Magazine article Workforce Management

REACTIONS | from Our Readers

Magazine article Workforce Management

REACTIONS | from Our Readers

Article excerpt

"Turnover numbers are meaningless without knowledge of the environment, both work-related and management-related."

Debunking the "myth"

from our readers

THE ARTICLE "THE TURNOVER MYTH" in the June 2005 issue is misleading at best. It is definitely a myth that turnover rates, by themselves, generate financial success-but this point was not mentioned. Turnover numbers are meaningless without knowledge of the environment, both work-related and management-related. (Are positions technical? Does a training program exist? What is the value of company experience? Are forced rankings used? How difficult is it to measure individual performance?)

Two obvious questions not addressed: What can we conclude from comparing voluntary turnover of 20 "best" companies when the numbers range from 3 percent to 32 percent; and, is the relationship of voluntary to involuntary turnover meaningful? However, the most disturbing comment was the explanation of how to reset pay levels using involuntary turnover. It sounds like a form of age discrimination; note the statement on higher age-related health costs for older employees. As an alternative, why not re-evaluate positions or, better yet, modify the merit system to avoid the situation? To emphasize financial gain via forced turnover of senior employees is irresponsible.

Jim Johnson

Johnson Management Consulting

Dallas

KERSTEN'S WRY "VALUES"

I JUST HAVE TO TELL YOU that this article ("Core values, devalued," June 2005) is one of the best articles I have ever read! Sadly, it is also so very true, and as a former VP of HR for several years, this article just hit home in such a big way because I have witnessed this type of behavior being executed in a couple of high-tech companies here in Austin, Texas. Interestingly enough, neither company is achieving success as a result.

The laughter that the article has brought to my HR colleagues and me is just what I needed, and I can't thank you enough for sharing it with us! E.L. Kersten is spot on.

Thank you again for printing this article-I'm sure you will get many positive responses to such a sad-but-true topic.

Julie Kirk

Senior vice president,

employee benefits practice leader

Willis of Greater Texas

Austin, Texas

THE DEVALUED CORE VALUES article doesn't speak to devalued workers; they were thrown overboard by corporate executives who bought into pension consultants' schemes to achieve short-term pension savings by giving up any claims to the truth. The companies will reap this whirlwind for the rest of the century. If companies were smart, they would do what SBC has done: announce that they are folding up their cash-balance pension plans and allow their workers to have the option of continuing to accrue benefits under their traditional pension plans until they retire. Then you would see the current lack of trust between workers and companies begin to heal.

Don Wood

Senior policy adviser

Pacific Energy Poiicy Center

La Mesa, California

E.L. KERSTEN'S ESSAY ON "Core values, devalued" is a marvelous piece of work. It is slightly more academic in style than Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal." I expect most people knew that Swift was kidding. I hesitate to think about Kersten's essay. Thanks for including it.

Edward Stern

Senior program analyst

OSHA

PRAISING "THE GOSPEL"

I READ YOUR ARTICLE on the Blanchards ("The gospel according to Blanchard") from the June issue of Workforce Management. Having known and worked with the Blanchards for almost two decades now, the article was right on-even to the point of capturing the families' personalities through their pictures. …

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