As companies across industries grapple  with employee turnover because of layoffs, resignations, or other reasons for departure, Patagonia keeps on going. The outdoor apparel company, which recently sold its entire stock to the Earth, experiences only 4% employee turnover and is listed on numerous “Best Employer” lists. The reason behind their success? Their employees.
Patagonia supports employees for who they are. While this may seem like a basic responsibility for all businesses, Patagonia goes a step further. The company is well-known for promoting women into leadership positions and providing on-site childcare. Knowing many of its workers are environmental activists, Patagonia also trains employees how to protest peacefully, and even pays their bail, legal fees, and for time spent away from work protesting.
Patagonia hires people who are “core Patagonia product users, people who love to spend as much time as possible in the mountains or the wild.” The idea is that by hiring outdoorsy people, it can produce the most authentic  outdoor apparel possible. Plus, “finding a dyed-in-the-wool  businessperson to take up climbing or river running is a lot more difficult than teaching a person with a ready passion for the outdoors how to do a job.” Patagonia wants someone who embodies  the job, not someone who just does the job.
Elsewhere, employees leave jobs because they find their work uninspiring. When your employees are your customers, like at Patagonia, they’ll automatically find their work inspiring, engaging, and motivating. It turns out that when employees are hired for their passion and values, and then supported for being themselves, whether they are parents, protestors, activists, or whatever else, they’re less likely to leave.
Patagonia wants its employees to be authentic. It values employees for who they are, not where their degree is from. In a moment of great employee migration  across the job market, maybe more companies should model themselves after Patagonia, which tries to live its values in everything it does.