Magazine article Workforce

Quashing Quick Quits

Magazine article Workforce

Quashing Quick Quits

Article excerpt

Faced with high turnover, a major bank commits to support and training programs for new hires.

National City Corporation knew it had to face reality. It was earning a reputation as a revolving door, and something dramatic had to be done to keep good people from fleeing. In 1999, nonexempt employee turnover soared to 51 percent. The bank and financial services company-which is based in Cleveland and has more than 1,100 branch offices and 33,000 employees-had to confront the sad fact that many workers took flight within 90 days of being hired. Turnover was so widespread that the early-exiting employees became known in the human resources department as "quick quits."

"Our work environment was not as supportive as it could have been," concedes Gene George, human resources division manager. "We threw people to the wolves and expected them to hit the road running. We offered some training, but not a supportive work environment."

Realizing that it's nearly impossible to win customer loyalty and provide excellent service if you can't even keep your own workers, National City in 2000 developed a department called the National City Institute. Its purpose was to find a way to thoroughly engage and assimilate new hires from their first day on the job, so they would be less likely to quickly quit. The institute is staffed with instructors who have backgrounds in preemployment assessment and selection systems, instructional design and delivery, performance-management consultation, and management development. The Early Success program is designed for new entry-level, nonexempt employees.

"Instead of sending them to orientation and just saying, 'Here are your benefits,' we now offer a welcoming environment, a support network, and a series of classes where they learn techniques and tools," George says. "We arm them with product knowledge, so they can be successful early on. …

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