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How to Build a Culture of Recognition and Encouragement that Retains More Top Performers for the Long Haul

How to Build a Culture of Recognition and Encouragement that Retains More Top Performers for the Long Haul


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How to Build a Culture of Recognition and Encouragement that Retains More Top Performers for the Long Haul

According to Harvard Business Review, 56% of sales professionals are actively on the job hunt. Nearly half of those people would even say they’re still satisfied with their current job—but if satisfaction doesn’t reflect company loyalty, what are modern sales organizations missing? Now more than ever, companies must rethink their retention strategy and focus on what people really want: meaningful recognition for their contributions, and leaders who will support their long-term career goals. 

Although countless organizations across industries have been impacted by the Great Resignation and the Great Reshuffle, the freight brokerage team at Ryder, a transportation and logistics company specializing in supply chain management, has had a different experience. “We really didn't see it here,” said David Stone, Senior Director of Transportation Management. “I think we’re the recipients of some of that. We don’t see folks leaving. I’d like to think that’s because of the things that we’re doing and the culture we’re building.”

With his in-office team of roughly 90 account executives, David ensures his people feel valued for every contribution. “We want to reward those with any type of win, whether it’s a small win or whether it’s a big one. Ambition allows us to celebrate on a daily basis.” 

By utilizing Ambition leaderboards and gamification, David fosters an environment of encouragement that keeps his team motivated for each activity that paces them toward their goals, even (and especially) when they don’t see immediate gains. 

“In a sales-based environment, you have to understand that your ability to make commission doesn't define you. We have to get rid of this concept of, ‘If I make commission, I’m doing good in sales,’ and that's not it. It is such a marathon inside this business.”

The “marathon” isn’t just about every call, connect, or demo that leads to a sale. It’s also about the long-term potential for growth within the business, an initiative that Ryder takes seriously. David says an employee’s 1-2 year mark is critical when it comes to retention efforts. “At that point, [reps say] ‘How are you helping me either make more money or move up in the company?’ And that’s the piece we’re really focusing hard on with our reps now.”

With access to performance data that clearly defines what success looks like for every role, reps know exactly what it takes to up their game and take their career to the next level. Promotions aren’t out of the question if they miss the mark, either, because their managers are equally committed to their success.

“We build out the coaching component inside of Ambition, which we absolutely love, and we're able to actually dive into specific areas where our folks need the most help. Is it due to something that they're doing? Well, let's write up a coaching plan for them and go through that process,” said David. 

In a post-pandemic world, retaining employees is about more than paying them well or offering extraneous company perks. Your people want to know their work has an impact, and they want to be surrounded by leaders who support their growth. Ryder’s initiatives embody the antidote to the Great Recognition and the Great Reshuffle by prioritizing what matters most to their people. That’s why we think they’re All-Stars. 

Watch the highlight reel from our conversation with David to find out:

  • How he leverages competitions to make everyone feel like a winner
  • How a commitment to data integrity encourages platform engagement
  • How utilizing scorecards reduced ramp time by 33%
  • How Ryder analyzes performance data to optimize training

Check out this All-Star customer story! Watch the on-demand video above.

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About Ambition
Sales Leaders, HR Professionals, and C-Level Executives use Ambition to recognize, motivate, and develop employees into more engaged and productive versions of themselves. Funded by Google, used by the Fortune 500, endorsed by the Harvard Business Review.