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TWIG Podcast: How SpartanNash Successfully Tackles Turnover

EVP and chief HR officer divulges how the food solutions company inspires a "People First" culture
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Nicole Zube, EVP and chief human resources officer at SpartanNash, joins this episode of TWIG Podcast to talk about how the food solutions company inspires a “People First” culture. Nicole explains how by investing in its own people, SpartanNash is seeing great success in employee retention rates at a time when many companies are struggling with turnover.  

“For us, we focus on 90-Day New Higher Retention,” says Nicole. “We have found that if somebody stays with us 90 days, they're four times more likely to stay for one year and once we hit that one year mark our turnover is very, very low as an organization. So we're really focused on that 90-day new hire metric, setting goals by location and in each department level.

“We've also focused on our onboarding plans and making sure that people have great technical training so that when they [new employees] come in they understand what to do before they even start,” continues Nicole. “We focus on doing realistic job previews so people understand what's going to be expected.”

It’s a combination of these and other innovative approaches, which Nicole outlines in this episode, that has helped SpartanNash reduce turnover by 12% last year, and this year it is already trending in another 5-6% improvement over the previous year. (SpartanNash employs approximately 17,000 associates across its food wholesale and grocery retail sectors.)

“We inspire careers for a better life, that's kind of our tagline as it relates to our people philosophy,” comments Nicole. “But we also believe what you do is equally as important to how you do it. We believe that careers are co-created between leaders and their associates. We invest in people based upon their performance potential and aspiration.”

Not only does Nicole disclose SpartanNash's approach to career building, she also offers her own career advice for young people entering the workforce. "Know your 'why,' that can really help you understand where you want to go," she says. Tune in to find out "why"!

(Do you prefer to watch this episode instead? CLICK HERE to view the video.)


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Progressive Grocer’s podcast focuses on the trends, topics and interests that move women forward in grocery retail. If you have an idea for a TWIG podcast topic, contact [email protected] and/or [email protected].

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