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IBM Social Business

A cultural shift

"We are really excited about the progress we have made in evolving our company culture to support the future and vision of the company."

Charles Baldwin, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer

The business need

In 2009, as Cabela's new Chief Executive Officer Thomas Millner was building the future strategy of the organization, it became apparent that there was a need to define the current culture, and potentially enhance it to achieve strategic objectives. He realized that an energized, revitalized workforce, with the right mix of talent, skill and cultural fit would be necessary for the company to grow its business. Cabela's needed to focus on hiring people who had a passion for the outdoors and the ability to succeed in retail.

Cabela's first needed to determine the culture of the company and communicate it to each employee. Then the company could assess its employees' engagement, and attract and hire candidates who are a good culture fit to help increase the bottom line.


The solution

The IBM Kenexa Employment Branding team conducted a cultural assessment of the organization, which enabled Cabela's executives to pinpoint opportunities in the company. With the support of a creative team, an employee value proposition (EVP) was created to communicate the culture and direction of the company.

Cabela's also uses IBM Kenexa recruitment technology to support and facilitate the recruiting process. The company launched a recruitment marketing campaign aimed at communicating Cabela's brand to its employees and attracting candidates who would fit into the company's culture. In addition, Kenexa developed the career portals on the Cabela's website to reflect the employment brand.

The benefit

After one year, overall engagement scores rose five percent. More importantly, Kenexa's survey solutions pinpointed that engagement scores of employees who viewed the EVP favorably are more than double of those with either neutral or unfavorable view. As a result, Cabela's implemented workshops to bring together managers with high survey scores and managers of groups whose scores were low. Through mentoring, managers of the lower–scoring groups saw an average increase of 21 percent over their previous year's scores.

One of Cabela's most important metrics, in its retail group, is sales per labor hour. As engagement scores rose across the company, so did sales per labor hour. In fact, stores in the top 50 percent of engagement experienced a sales per labor hour figure that was 9.3 percent larger than stores in the bottom half. This translates into millions of dollars more in sales each year.

A single employee turnover can cost a company as much as


of that employee's annual salary

U.S. Department of Labor

About Cabela's

Cabela's is the world's foremost outfitter of hunting, fishing and outdoor gear. The company is the world's largest direct marketer of outdoor–related merchandise and operates 36 retail stores that also serve as wildlife education centers. Cabela's, headquartered in Sidney, Neb., employs more than 12,000 people in the United States and Canada.

Learn more about how this social business is thriving

USA and Canada: 1-877-426-3774
Priority code: Social