ASQ - Team and Workplace Excellence Forum

March 1999

Facing The Music In The Global Marketplace

Military Intelligence - Not An Oxymoron

Starting A Revolution Where Everyone Wins

The New Leadership Class

Let's Give Them Something To Talk About

by Peter Block
Sorry We're Closed: Diary of A Shutdown

Brief Cases
Business News Briefs

Views for a Change

Sites Unseen

The Quality Tool I Never Use

Book Review

Brief Cases
Business Briefs

Businesses Learn the Value of Employees
Companies are finally starting to realize the key to profits is within: their employees. In 1991, Allied Signal, a high-tech firm based in Morristown, N.J., hired only two of 10 executive positions from within, and posted a net loss of $273 million. In comparison, in 1996, when the company hired two-thirds of their positions internally, the company posted a net income of over $1 billion. Don Redlinger, human resources and communications senior vice president of Allied Signal, feels that hiring from within motivates employees to enhance their training and production as a means to improve their chances of promotion. It also promotes continuity by hiring people who understand the company and corporate culture and saves millions of dollars spent on external recruiting costs.

Benefits for Domestic Partners
The 5.6 million households headed by unmarried couples may be pleasantly surprised to know their employers are beginning to include domestic partner benefits as part of workers’ benefits. Currently only 6 percent of employers offer workers’ benefits for their domestic partners, according to a recent survey conducted by Buck Consultants, Inc., a New York based human resources firm. The survey found that employers are planning to offer these benefits “in attempt to be fair to all employees,” to “create employee goodwill” and to “enhance the employer’s overall corporate image for innovation.” The main problem employers will face with these benefit changes is specifying the exact qualifications needed to be considered a “domestic partner.” Currently, domestic partners are broadly defined as “unmarried people who live together in a financial relationship and have some type of financial interdependence,” according to Buck Consultants. Employers need to be prepared to narrow this broad definition if they want to avoid definitional disputes.

All the Latest Rage
You’ve heard about road rage, but do you suffer phone rage? Phone rage is the transformation of normally peaceful, polite people into angry, sometimes rude callers. “The anonymity of the phone, coupled with the stress of harried lifestyles and the complex ways we tend to the daily business of living, is giving rise to phone rage,” according to Wendy Caruso, call center manager at CIGNA’s Benefits Access Inc. in Hartford, Conn. Caruso feels that training for handling and avoiding these situations is the key to handling this problem. Sometimes despite our best efforts, strategies will fail, calmly tell you are hanging up, and then do it.
March '99 News for a Change | Email Editor
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