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The Growing Concern of Short-Timers Disease

Posted by Training Magazine on August 18, 2008

By John Gallagher, CAS: promotional consultant & distributor

According to a survey conducted by The Conference Board: www.conference-board.org,
* Less than 39% workers under 25 are satisfied with their employment situation
* Less than 45% of worker between 45-54 are satisfied
* Of the 55-64 age workforce, almost half are satisfied
* Overall less than 41 percent of householders claim to be satisfied with their current job.

Given these statistics, it’s no wonder that HR and personnel directors feel as though they are glorified doormen. Many of the employees have their antenna up scouting for the next business opportunity. I call this “short-timers disease”.

A local fast food retailer advertised to new hires that if they stayed at least 90 days, the survivors would receive a $500.00 bonus. Maybe if some of them put in as much time and effort at work as they did looking for the opportunity, they might actually aspire to greater heights at their current place of employment. Why is it that the grass just seems to have a different hue of green elsewhere? Maybe employers should just hand out jade-colored glasses. The obvious drawbacks due to the amount of quality work time lost from a lethargic work staff compound the work load and retard the time frames to achieve goals and work completion.

So how does an employer cut down on this "short-timers" mindset?
* Bonus and pay structures should be re-evaluated
* Proper training seminars should be conducted
* Workloads need to be assessed
* Recognition and appreciation of jobs well done should be rewarded and publically announced

One of the best ways to keep your finger on the pulse of the employees’ concerns is to have an advisory board that includes staff workers to have a voice and assist in creating and implementing attractive motivational benefits. Consider implementing a company incentive program. Most importantly, keep the lines of communication open between management and staff and please take off those jade shades.

Employee Incentives Beyond the Workplace

Posted by Training Magazine on August 08, 2008

By Christopher Johansen, President, Great Furniture 4Less

With economic uncertainty and rising prices, companies are finding themselves competing for not only sales and market share, but talented staffers as well. Employees, also feeling hard-pressed financially, tend to go with the best offer, leaving loyalty behind for better pay and benefits. In fact, a recent Gallup research study cited that 22 percent of employees today leave a company for this reason.

Corporate retention strategy now requires creativity to keep employees engaged, productive and loyal. But, what benefits will play a key factor in attracting new talent and keeping current employees happy? What benefits make a company good – or even great-- to work for?

One option is to consider “up-scaling” your company’s incentive and benefits programs, creating options for more luxury home-based products. Christopher Johansen of Great Furniture 4Less says, “Offering employees a take-home benefit that they can visually appreciate every day is the key to long-term employee satisfaction. Go beyond perks that are simply additional tools to increase their productivity--such as mobile phones, laptops and company cars--by offering life-changing, morale boosters.”

Another possibility is to consider offering discount programs for big-ticket items--such as electronics, home furnishings and outdoor living products—that employees may not normally be able to afford. These items also serve as a constant reminder to your employees of their hard work--and their company’s appreciation--all year long.

This is the key to making a good company a great company with loyal and satisfied employees throughout the years.

JetBlue Should Charge More for Blankets and Pillows

Posted by Jonathan Tannenbaum on August 05, 2008

A lot of people are angry with the airline companies since they're now requiring payment for once free amenities. Their outrage has only increased with JetBlue's announcement that it will begin charging $7 for a blanket and pillow set. I have news for these whiners: the airlines aren’t doing anything wrong. When you're in financial trouble, it’s entirely appropriate to charge money for some non-essential good or service. It’s simply the rational thing to do.

Like the rest of us, the airline companies are coming to terms with the fact that staying afloat entails making decisions that were previously unnecessary. JetBlue posted a $7 million loss in the last quarter. While this pales in comparison to the losses witnessed by other airlines, the costs of providing air travel are rising, and JetBlue needs to keep its business viable. Quite frankly, I rather JetBlue protect its profit margin raising prices, rather than resorting to more layoffs.

The fact of the matter is that we’re all JetBlue – through and through. I’m sure you could come up with at least one example in the last year where you decided to charge more for something, or decided to stop doing something voluntarily. You were simply making a reasonable decision, one that said you had to change your behavior in the face of tough economic circumstances. If by some small chance if you haven’t made such a change, it’s either because you’re weak – or because you have a trust fund. 

If people take offense to such pragmatic decisions, well, that’s their problem. In the case of JetBlue, customers’ indignation stems from their own sense of entitlement. They’ve enjoyed some degree of comfort for a period of time and now they feel they have a god-given right to it. However, they’re living in a dream world. Why should the airline companies sacrifice just so they can be cozy? 

Looking at the times in which we live, the CEO of JetBlue would be wise to charge more for blankets and pillows. Especially considering that passengers get to keep the set, $7 is too generous. JetBlue should charge at least $12.   

Where Are We?

Posted by Stacy Straczynski on August 04, 2008

Inc_20080801_wherearewe Do you recognize this destination? (Click on image for larger view)

E-mail jennifer.juergens@nielsen.com with your answer, and be entered into a drawing for a $50 American Express gift card.

Last month’s picture featured the Florida Town of Celebration. The winner was Guillermo Gutierrez of Florida First Capital Finance Corporation.