Furniture@Work boosts staff retention to 92% in a year with training and development scheme

Online retailer Furniture@Work claims to have cut its employee attrition rate by almost 90% in just 12 months thanks to a training and development scheme.

Head of HR Stephen Jeffers, who joined the company last June, told Personnel Today the proportion of staff leaving had dropped from 69.1% in the year to June 2007 to just 8.4% the following year since he hired two in-house trainers to teach employees customer service or sales skills.

The trainers were brought in after staff complained there were no development or career progression opportunities at the firm.

“When I joined it was like a revolving door, 20 or 30 people were leaving a month. After focus groups and evaluating why staff were leaving, they said there was no development or opportunities to progress in the company,” he said.

The scheme has helped the company save on recruitment costs because fewer people are leaving, gaining HR respect with the board, Jeffers said.

“It was tricky getting management on board at first but the results – massive savings in recruitment and fewer leavers – proves the scheme was worth it.”

Jeffers is also mid-way through introducing appraisals to staff, to improve two-way communication.

“Before, employees were never getting communicated to, which was bad. It’s all about engaging our employees,” he said.

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