When employees enter the workforce today, they no longer expect to work for the same company until they retire: the average employee tenure at a given job is about 4.2 years, and 65 percent of people in the workforce feel that they could find a more engaging position with higher pay and benefits. Many employees also switch jobs if they’re seeking a more positive company culture or opportunities for growth.
It’s easy to see why the vast majority of human resources departments say that improving employee retention has become a high priority. Several major food and beverage brands are already leading by example. By offering great benefits packages, fun on-site perks, development opportunities, and fostering company cultures that bring employees together, these companies are lowering full-time turnover and boosting retention rates.
Compared to many other companies, Starbucks has a relatively high turnover rate of 65 percent for full-time employees. But in comparison to other quick-serve restaurants, their efforts toward better employee retention have paid off — the average turnover rate in the industry ranges between 150-400 percent. Starbucks keeps long-term retention in mind from day one of the hiring process: employees report positive, welcoming interview experiences, they enjoy a relaxed dress code on the job, and they get to participate in the Starbucks Partners program by sharing their days on the job on the company’s Snapchat. Starbucks also provides plenty of concrete benefits that other restaurants in their sector of the industry don’t always offer. Eligible full and part-time employees can receive tuition reimbursement for online education programs, get health benefits and paid time off, and take advantage of the discounted stock purchase plan and equity reward program.
2. Mars, Inc.
Mars is a 100 percent family-owned company, and loyalty to the company seems to run in families, too: several families have worked for Mars for generations. For more than 100 years, Mars has been manufacturing a wide variety of food and beverage products, including candy, snacks, and dog food, and their employee turnover rate currently stands at a mere 5 percent. Company benefits like healthcare, paid time off, sick days for full and part-time employees, and tuition reimbursement kick in from day one for new employees. They also allow telecommuting, encourage employees to participate in a variety of wellness programs, and employees can even bring their furry friends to the workplace. The commitment to the five Mars principles, “Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Efficiency, and Freedom” keeps employees on the job long-term, and the free M&Ms certainly don’t hurt, either.
3. General Mills
The massive global company General Mills has their logo on everything from baked goods to breakfast cereals to canned soups, and they own major brands like Betty Crocker, Yoplait, Nature Valley, and Pillsbury. They’ve been in business since 1928, and they’re known for their impressive low turnover rate of 3 percent. Half of all General Mills employees have worked for the company for a decade, and 3,500 have been there for twenty years or more. The keys to their success with employee retention are the opportunities for growth within the company: 80 percent of management roles at General Mills are internal hires, and younger employees know that they have plenty of room for advancement. They also offer solid benefits like compressed work weeks, paid sabbaticals for long-time employees, paid time off for volunteer hours, and tuition reimbursement.
4. FONA International, Inc.
FONA International creates unique new flavors for food, beverage, and supplement companies, and employees are always analyzing industry trends and getting creative with new flavor profiles. FONA offers 100 percent company paid health coverage for employees and their dependents, flexible scheduling, family leave for mothers and fathers, tuition reimbursements, and an annual 40-hour training and development benefit, all of which contribute to their low turnover rate of only 6 percent. But FONA really stands out when it comes to company culture. 99 percent of employees at FONA say the company makes a positive contribution to their community, and 98 percent say that they enjoy “special and unique benefits” and regularly celebrate special events.
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Jane Harkness is a freelance writer who provides blogging, copywriting, and proofreading services to startups, small businesses, and nonprofits. She works with clients in a variety of industries, including food and travel, and she also contributes political essays to several digital publications.