Magazine article Workforce Management

Planned Cos

Magazine article Workforce Management

Planned Cos

Article excerpt

2010 Winner: Vision

SINCE HE WAS 15 and mopped floors at a shopping mall, Planned Cos. president and CEO Robert Francis has had a special respect for janitors and maintenance workers. "We care about culture," says Francis, whose family has owned the Parsippany, New Jersey, building services firm for four generations. "We hire for attitude the way Nordstrom's-another four-generation company-does. Our employees smile. They are proud of what they do." In an industry where high turnover is typical, Francis says retaining people and building relationships have been key values throughout the company's 112-year history. That's why Francis launched a virtual Planned School of Professional Development in 2009 to provide online career training to employees who work in janitorial, concierge and customer services, security and administration. The school encompasses 3,000 programs in subjects ranging from language and interviewing skills to computer training and conflict resolution. He credits the program with helping the firm reduce turnover by 5 percent annually. …

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