Food Manufacturer Overcomes $20M Retention Challenge, Achieves Turnaround in 12 Months

This client is a prominent Food Manufacturing and Distribution Company that faced a substantial challenge—an annual $20 million employee retention problem affecting two processing plants. The root cause lay in the disintegration of the supervisor-employee relationship, a consequence of an exclusive focus on production metrics and the absence of ongoing leadership training. Their leadership aspired to reshape their corporate culture and redefine their legacy, choosing one of three distinct goals: enhancing production metrics while eliminating retention issues, enriching their operational legacy by eradicating retention challenges, or becoming the preferred employer in their operating cities, nurturing the community while elevating their brand's reputation.


  • Low employee engagement: due to a focus on meeting quotas, resulting in supervisors prioritizing production over employee relationships.
  • High employee turnover: leading to a significant
    staffing shortage issue and negatively impacting the work environment and workload for employees.
  • Communication challenges: due to changing community
    demographics, further contributing to workplace problems.


  • Consulted with senior management to understand company history and challenges.
  • Established an employee satisfaction baseline using refined surveys and behavior analytics.
  • Conducted over 1200 confidential employee sessions, keeping employees informed and engaged, and facilitated employee discussions for creative solutions.


  • Significant improvement in employee retention within 12 months:
    • 2018: 51%
    • 2019: 84%
    • 2022: currently fully staffed
  • Increased employee perception of feeling valued:
    • 2018: 38%
    • 2019: 64%
    • 2022: 71%
  • Enhanced recognition of employees by supervisors:
    • 2018: 58%
    • 2019: 64%
    • 2022: 70%

Have questions?
Call IRI Consultants at 313.965.0350 or contact us online for more information.