Employee Turnover Turnaround

By renewing its focus on staff needs, Provident Credit Union dramatically improved its employee turnover problems.


During the Silicon Valley dot-com boom in 2000, Provident’s staff turnover approached 50 percent. Although we lost several employees to the dot-com industry, we knew our employee turnover owed to several internal factors and that we needed to do some extensive research for understanding why.

We began our research of the financial industry and our current market to determine if our salaries and benefits were out of sync with the market. We also reviewed our job descriptions to ensure they were current with the job requirements, our long-term strategies and company philosophy. In addition, we held employee focus groups and conducted a survey to measure employee satisfaction with compensation benefits, training, culture and career opportunities.

Employer of Choice and Knowledge Worker Models
Another important area of our research included looking at Employer of Choice companies and how they differed from us. When we completed our research and analysis, we developed our Employer of Choice Model consisting of 12 modules, with multiple strategies within each module. The strategies addressed our organizational approach; structure; employee training and development; health and wellness; culture and communication; people expectations; recruitment and retention; community involvement; member commitment; and compensation and benefits.

We also developed our “Knowledge Worker” program designed to migrate front-line transaction workers to knowledge workers. The program has kept our employees challenged and motivated as well as ensured that we have happy and satisfied members. The program has also confirmed our belief that training and development are vital to employee and member retention.

These models were developed to move us toward a participative and learning organization in which employees enjoy their jobs and feel they are valued. We also believe that pushing the decision-making down to the lowest possible level will help employees feel empowered, important and see how they fit into the organization.

We began the full implementation of our Employer of Choice Model in 2002 and saw an amazing change in our staff turnover statistics. By the end of the 2002 the turnover rate had dropped to 19 percent and has continued to drop each year.

In addition, we were voted one of the “Best Places to Work in the Bay Area” for 2005 and 2006. This award is significant because it is our employees telling us that Provident is their Employer of Choice and that is why they stay.

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May 15, 2006



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