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Friday, Jun 2, 2023

Hey Boss, Little Things Mean a Lot to Employees

Dear Joyce: Although there are only 85 in our company, the turnover is killing our days , those of us who stay are putting in 10-12 hours a day, several days a week. New people don’t stay long. We don’t have a human resources department. We’re paid for those long hours, but I’m a single mother and runaway turnover is creating serious problems. I live close to work but soon may be part of that turnover. Ideas?

, H.L.

Memo your boss, saying that you’ve been a trooper in working long hours, but as of a month from the memo’s date, for family reasons, you’ll have to cut back to normal hours, whatever those are for you.

Why don’t new hires stay , are they underpaid? Is there something toxic about the work or workplace? Does the boss need an employee-sensitivity course? Or are newcomers made to feel like outsiders with few friendly faces in the office? Employee retention in this tight labor market has become an endlessly discussed HR topic.

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One of a number of places HR people with answers hang out is the Electronic Recruiting Daily published by the Electronic Recruiting Exchange, where I found many HR tips designed to keep people from straying, including these small but significant actions that could help spur loyalty to your company:

– Getting To Know You. “We buy bagels for everyone on the first day of their employment and put them on the new hire’s desk so everyone has to introduce themselves as they grab a bagel…”

– Offering Small Luxuries. “Since all of our employees’ needs are different, we have our managers sit down with each employee and let the employees set their goals as well as the reward they would like to receive for meeting the goals. Dinner for two at company expense or a paid half-day off are examples of rewards.”

– Eliminating Pain In Necks. “We have a massage therapist come in every so often to give our employees neck and shoulder massages while they work.”

– Holding Town Meetings. “Companywide meetings are held more than once a year so employees can feel involved in the overall success of the organization.”

– Taking Time For Yourself. “We offered a plan that gave the employees almost 30 days off during the year and, boy, did my recruiting get a lot easier! I found that people value their time more than money these days.”

Dear Joyce: I’ve telecommuted for 18 months. A friend asked me to do his small company’s books, and I can fit it in, so I do. My employer somehow found out, and I’m not sure if I’m going to be warned, fired or told to come to the office and work. Did I do something wrong?

, C.T.

“Sunlighting” is the word for what you’re doing , taking outside projects while working at home for an employer. If you are giving your employer a day’s work for a day’s pay , and using your own computer , I don’t see anything unethical and, in fact, what you’re doing is a kind of insurance policy.

Your employer is probably using special software to keep tabs on what you’re doing with the company computer. And because multitasking of both people and computers may lead to crashes; sunlight on your own equipment.

Kennedy is a Carlsbad-based syndicated writer and author of career guidance books. E-mail career questions for possible use in this column to her at (jlk@sunfeatures.com).

& #352; 2000, Los Angeles Times Syndicate


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