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Out of Our Minds
Thursday, September 02, 2004 12:09 PM
Low-Hanging Fruit
Kevin Salwen on Making a Difference

The latest word out of Harris Interactive is that employees are working more overtime and they aren't happy about it. Nearly two-thirds of workers surveyed say their workload has increased over the past six months. Most notable: More than half answered 'No' when asked, 'Do you feel your employer appreciates and rewards you well?'

How on earth can companies be so short-sighted? Listen to Mike diPietro, a vice president of Kronos, a workforce management company that commissioned the Harris survey, who hits it on the head with this comment: 'This is not just a touchy-feely, let's-make-people-feel-happier issue,' he said. 'This is a business issue. It will become even more so as the economy starts to turn around and these overworked employees start to look around.'

In short, the 'soft' stuff of managing is now the 'hard' stuff, as important as financial engineering and capital investment. Need proof? Answer today's Management 101 questions: Who's going to win the battle for the best and brightest? Who's going to save the time, money and energy training new people? Who's going to boost productivity without making employees feel like the meatpackers of 1905?

Smart companies will (and are). Is yours one of them? If not, start worrying.


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kurt - 9/2/2004 8:53:51 PM
Interesting given the trend in recent years to view employees as a commodity expense. Many older employees are pursuing other options, because of the corporate wrecklessness (sp).

look back in 1999 and 2000, and the press was overflowing with the importance of employees, team building.

you can't build teams doing it the way Corps are viewing staff today.

now execs are whispering their outsourcing plans to one another, puffing up their exec compensation, and ruining employee and community good will simultaneously in the process....

the good ones will figure it out quickly ... the bad ones will watch their executives performance suffer, and stultify.
Jory Des Jardins - 9/2/2004 2:22:18 PM
Yep! I work for an executive development firm, and the #1 issue facing businesses today is 'benchstrength'--aka: who the hell is going to lead this joint when the big guy retires--and 'talent management'--aka: how do we hire and keep good people?

As if it just dawned on companies that you need to be nice to people in order to keep them. It amazes me that treating people well is just now starting to become a 'business' issue.

Here's an article on the survey our firm conducted around the talent crisis.


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