Customer Story

UKG Pro Leadership Actions Helped Palmer-Donavin Cut Turnover by 50% in First Year

  • Creates report of high retention risk/top performers warranting special attention from managers with UKG Pro’s predictive analytics

  • Develops activities tailored to engage and retain key talent, based on UKG Pro Leadership Actions

  • Cut new-hire turnover by more than 50% from previous year and lowered overall company turnover to below half the national industry average


As a UKG® customer for many years, Palmer-Donavin has transformed the employee experience with improvements such as a streamlined performance review process and employee mobile access to HR information — a valuable tool for the company’s many warehouse and production-floor workers.

Several years ago, the company began experiencing significant turnover due to the impact of an improving economy. Palmer-Donavin’s turnover rate rose from 20% to 45%, and remained at this national industry average for the next few years.

“Turnover is costly to Palmer-Donavin because we invest a great deal of time and money in our employee training,” said Shawn Richard, Vice President of Human Resources at Palmer-Donavin. “Our blue-collar employees do jobs that require a significant degree of knowledge and experience. Because of the length of our learning curve, our turnover metrics correlate strongly with issues such as damage to materials, lower customer satisfaction, and missed deliveries. All our key performance indicators move in the same direction as our rate of turnover.”


“We launched the UKG Pro Retention Predictor and were immediately able to forecast an employee’s intent to leave Palmer-Donavin within the next 12 months,” said Richard. “We also deployed the UKG Pro High Performer Predictor, which quantifies the likelihood of an employee becoming a high performer. By combining these two reports, we were able to create our ‘snuggle list,’ our group of high retention risk and high performers who warrant special attention from their managers. I believe that predictive analytics should be regarded not as an HR tool, but as a management tool. By sharing this information with our managers, we are able to take action to decrease costs spent on replacing key employees and proactively address an employee’s success and retention.”

Richard reported that UKG Pro® Leadership Actions — a library of suggested activities to help managers coach and engage employees — inspired him to develop his own best-practice actions to engage and retain key talent.

“We have taken the suggestions from Pro and tailored the actions and language to align with our company’s culture and workforce demographics,” said Richard. “For example, to tackle new-hire turnover, we created our own 30- and 60-day stay interviews that ask about the adequacy of our training and whether the employee has any concerns about the job.”

According to Richard, a key component of Palmer-Donavin’s Leadership Actions is ensuring accountability among managers to complete the tasks. Richard set up an automatic email notification through UKG Pro People Analytics, to alert himself and the hiring manger if the stay interviews are not conducted on time.

“Prompting is critical to retention activities and part of manager training,” said Richard. “Strict accountability to our Leadership Actions program also enforces a consistent approach to the way we coach our managers and ensures that our procedures are applied equally across the company.”

“Pro alerts have enabled us to monitor manager compliance with our Leadership Actions and made a huge difference in our ability to control turnover and boost our bottom line.”

Shawn Richard

Vice President of Human Resources, Palmer-Donavin


“The reminders from Pro to complete Leadership Actions have made a significant difference,” said Richard. “With our Leadership Actions being completed promptly and universally, we’ve been able to cut our new-hire turnover by more than 50% from last year. Regarding our overall turnover, we’ve pushed it under 20%, a level not only below our historic low, but also less than half the national average for our industry.”

Richard noted that he learned from UKG that success with Leadership Actions is tied directly to how frequently and recently the activity is completed.

“Pro alerts have enabled us to monitor manager compliance with our Leadership Actions, and made a huge difference in our ability to control turnover and boost our bottom line," he said.

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