The Corporate Storyteller

Expert tips on management communications and the power of storytelling

Thursday, June 02, 2011


One Company's Culture Shift: Turnover Reduced 66%

Beaulieu of America, one of the largest carpet manufacturers in the U.S., is a stellar example of corporate leadership that recognized the culture needed to change and committed to doing it. In just five years, the company reduced turnover 66%!

It was a change that was sorely needed, as reported in CFO magazine.  At the outset, turnover at the company was "abysmal" at 50%; five years later it had dropped to 17%. Among the benefits was an astounding dollar savings. With the cost of replacing each employee averaging about $5,000, the company is saving $11.5 million each year!  

With the help of consulting firm HPWP, Beaulieu brought the company's actions in line with its message, which cultivated mutual respect and trust across all levels of the organization. "So many companies say they want to be employee-friendly, but their actual policies say something different," says Beaulieu's CFO, Del Land. "That was true of us."

The chief factor in achieving the culture shift, Land says, was turning over the hiring responsibility to teams of employees. The employees who will be the new worker's peers now select new hires. The reason this works well is that employee teams choose people who will fit into the group. As a result, the new person is surrounded by people "who want him or her to succeed."

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