The Results: Within a year, the company had lowered its turnover rate to

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Meers Marketing Communications, Inc.

The Challenge: This small advertising and marketing communications firm

serves large clients by offering superior service and long-term relationships.

However, the company began to experience turnover rates as high as 50

percent, compared to an industry average of 30 percent. As a result, they

started losing clients as well, some within the first year. Owner and CEO,

Sam Meers, knew that keeping clients less than a year meant they were

probably losing money on them.

Strategic Actions: After losing a large client and taking another look at the

firm’s bottom line, Meers started working with a consultant to complete a

strategic planning process, with a major emphasis on employee retention.

One of the first issues addressed was hiring the right people in the first

place, so Meers instituted a more rigorous interviewing process for applicants.

Job candidates would be required to be interviewed multiple times

by a variety of people before an offer was made.

To create more ownership and give employees more of a stake in the

company’s success, Meers decided to open the company’s financial books

to employees. He would go over the financials with employees on a

monthly basis and tie their bonuses to the performance of the company and

to their own performance on a 50-50 basis. Meers also enlisted the help

of all employees to create a procedures manual documenting 150 agency

processes so employees would know exactly what was expected and how

to do it. Finally, he committed to understand the differing needs of each

employee, and decided to give them more flexible work hours, or leaves

of absence, or whatever they might need to achieve a better balance between

work and home life.

The Results: In the year following implementation of these measures, the

firm only lost one person. Said Meers, ‘‘People like the culture and because

of that, they do good work for our clients. . . . It’s a much more consistent

experience for our clients and our staff.’’6