How Rocky Mountain Equipment Cut Employee Turnover with Competencies

Business Challenge

Rocky Mountain Equipment (RME) is a consolidator of agriculture and construction equipment dealerships, primarily focused around the CNH brands. They are the largest independent dealer of Case IH and Case Construction equipment in Canada, and the second largest in the world. RME’s business employs nearly 1,000 people directly, and serves tens of thousands more customers and their employees.

Operating more than over 35 dealerships across Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba as well as customers radiating beyond those three provinces, RME’s goal is to bring professional, stable, and dependable equipment partnerships to its customers.

When RME realized they were losing 300 employees a year due to a turnover rate of 35%, they knew they had to make a change.

The time and effort cost to replace that many individuals is extremely taxing on a business. For instance, according to a study conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management, employers will often spend six to nine months of an employee’s salary to locate and train a replacement for them.


In order to tackle this problem, RME decided to use competencies to build a strong foundation for talent management and define performance expectations. They began by working with HRSG to create a competency library and create profiles for key roles within the organization.

By evaluating what level employees need to be operating at, RME was able to further define how to provide effective development programs to its staff. They were also able to assess the potential for individuals to grow in the future, and take on additional responsibilities and leadership roles.

At the end of the process, RME had a more focused approach and is now able to definitively say what types of employees they are looking for, in terms of what’s best for the organization.

To gain momentum for their competency initiative, Alex Andrews (Manager of Organizational Development) and his team made sure to get participation from the right parties, as well as engage the entire organization in developing the competencies.

Using the preset language from HRSG’s competency library, they were then able to tailor the competencies to their industry, starting with the executive team roles and working downwards. By involving more than just the HR department in developing the competencies, people were more likely to see the value and benefits.

"We employ a lot of heavy duty mechanics, and we had individuals who if they came in and knew how to turn a wrench we’d have them start work right away.

Over time, we’d missed certain things like they didn’t have a team mentality, they perhaps weren’t competent in other areas, and the reason for that is we didn’t know what those areas were.

Now, even something as simple as our onboarding process is now much more effective because we are focusing on the right skills."

Alex Andrews, Manager of Organizational Development
Rocky Mountain Equipment

Key Benefits

When it comes to actually using the competencies in recruitment, RME is currently focusing on roles that saw the highest amount of turnover or other key positions.

The competency profiles that were developed allowed the organization to look for the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities that employees need to be successful in certain roles. Developing these competency profiles gave RME more clarity over what had been causing their high turnover in the first place.

With competencies, the turnover rate has reduced by 10% and RME now has a more effective onboarding process as well as the ability to create development plans for its employees.

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Why HRSG Competencies?

  • 30 Years of Expertise
    HRSG competencies have been developed and refined over a 30 year period by competency experts.
  • Multiple Levels
    All HRSG competencies contain multiple levels of proficiency that describe different levels of ability.
  • Behavioral Indicators
    All competencies come with measurable indicators that describe what practicing the competency looks like.