1 HR leader's 'special sauce' for employee tenure

Companies and organizations across the U.S., including hospitals and health systems, consistently focus on retaining their workers.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to workforce retention, and different approaches work for companies based on factors such as the organization's size and geography. However, Samantha Hammock, executive vice president and chief human resources officer at Verizon, recently spoke to Fortune about strategies she has found successful at the telecommunications company, which has around 110,000 employees and an average tenure of 12.9 years.

"We call it the special sauce here because I do think it's quite magical to have employees that stay with you for so long," Ms. Hammock told the publication, specifically citing culture, professional growth opportunities and benefits as key to retaining employees.

According to Fortune's interview with Ms. Hammock, Verizon's strategies/approaches include:

1. "Stay interviews" on workers' first and milestone work anniversaries. 

2. Engagement surveys and exit interviews.

3. A culture focused on employee well-being as a key aspect to meeting company objectives.

4. "Raise the Bar," a new annual leadership training program where attendees learn about the expectations for them at the company, engage in peer-to-peer learning and discuss the takeaways with their team.

5. Journey Forward, an internal platform in which workers can learn new skills and grow in their positions.

6. Benefits such as tuition assistance, Stock Together, an employee stock equity program, and financial planning education.

In healthcare, hospitals and health systems are taking their own approaches, too. A number of organizations have turned to sign-on and retention bonuses to reduce reliance on contract labor and improve retention. And New York City-based NYC Health + Hospitals scaled the system's nurse residency program, an effort that doubled its new-nurse retention over five years.


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