October 1, 2012, 12:00 AM

Staying put

(Page 2 of 2)

The e-retailer also gives each employee an annual performance review. If an employee is not in the top 20% of his peer group, a performance improvement plan is created—and followed—to help get him there. Roitman says this usually involves sending employees to conferences or workshops so they can improve their skills. Stroll's educational budget ranges from $2,500 to about $8,000 per employee depending on the person and their role at Stroll, Roitman says.

Employees who welcome these reporting measures aren't always easy to find, Roitman says, but when there's a cultural fit, the employees stick around. The e-retailer's call center, he says, has a turnover rate well below industry averages, although he declined to reveal the exact rate. About 68% of companies have an annual call center turnover rate of less than 20%, according to a survey of 300 companies by RightNow Technologies Inc., a customer service technology vendor.

Roitman says Stroll has hired contract workers as needed, but takes its time hiring full-time workers until it finds one that's the right fit. "Like a lot of companies, I feel like we can't find enough talent that we think is really strong," he says. "But at the front end you have to make sure you get the right people in to contribute to the culture and get your base conditions right."

Companies that invest in creating environments employees want to stay with must keep running one step ahead of recruiters' temptations.




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