Futura, a custom aluminum extrusion company, realized that their employees were their greatest asset in a competitive marketplace, and the foundation of their success in customer service, operations and profitability. They used the Balanced Scorecard approach to make employee retention and support a priority, implementing a suite of human resource tools and effecting a significant and measurable increase in employee loyalty and satisfaction rates.
An international company based in Clearfield, Utah, Futura specializes in customized, start-to-finish aluminum extrusion services, including finishing, fabrication, machining and design. With nearly 60 years in the business, the company has built up a niche clientele in a wide range of industries, including home construction, electronics, transportation, retail and more.
Futura was a conscientious company that had already developed a set of financial and customer relationship metrics, and they had also achieved ISO accreditation (an internationally recognized quality designation offered by the International Organization for Standardization). However, they knew that their most valuable assets were their employees, and that they needed to focus on their human resources infrastructure.
A competent, stable, committed workforce was the key to improved operations, better customer relationships and larger profits.
In fact, in 1995 Futura hired a new CEO, Susan. D. Johnson, because of her “employees first” philosophy. The company wanted to find a way to improve:
- Satisfaction and
- Advancement rates
among workers, and ensure the loyalty and performance excellence of their workforce.
They needed to build a corporate culture that put employees first and ensured that the benefits of a supported, loyal workforce were measurable in all areas: as measurable improvements in
- Employee retention and
- Job satisfaction,
- Financial growth,
- Organizational efficiency and
- Customer relationships.
Starting in 1996, Futura used the Balanced Scorecard approach to create four aligned perspectives:
- The financial perspective,
- The customer perspective,
- The internal operations perspective and
- The learning, innovation and growth perspective.
Goals were developed for each perspective, along with a series of measurements to help them determine how close they were to achieving each goal.
Because employee engagement was considered to be the basis upon which excellence in each perspective was built, the learning innovation and growth perspective was prioritized, with a host of new tools created to engage employees and measure improvements in the workforce.
These new measurement and engagement tools included:
- “Employee Friendly Initiatives at Futura” survey, a survey that listed more than 60 employee benefits and encouraged staff to identify benefits that were a priority. Prioritized benefits, such as dependent and spouse scholarships, flex-time options and short-term loans, were then added to employees’ benefits packages.
- “Birthday Review,” an interview conducted with each staff member on their birthday to determine their employment satisfaction levels and identify gaps in their on-the-job support.
- “Leadership Survey,” an opportunity for employees to provide feedback on the levels of courtesy and support their superiors show them.
- “Certification and Training Matrix,” a certification program that encourages employees to improve their skills and cross-train, resulting in a more upwardly mobile and flexible workforce. The matrix also helps to clearly define the pathway to advancement for employees at all levels.
- “Annual Performance and Personal Development Review,” a thorough and holistic performance review process that evaluates past performance, sets future goals, explores how employees can enrich their personal and professional lives and allows them to provide input on how their superiors can better support them.
The Balanced Scorecard helped Futura to identify the right tools and determine meaningful ways of measuring their effectiveness.
Within three years of implementing a Balanced Scorecard approach, Futura has met—and in many cases exceeded—their human resource goals.
The Balanced Scorecard helped the company to put the focus on nurturing their human resources by implementing an engagement and retention strategy with a set of holistic tools, including
- Performance reviews,
- Attractive benefits
that reflect the specific needs and priorities of Futura’s workforce, clear certification pathways and opportunities for employees to “manage up,” providing valuable feedback to their superiors and leaders.
This allowed the company to exceed their employee satisfaction goal of 3.2 out of a four on their annual Gallop employee survey. Within three years, employees were returning average scores of 3.26.
Most importantly, Futura was able to increase staff retention significantly as a result of these efforts, resulting in a 33% reduction in turnover. The company now boasts a retention rate that is far above the industry average.
Industry-wide, the turnover rate is approximately 50%; Futura’s is a fraction of that at 10.7%.
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