Magazine article Workforce Management

Time to Get Personal

Magazine article Workforce Management

Time to Get Personal

Article excerpt

"Nothing against ads, but Wal-Mart needs to enlist its own employees as ambassadors in their communities."

REACTIONS | from our readers

YOUR ARTICLE ON Wal-Mart"s new head of HR, Lawrence Jackson ("Man with a mission," March 2005), shows why Wal-Mart is having so much trouble getting its message to the general public. You note, "Wal-Mart took out newspaper ads to address allegations." Nothing against ads, but Wal-Mart needs to enlist its own employees as ambassadors in their communities.

This means providing training so they are enabled to talk to their friends and neighbors. The power of person-to-person communication coupled with media cannot be rebutted by ads. Wal-Mart is way behind the curve in understanding how to use local media and how to view employees as ambassadors. I hope Mr. Jackson will be given the latitude not only to deal with internal HR issues but to be the bridge between internal communication, public affairs, brand management and litigation challenges. And I hope he understands how to incorporate employee-to-neighbor communication.

Merrie Spaeth

President

Spaeth Communications

Dallas

WITH REGARD TO Eve Tahmincioglu's article "Man with a mission," it is time to realize that the workers have as much right to representation as management. Wasting shareholder dollars on resisting the rights of workers to unionize is unethical and wasteful.

The money Wal-Mart spends fighting unionization and on political action (their contributions against the health care initiative in California, for example) could buy more stores and bring in revenue. If I were a shareholder, I would be appalled at my investment going to such ridiculous things as anti-unionization and political donations. It is time for Wal-Mart to be progressive instead of reactionary.

Pesach Leib Kremen

Night Lead Ticket Agent

Amtrak

San Diego

"CAMPAIGN" ANALYSIS

IN LINE WITH this article ("Labor's dirty campaign tricks," April 2005), I assume you'll soon be running a piece titled "Management's dirty campaign tricks." Or have you decided that it's quite OK to support one side only in labor cases? If I want to read things that the Bush administration is capable of producing with its "journalist" lackeys, there are plenty of places to find them.

You do yourselves and your readers a disservice unless you present labor's side in similar situations where management is engaging in dirty tricks.

Richard P. Fahey Jr.

REGARDING "LABOR'S DIRTY campaign tricks," by Mark Ross:

I applaud your daring to present an approach to unionization that could be confronted by many of the same dirty tricks you discuss. Mr. Ross has done his research and ethically presents a side to unions that few have seen-even fewer choose to "take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing, end them." Thank you, Mark.

I have seen firsthand the strength and good things unions can provide. Sadly, I have to admit I have also seen strong-arm tactics that repulse even the employees these same unions purport to serve.

By far, the most effective campaign that management can engage in is one of sound leadership. Companies that serve the needs of their bread-and-butter employees by rewarding managers who genuinely care for and nurture workers at all levels are the companies most likely to have the majority of workers reject unionization on their own-at the grass-roots level. But what are the rewardable traits of managers that instill this long-term loyalty? …

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