Posted on 11/10/2021 8:11:26 PM

There is no question that Designer Brands (DBI) associates are the best of the best. And it’s no business secret that top talent stay where they feel they belong and have what they need to succeed in their careers. As many workers reevaluate their careers, at DBI we seek to advance what we call the “The Great Retention” – how can we continue to put the focus on our associates in ways that recognize their contributions and acknowledge the value they bring to DBI?

Our company has always been dedicated to two priorities: the health and safety of our associates and customers, and the health of our business. We know actions speak louder than words, which is why we’re proud of our proven track record in offering an array of benefits to help overcome many of the pandemic’s toughest obstacles.

But we’re not content to rest on what we do today. If we’re to deliver on our promise of a positive associate experience, we must always consider new and better ways of meeting their needs just as they work hard to meet our business needs.

That’s why DBI has added new benefits so our associates know we’ve got their backs. To highlight just a few, we now offer a more inclusive bereavement policy that expands the definition of loved ones to go beyond immediate family. Additionally, this policy now includes pregnancy loss, allowing parents the time they need should tragedy strike. Our paid time off is also expanding to allow for rollover into 2022 – and part-time associates will get to enjoy this benefit!

These additions were what our employees asked for, and we have listened, learned and delivered as our organization and leadership are engaged in ongoing Diversity, Equity & Inclusion-focused conversations. These new benefits build on support provided to DBI’s associates since the pandemic’s start, which includes free 24/7-access to counselors, emergency pay, subsidized backup childcare and bonuses to store associates – an investment totaling more than $3.6 million this year alone. Other initiatives and benefits to retain and attract premier talent include:

  • Mental health and well-being support for all associates via virtual and in-person counseling;
  • Permanent flexible work arrangements;
  • Accelerating full-time benefits eligibility (no 30-day wait period) for new hires and promotions for 2022 and beyond;
  • Expanding the reach of business resource groups to stores to support major initiatives including Pride (MySelf), Hispanic Heritage (MiVoz) and On Our Sleeves childhood mental health campaign (MyFamily);
  • Promoting the Education Assistance partnership with Workforce Edge for low to no-cost college degrees and free general education classes;
  • Child-care benefit and resources for adult and elder care to help reduce the stress of providing family care during these challenging times;
  • Converting onsite training to virtual to expand learning and development offerings to a much larger portion of the overall organization;
  • Conducting merit increases twice a year and adjustments for eligible store associates;
  • Continuously monitoring the referral bonus program, elevating program incentives during peak seasons and for hard-to-fill roles;
  • In distribution centers, leveraging peak incentive bonuses to remain competitive with industry standards.

These are just a few measures of DBI’s authentic commitment to supporting our associates. They make a difference. We want every associate to know they belong, are heard and work for a company that not only says they care but shows it.