The Beatings Won't Stop Until The Morale Improves
By: Gregory P. Smith
Greg Smith's cutting-edge keynotes, consulting, and training programs have helped businesses reduce turnover, increase sales, hire superior people, and deliver better customer service. As President and founder of Chart Your Course International, He has implemented professional development programs for thousands of organizations globally. Greg has authored eight informative books including Here Today, Here Tomorrow: Transforming Your Workforce from High Turnover to High Retention and 401 Proven Ways to Retain Your Best Employees. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia. For more information, visit www.ChartCourse.com or call (770) 860-9464.
You can almost feel the anxiety and tension many people face in today’s
workplace. People comment, “Am I going to have a job tomorrow?” “If my
boss gives me another project, I’ll quit!” The present economic situation
has forced many employees to work longer hours. Many downsized businesses
expect their remaining workforce to work the jobs of 2-3 people. People
can only take so much. Good employees who feel “burned” by their organizations
will be the first to bail out when the economy turns around in the future.
Productivity, profits and retention go hand-in-hand. Despite the economy,
people today need a work environment that allows for maximum flexibility.
A flexible work environment promotes greater productivity, increases retention
and creates more dedicated workers. All this together should positively
impact the bottom line. Consider the following:
First, focus on paying your employees well and creating a stimulating,
rewarding environment. Next, improve the quality of the relationship between
the employee and his or her supervisor. A relationship that is not good
will cause conflict and low productivity eventually persuades a good employee
to leave. When these elements are in place, turn your attention to benefits.
- Employees who like where they work will help the company make more money.
An 800-store survey conducted by Sears showed that when employee attitudes
improved by 5 percent, customer satisfaction jumped 1.3 percent, consequently
increasing revenue by one-half a percentage point. Employee attitudes impact
the bottom line!
- First Tennessee National Corp. started taking family issues seriously and
made them top priority. They reshaped the rules they had forced employees
to live under, added many family-friendly new benefits, and sent managers
through 3-1/2 days of training. Employees stayed twice as long and the
bank kept 7 percent more of its customers. Furthermore, changes in employee
benefits helped contribute a 55 percent profit gain over two years.
- Aetna Life & Casualty Co. reduced resignations of new mothers by 50
percent by extending its unpaid parental leave policy to six months, saving
the company $1 million a year in training, recruiting and hiring expenses.
Benefits have increased in importance to help counterbalance the complex
needs and wants of the workforce. In 1960, businesses spent $23.7 billion
on benefits. In 1980, they spent $266 billion and in 1994 businesses increased
their spending on benefits to $747 billion. Smart employers are realizing
that the plain vanilla, take-it-or-leave-it approach may diminish their
ability to attract and keep good workers as well as place current employees
in a position to question their loyalty and dedication to stay.
A survey from Randstad North America and Roper Research demonstrates the
impact that “hard” and “soft” benefits have on people staying with their
current job. When asked, “Would consider staying in current job rather
than switch, if. . . “
|You have health insurance/benefits
|You receive competitive industry wages
|Your workplace provides on-site/internal training
|Your workplace provides opportunity for outside training opportunities
|Your workplace provides a stock/profit sharing program
|Your workplace gives bonuses based on company profits
|Your workplace provides college tuition reimbursement
|Your workplace has an employee award/recognition program
|Your workplace provides creative incentives, such as trips or gift certificates
|You like the team of people you work with
|There is a pleasant work environment
|Your workplace is close to home or you have an easy commute
|The work you do is challenging
|You have job security where you work
|Your workplace gives you the opportunity to work independently
|Your workplace provides opportunity for advancement
|Your workplace offers flexible work hours