Herman Miller’s Employee Retention Strategy

by: Nichole Gunn December 17, 2010

Employee loyalty is not a give-in, it is earned. One pioneer in fostering employee motivation and loyalty is Herman Miller. Miller is the well-known office furniture designer and manufacturer who is credited with the 1968 creation of the office cubicle, originally known as the ‘action office.’

Founded in 1923, Herman Miller, Inc, boasts of “an average employee retention period of 14 years and, last year, maintained a 3.5 percent turnover rate.”

CEO Brian Walker, discussing the unrivalled employee motivation and retention rate with Fast Company, explained that it’s the company’s openness and attention to the individual employees that fosters employee satisfaction and loyalty.

"Our ultimate goal is to create a better world around you, whether you're an employee, customer, dealer, or part of the neighborhood in which we live," notes Walker. "We try very hard to let people bring their passions to work."

Another strategy at Herman Miller is to generate a creative employee workplace culture. This type of action allows for contributions from all departments, as well as all employees. It is not uncommon for a low-level employee to be placed as the lead to senior staff on particular projects.

Every individual is unique with his/her own strengths, capabilities, and insights. Walker emphasizes that it should be every businesses goal to find and nurture employee strengths; it is the key to employee retention.

This strategy generates employee creativity and boosts productivity, while instilling “a legitimate sense of joy in employees.” Workers who are able to devote energy to passions on the job will ultimately love what they do and where they are.


About Nichole Gunn