REI's co-op roots are the foundation for the unique workplace we've cultivated in our more than 70 years in business. Employees thrive in an open, collaborative work environment. When employees can see the results of their work and reap the rewards of success, they get and stay engaged in our business.
It's important to the co-op to make sure that employees continue to be engaged. At REI, we define engaged employees as those who:
Demonstrate pride and enthusiasm in their work
Believe in and contribute to our shared values and goals
Go above and beyond to help the co-op be successful
Intend to stay with us
Measuring these behaviors through our annual Employee Engagement Survey is a key way we monitor our success in this area.
Employee Engagement Survey
Our annual Employee Engagement Survey, conducted by an independent firm, tracks key engagement indicators and provides comparison results from our business peers.
The survey is made available to every employee. It's completed anonymously and asks for employee feedback on key topics, including commitment, pride and loyalty, satisfaction with REI's benefits package, operational and leadership effectiveness and communication.
Here are some highlights from the survey:
While REI has historically had an impressive employee survey participation rate, 2010's response rate for our employee survey was the co-op's highest ever at 86 percent.
The 2010 survey results showed that 87 percent of our employees are engaged. This engagement rate is calculated by looking at the favorability rating in eight key areas that make up our employee engagement index, shown below:
Our overall engagement rate of 87 percent is high compared to both the U.S. retail industry norm (80 percent) and "global high performing companies" norm (82 percent). In the survey, high-performing companies are defined as companies with above-industry-averages on return on invested capital, net profit, and employee engagement scores.
On a more detailed level, REI continued to outperform the U.S. retail industry in all survey categories, and outperformed global high performing companies in most categories.
Turnover and Retention
The effects of the challenging economy, high national unemployment and limited job growth, coupled with our strong employment offer and high employee engagement, continue to result in strong employee retention at REI.
In 2010, REI overall turnover was 27.2 percent, a 1.3 percent drop from 2009 and an all-time low for the co-op. It's also well below the average retail industry rate of 51 percent. (Our annual turnover percentage rate is measured by dividing terminations, voluntary and involuntary, in a particular year by average headcount across all months of that year.)
Our 2010 retention rate was 79 percent, as compared to 75 percent in 2009. (Employee retention is calculated using the percentage of new hires from a particular year that are still employed at year-end.) On our Employee Engagement Survey, the percentage of employees with intent to stay at REI continues to rise as well.
As we look to the coming years, the co-op is focused on growth – in a way that gives back to our members, communities and employees. This will require REI to continue to engage and retain the very best employees, who will help drive our success in the years to come.
We will do this by making sure employees recognize how their individual contributions support REI's mission and success, maintaining open lines of communication, fostering genuine dialogue and responding to employee concerns.