Sara Stensrud, the chief human resource officer at Chico's FAS, has this goal: to land the Fort Myers-based women's retailer on the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For by 2013.
That's a tall order, considering the company laid off 180 people at its corporate headquarters in January 2009, representing about 11% of the work force there.
But Stensrud says the company is on better financial footing today, and it has recently collected 10,441 surveys from employees about their workplace, including 1,600 pages of comments.
Stensrud says those surveys will help the company increase employee retention by 30% and reach the goal of promoting 60% of its employees from within the organization. “We've got to reduce turnover,” she says.
Retaining store employees is especially critical because it adds “thousands of basis points” in improvement in a store's financial performance. Chico's operates 1,152 stores under the Chico's, White House | Black Market and Soma Intimates brands.