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This Company Has 0% Attrition. Here’s How They Keep Quality Employees

Sometimes good business is about doing things right instead of quickly.

Blog Author - Justworks
Justworks
Dec 21, 20165 minutes
Blog Author - Justworks
Justworks

Justworks is a technology company that levels the playing field for all small businesses. Through our software and as a partner, we help our customers take care of their teams, streamline their operations, and navigate the complex aspects of managing a workforce with confidence.

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This is the first of a three part series of Justworks members who run successful businesses in and around Washington, D.C.

When you think of a high-quality company, one with happy and productive team members likely comes to mind. However, a company that has been around for years with a 0% attrition rate? That seems almost unreal.

Ken Yarmosh, founder of Savvy Apps, has accomplished that goal with a company founded in 2009. And despite the prevailing wisdom that teams who share a physical working space have a stronger bond, he’s defied tradition with having both an office and a distributed team that reaps the rewards of flexible work and a stable camaraderie.

Although it’s a time-consuming assessment, hiring with great care is one of the biggest contributors to Savvy Apps’ high retention rate.

Savvy Apps is an app development agency located in the DC area. As a company devoted solely to building native applications since 2009, they’re veterans in the mobile app space and have leveraged that experience to collaborate with companies like PBS, NFL Player’s Association, and high-profile technology startups.

Retention Strategies That Work for Savvy Apps

Savvy Apps’ work has seen over twenty featured apps, including a Starbucks Pick of the Week and Editors’ Choice. Ken attributes much of the company’s success to building a workplace where people want to stick around. And judging by the 0% attrition rate his company has seen over the past two years, he’s doing it right.

How does Savvy retain a high level of employee satisfaction? Read below to hear about Savvy Apps’ extensive hiring process and how the company brings on team members who last.

Hire for Quality Above All Else

If you’re looking for a team member who will last, it’s important to find someone who has passion and conviction to do her job well.

For that reason, Savvy is decidedly selective when it comes to hiring new employees. And although there are plenty of entry-level workers who can embody passion for their job, they value workers with experience and expertise.

“We don’t hire right out of school,” said Ken. “We only hire people who have experience. We’re looking for people who take a lot of time in their craft and understand what it takes to do something that’s great.”

Look at a Candidate Holistically

Part of finding quality candidates includes going through a quality vetting process — and looking at each candidate as the multidimensional people they are.

“We have a very extensive hiring process,” said Ken. “Most importantly, we make sure to look at a candidate holistically.” That includes evaluating candidates for emotional intelligence, skills, and team member interactions.

Managing a Team

A Quick Guide to Hiring Remote Employees

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Although it’s a time-consuming assessment, it’s one of the biggest contributors to Savvy Apps’ high retention rate. Looking at candidates holistically is also something you and your teams can do easily, with some thought and care. If you’re wondering where to start, Justworks has also written on interviewing for values and the step-by-step process we take when finding the right team members.

Offer Competitive Benefits

It’s true: Offering your employees great benefits can help with both recruitment and retention.

Although affording high-quality benefits as a small business can feel like a daunting task, it’s one of the many benefits of using a PEO, or Professional Employer Organization, to bulk together small businesses for large enterprise rates.

“The bottom line is supported by having people that are excited and passionate about what they’re doing.” - Ken Yarmosh

Savvy Apps uses PEO Justworks to offer their employees benefits, with classics such as health benefits, dental, vision, and 401 (k) plans. Their employees also enjoy easy access to payroll information with breakdowns of their paystubs and other payments info.

Savvy doesn’t just stop at offering basic benefits. They also cover a majority of the costs. For example, the company covers 100% of the premiums for dental and vision. They also cover a good portion of healthcare and offer a few different plans with different contributions across different plans.

Wondering which benefits employees want the most? Paid time off and performance bonuses are just a couple. You can see the rest of the list here.

Invest in Their Future

On the 401(k) side, Savvy has a plan few other teams do. They offer a 3% non-elective plan plus profit sharing. “People don’t have to contribute a dime to their 401(k), and we’ll give them 3% of their salary automatically into their 401(k),” said Ken.

Savvy Apps has a profit sharing component as well. If the company has done well, they give employees upwards of another 3-5% on top of their original contribution. “We’ve had years where people get upwards of 8% of 9% of their salary contributed to their 401(k) between the profit sharing and other contributions,” he added.

Investing in the future of the company’s employees is just another way Savvy Apps is able to keep employee retention high.

Provide the Tools to Succeed

As Emmert Wolf put it, “A man is only as good as his tools.”

Savvy Apps’ team is located in their headquarters as well as across the United States, which has the potential to pose certain challenges to team communications and working styles. Savvy finds a way to turn those challenges into opportunities for the company — starting with shipping team members the same high-quality setups from which to work.

“[Each team member gets] a large 27-inch display,” said Ken, along with the same computer equipment Savvy Apps uses at its headquarters. The technology allows team members to feel valued and connect more easily with compatible computer systems.

Even if your company can’t afford top-of-the-line hardware, providing a quality workspace with organization and natural light can make all the difference, as we’ve outlined in previous articles about office feng shui.

Hold Weekly Town Halls

Because Savvy Apps’ team is local and distributed, they find it especially important to get together once a week to talk about important topics within the company.

“We have a structure to our weekly town halls, but we also try to keep them fluid,” said Ken. They usually run through strategic initiatives of the company, business updates, questions, and even a “thankful for” segment. “People go around and say how they appreciate someone that’s gone out of their way for them within the company,” said Ken. And small gestures like that can really make a difference.

Justworks is also a big fan of weekly all-hands meetings to cover topics like team building, business updates, and learnings.

Bring the Team Together

The team that has fun together stays together. Savvy Apps reunites their team a number of times throughout the year. They recently took an entire day to go to the famous amusement park Busch Gardens, renting a mini bus, riding roller coasters, and sharing a quality meal and craft beer.

“We spend a lot of time and money into building the culture and rapport between our team members,” said Ken. And that lays a strong foundation for employee satisfaction.

Looking for your own employee team bonding ideas? We have a list for you here.

At the end of the day, increasing employee retention is about more than providing a checklist of goodies for your employees, it’s about building a place where people want to stay.

“It’s not just about the bottom line,” said Ken. “The bottom line is supported by having people that are excited and passionate about what they’re doing.”

And when all those elements fall into place, it internally translates into better results for customers, and a healthier company overall. “That makes me very satisfied that we’re doing the right stuff,” he said.

This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.
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Written By
Blog Author - Justworks
Justworks
Dec 21, 20165 minutes

Justworks is a technology company that levels the playing field for all small businesses. Through our software and as a partner, we help our customers take care of their teams, streamline their operations, and navigate the complex aspects of managing a workforce with confidence.

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