Thursday, January 16, 2014

Are you working to prevent employee walk-outs?

In 2013 more than seven cities saw groups of workers go on strike demanding a "living wage" of $15 per hour. While these strikes were short lived, it makes me wonder what 2014 will bring. In Arizona our minimum wage increased to $7.90 on January 1, 2014. Would your business survive if it rose to $15 an hour in 2015?

Are you at risk for employees walking out?

The majority of striking employees last year were in the fast food, retail and home healthcare industries. These jobs were once considered temporary or transitional as they used to primarily employ inexperienced or new to the work force workers. Over the last two years a full 43% of net employment growth came from these industries. It appears these jobs once considered "temporary or transitional" jobs are now becoming careers for a lot of people nationwide. Representatives for the food service industry argue that raising wages would ultimately hurt workers since increasing wages would lead to a scaling back of hours, and less hiring in our yo-yo economy. Based on what my clients are telling me, I would have to agree. If your company is at risk there are other less expensive and more cost effective ways to keep employees happy and productive.

The key to happy employees? Knock their socks off. 

Here are a few tips from an article from

  • Family Days – When kids have a half day of school, family days allow employees to take a day off without having to use up vacation or sick days.
  • Yoga classes or chair massages – Bring in a yoga instructor or massage therapist once a week.Either one is inexpensive and will help relax your employees and lower stress levels.
  • Movie days – A group movie outing or free movie passes can be a pleasant perk.For the sake of variety, you might also consider an outing to see a community theater group.
  • Free car washes – The latest in “express exterior” car washes costs around $5 per wash, meaning for $100, you could give 20 employees a shiny car every few months.
  • Fun and games – One Minnesota e-business has both foosball table and pool table in their break room. Ping pong or pinball machines are also good possibilities.
  • Pass the perks – Companies often accrue perks by using corporate credit cards, such as airline miles or tickets to events.Pass these free perks along to your employees.
While an increase in wages is always at the top of an employee’s wish list, implementing some ideas like these may keep your employees off the picket line while protecting your bottom line at the same time.



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home