Frequently in social settings, the discussion turns to someone’s work environment. Sometimes they will say, “You’re HR, what do you think of this”? Often, my unspoken response is, “Wow. Don’t they have an HR department?” As the theme of this edition is “retention,” here are two stories that exemplify why an employee might leave or stay with an employer.
Jane has worked for a fairly small (approximately sixty employees) company for several years. It is unique in many ways, one of which is celebrating employee milestones. Rather than having parties only when employees leave, this company celebrates employment anniversaries. On Jane’s one-year anniversary, everyone gathered for lunch and she was presented with a small gift. Her second anniversary was also celebrated with a luncheon and a small present. The next celebration was at five years and the CEO held an office dinner. When she reaches ten years with the company, there will be a luncheon and a donation to a charity of her choice. The CEO says that her employees are their most valuable asset and believes in the importance of celebrating their contributions to the success of the company. The focus of the business is very serious and work is frequently stressful. Laughter is encouraged on a daily basis. Despite the recession, business has increased over the past few years; the company has grown, as has Jane’s job. Jane is encouraged to grow and is given time for training. Her supervisor frequently asks if she is happy at the company and enjoying her job. The turnover at Jane’s office is minimal. Salaries are not what hold the employees there—it is having challenging work and knowing they are valued and appreciated by their individual supervisors and the CEO.
Bob works for a larger business, but his department also has approximately sixty employees. The department head tells the employees they are the business’s most important assets. They only come together on occasions for work meetings and have luncheons or parties when employees leave the department. As they have over a 30% turnover rate, this is fairly often. Employees must request any training, and only occasionally is it approved. Several months ago, without any apparent reason, Bob’s department head began avoiding him. Shortly thereafter, without being given an explanation, Bob was told his job was changing. The new work was routine and tedious and it did not take Bob long to begin looking for a new job.
For which company would you prefer to work? In this edition, we hope you will find new ideas, good information, and confirmation for the things you are doing well. Please feel free to send us your stories of successful workplaces, your thoughts, and comments at editor@ hrflorida.org!
Karen Goodlett, SPHR