A success story that deserves to be told.
In 2020, La Cordée was in the news for its financial difficulties. At the time, I systematically thought: “ouch the staff turnover that will follow”. Inevitably, there is a fear of resignations due to a feeling of insecurity. But the management team at our client’s was more serene. They rolled up their sleeves and stayed the course, even after the 2021 article revealed the skepticism of some employees after the handover to the new owner. Turnover did not increase, their employees remained loyal. How did they achieve this feat?
“The usual good practices, as well as our existing benefits, have served us well,” says Emilie Chartrand, Director of Human Resources at La Cordée.
Indeed, there was no wave of resignations when La Cordée was placed under bankruptcy protection in 2020. Instead, Émilie explains that “the expression ‘rising from the ashes’ would not be entirely accurate, since the ember, the passion that drives so many of us at La Cordée, has never been extinguished. Rather, I would say that our new Quebec owner has breathed some air into the fire, and it has started up again in full force.
Isn’t that inspiring?
That would be their little secret. It lies, in part, in one of their values: #passion! But then they have to make it happen on a daily basis.
How do they succeed?
Emilie tells us about their employees who are passionate about the outdoors and want to share their expertise with customers as much as they want to learn from them. And their common goal? Getting customers outside to play! We read between the lines that the premise for the expression of passion is discretion in the execution of the work.
And the company’s programs that enable passion to live are telling. Some examples:
Flexible scheduling, so they have time to play outside.
Great discounts on all their products, so you can get well equipped
Various organized activities and “outdoor” vacations, to discover new passions
An outdoor club with contests to win, to pursue your passions
That said, La Cordée is no exception to the rule and teams sometimes receive resignations. However, the management is still calm because not only is their attrition rate low, but also because many employees go elsewhere and come back later. Their mechanisms systematically evaluate the reasons for departure with a neutral member of the HR team, and also plan to keep in touch with employees after their departure via the friendships they have developed during their employment.
Emilie concludes by telling us that she is “convinced that you have to listen more than ever to your employees, to adapt, to question yourself and to renew yourself”. This shows that bringing passion to life in a team is a team affair.
By Julie Tardif, CHRP, Speaker, Certified Trainer, Co-founder and Partner at Iceberg Management
In collaboration with Emilie Chartrand, Director of Human Resources and outdoor enthusiast at La Cordée.