Employee Retention – An Employer Hero in the Recession

Employee Retention – An Employer Hero in the Recession

Although the television networks bring more devastating news about the economy every night, we also need to be aware of employers and employees who are making advantageous, already heroic, efforts to help each other and the economy.
Heres an noticeable effort by an employer which will motivate and retain good employees while reducing costly employee turnover.

Just this past December, 300 employees in Ashland, Ohio, were devastated when Archway Cookies, owned by a private equity firm, suddenly closed the plant, eliminating their jobs and health insurance. However, Lance, Inc., a Charlotte, North Carolina-based maker of snack foods, purchased Archway, reopened the plant, closest hired back 60 employees, and reinstated their health insurance. More employees will be rehired as business improves.
So far, this would be a great story, but theres more.

Lance gave all 300 of Archways former employees a $1,500 prepaid debit card to help with expenses. Rita Devan, an employee said, What are these people doing? They dont know me. They dont know us. They dont know any of the Archway people. And they are giving each and every one of us $1,500. According to CNN (the source for this article), David Singer, CEO of Lance, Inc., said the gift cards were a way of letting employees and the community know the new owners are different. We wouldnt do it willy-nilly, Singer said. We do want to make money. But this is the pool of folks we intend to hire. We just wanted to let them know who we were.

Many, if not most, managers and business executives would be basic of the companys generous action.
However, just what has Lance likely received in return for its $450,000 investment?

1.     An enormous reservoir of goodwill from the employees who are back at work; the employees not however back at work; local officials; and the community at large.
2.     A workforce thats likely to do at any rate it can to be certain that Lance not only recoups every penny of its investment, but makes lots of money and thrives.
Why is this? Its human character. How do most people respond when someone demonstrates their belief in them and makes a financial investment in them before they get anything in return?
Most of us would be determined to prove they made the right decision by doing as much as we can.
And, if there are some employees who dont feel or act this way, the peer pressure on them will be substantial.
3.     A workforce likely to be highly cooperative when the company asks for help in reducing costs or waste, learning new skills, improving quality or productivity, working overtime, or cutting management some slack if it makes an error.
4.     Employees who value their employer and show it in small and large job actions on a day-to-day basis.
5.     High retention of skilled employees and low employee turnover costs. This is a company thatll be spending its time and money on improving its internal operations, products, and customer service instead of recruiting, interviewing, hiring, orienting, and training new employees.
6.     Lower hiring costs; qualified employees will seek this company out as an employer; theyll have a thorough bench.
7.     Far fewer grievances and complaints, sloppy or incomplete work, bad attitudes, lateness, and absenteeism.
8.     Thousands of dollars worth of positive publicity in the consumer and business press, and in broadcast and print media.

In addition, I calculate Lance will get 3 to 4 times its dollar investment back!
Every organization wants talented, hardworking, cooperative employees and desires to reduce costly employee turnover. Notice that Lance, Inc., was willing to make a financial investment in improvement to forge a strong, new employer-employee relationship.

Management often has to make the first move in such matters because its managements responsibility to rule, and because it has the resources. While your organization may not need to take action similar to Lances, are there smaller, but similar things in rule that you could do? Remember that at some point the economy will turn around; how well youll retain valuable employees then has a lot to do with how youre treating them now.

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