care Inc. focused on reducing turnover among its frontline employees-the workers who deal directly with customers each day. To improve the retention of experienced workers, Manor Care overhauled its benefits program. According to Chuck Shields, Manor Care's VP of HR, however, most of the turnover that occurs in the service industries occurs within the first 90 days of the person's employment.

Keeping this in mind, Shields and his human resources staff intensely studied the experience of the new employee, examining, from a marketing standpoint, the total experience of those first three months. They asked themselves such questions as:

  • If we were new employees, how would we want to be treated during our first 90 days?

  • What kind of feedback would we want?

  • What kind of training would we expect?

"We strongly believe that the tone of the company and the new employee's expectations are set within those first few weeks after he or she comes to work for a new company," says Shields.

As a result of their questioning, the human resources department initiated a new recruitment and orientation process that includes:

  • New selection procedures that use a video screener

  • A redesigned orientation program that focuses on communicating the company's philosophy and expectations for its customers

  • A redesigned training program that has put into place a designated trainer in each of the company's locations to ensure that the training experience is executed properly.

Personnel Journal, February 1993, Vol. 72, No. 2, p. 92.

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