Friday, November 13, 2009

Employer / Employee Relationship BusinessWeek Pieces

Two brief interesting pieces around employees and the companies they work for from the November 16 issue of BusinessWeek.

The longer of the two is titled "The Return of the House Call" and details the Microsoft program that let's employees request an in-home doctor visit. From a financial perspective, it can actually reduce Microsoft expense in helping to bring down company costs for any unneeded emergency room visits by covered employees (should probably be noted that the Microsoft health care plan is apparently noted for being low-cost to it's employees).

The secondary, but still important impact of the program is in showing employees how valued they are by the company.
Very much tied to this latter concept, I thought the point raised in the extremely short "Are Your Employees Just Biding Their Time?" was a solid one. The concept is that there's a number of companies out there taking the current recession as an opportunity to squeeze employees and that could turn out to be counterproductive when the economy turns around. If an employee doesn't feel valued or treated fairly, it could well be a mass exodus of talent once other opportunities present themselves.

I find this whole idea of the employee / employer relationship to be a fascinating one and (keeping in mind things are always as they appear) it's interesting to read about and reflect upon the approaches taken by some large corporations.

I did a blog post in Oct 2008 titled Corporate Workplace Culture: the Good (Not the Bad or Ugly) which featured some positive employee treatment stories from companies such as Costco, Netflix, Google and yep... Microsoft and then another post in March of this year on People Management at IBM.

Just interesting... I think the point is that companies can squeeze employees under certain conditions, but I really question how sustainable the practice is over the long haul.