Applebees’ Reduces Turnover Using Metrics, Accountability, and Rewards
In today’s Wall Street Journal, there is a column on Applebees’ and how the restaurant chain reduces employee turnover. I found a closely related article in workforce.com
According to the articles, Applebees’ uses a combination of good metrics, accountability, and rewards to keep turnover low.
The first key to their turnover reduction success is metrics, which includes a ranking of all employees. This ranking of employees requires that 20% of employees are rated “A” players; 60% are rated “B” players; and 20% are rated “C” players. The goal is to focus on retaining the A and B players.
The second “key” is to make managers accountable for focusing on retaining the A and B players. This is based on an assumption that losing an A or B player costs the company money; losing a C player however means a gain for the company!
The third “key” is to reward managers for effectively retaining the A and B players. Managers use a variety of motivational tools towards this end, including prizes, small raises, special pins, and other incentives.
According to the Wall Street Journal article, turnover went from 146% in 2000 to 84% in 2004. If you are wondering whether turnover rates of 146% are impossible, the article states that turnover rates can be as high as 200% in restaurants, which means the average worker leaves after six months!