What’s the key to beating employee turnover? It seems Starbucks may have found it. While most quick-serve restaurants range between 150-400 percent turnover, Starbucks is at an astounding 65 percent, according to QSR magazine. So how do they do it?

Know employee retention starts early

The hiring process, especially the interview stage, is a two-way street. You’re selling your business the same way the applicants are selling themselves. With unemployment holding steady, it’s a candidate’s market, and you want to attract top talent before your competition does.

Eighty-seven percent of applicants are also customers, so a bad candidate experience can directly impact your bottom line. This is where Starbucks shines. The company’s Glassdoor reviews show that applicants typically have a positive interview experience with an emphasis on personality. Even the official career website provides interview tips and states, “Be yourself. We want to get to know you.”

Offer competitive benefits

Starbucks is constantly looking for new perks to offer employees – like pay increases, tuition reimbursement, health coverage and more. When workers speak, they listen. Our annual State of the Hourly Worker report revealed that 30 percent of workers rank the freedom to wear what they want as the most wanted on-the-job perk. Soon after, we saw the rollout of Starbucks’ new dress code.

Don’t worry if you can’t offer some of these bigger benefits. We’ve seen that alternative perks, like flexible scheduling and growth opportunities, can work just as well for both recruiting and retaining hourly workers.

“In a service business where you’re interacting with customers, what’s important to employees is knowing that management cares, that they’re not just another number,” said Beverly Kaye, founder of Career Systems International, an HR consulting firm specializing in employee engagement and retention. “The smaller perks might say it louder than the health benefits.”

Ace employee engagement

Not-so-fun fact: Only 32 percent of workers feel engaged at their jobs. Not only does a happy staff make your business run more smoothly, but it also greatly reduces your risk of employees quitting. The average turnover cost is $2,004 for an hourly team member.

Starbucks has a few strategies to keep employee engagement high. In addition to introducing workers to its company culture early on, employees are referred to as “partners”. A small change like this can have a significant impact on brand authenticity and team camaraderie. Also, Starbucks makes a conscious effort to engage workers in a modern way. We’ve recently seen a surge in brands creating social media accounts specifically for employees as a way to boost employee engagement. The Snapchat account dedicated to Starbucks Partners does a great job of this through store takeovers, behind-the-scenes tours and even latte art competitions!

As you can see, Starbucks’ dedication to their workers has resulted in a stellar employee retention rate. Making your business needs and your team’s needs equally important can have quite the pay off.