Do or Die Employee Management?

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By: Center For Worklife - Expert Reviewer

Do or Die Employee Management?

What Qualities Make a Company to be the Best to Work For?

To be named “the Best Company to Work For” is a highly esteemed honor and it’s only achievable if employees vote on this distinction.

To pick the 100 Best Companies, FORTUNE partners with the Great Place to Work Institute to conduct the most extensive employee survey in corporate America. Each year, about 1,500 companies contact FORTUNE or are recruited to participate. Two-thirds of a company’s score is based on the results of the Institute’s Trust Index survey, which is sent to a random sampling of employees from each company. The survey asks questions related to employees’ attitudes about job satisfaction, camaraderie and management’s credibility. The other one-third of the scoring is based on the company’s responses to the Institute’s Culture Audit, which includes detailed questions about pay and benefits, and a series of open-ended questions about hiring, communication and diversity.

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Table of Contents

With the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the individual mandate in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), over two years of uncertainty about the future of healthcare bill finally came to an end.  And where uncertainty ended, work began for the thousands of businesses, who had held off making decisions about how to comply with the ACA’s many requirements.

From an organizational point of view, this is a new wave of opportunity for employers to innovatively look at options in detail.  In the spirit of closing the gap and wanting to avoid the uncertainty, various companies are jumping the gun in providing solutions. But the solutions may be problems in actuality.

When it comes to talent management, can you hammer in ideas in to your people’s brains?  Is every nail made for every piece of lumber?  At what point within a battle, does one realize you are battling against yourself?

Many organizations, including Orlando-based Darden Restaurants is testing cuts to workers’ hours in an effort to keep down costs of the health-care reform act.  Darden (NYSE: DRI) told the Sentinel the tests would take place at “a select number” of its restaurants in four markets, including Central Florida.  The goal is to keep employees at 28 hours a week at the designated test restaurants.

Staffing changes are just one of the ways Darden said it is evaluating, to help with costs associated with health care reform that will affect the company’s business.  This was an especially bold move considering the restaurant chain was hit with a lawsuit in federal court in Miami just this past September the restaurant operators of violating federal labor laws by underpaying workers at its popular eateries across the Country.  The lawsuit accuses the Orlando, Florida-based company of failing to pay federally mandated minimum wages and forcing its waiters and waitresses to work “off-the-clock” before or after their shifts. Including, claims filed by many Darden employees in not having received appropriate overtime wages for work in excess of 40 hours per week.

Billion Dollar companies such as Westgate Resorts with the Timeshare mogul, Siegel as its leader, have also been questioned about the integrity of their decisions to “alter the Perceptions” of their employees, but to also make radical changes that only are of interest to the Organization and not it’s employees.

It is no question that changes in healthcare will require a real culture change for many businesses and with 2014 not being so far off, employers who are not preparing now are going to find themselves falling short when the full law goes into effect.  On the other hand, corporations sometimes try to influence the behavior of employees both in and out of the workplace, and this can be taken as an invasion of privacy. Controlling the lives of employees is usually illegitimate when it has nothing to do with job performance or the reputation of the company.

Companies can only have grounds to try to control the behavior of employees when the behavior violates the principles that are compatible with good job performance.

The public has a right to know of illegal and immoral behavior companies are engaged in, so that we have a sufficiently “free market” based on informed rational self-interest that allows the public to refuse to do business companies that don’t meet relevant criteria.

We think that the culture change for many organizations will be easier for both management and workforce to adapt to,  if employers make an extra effort to educate and inform their employees and provide them with options, rather than drive their decisions one way or the other.

What are your thoughts?

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