Thursday, September 29, 2011

What do your employees say about your company and about the management of your company

Occasionally, I take time to visit to read employee (and former employee) reviews of companies who are involved in reprographics, copying, printing, etc. Some of the reviews are interesting, some are concerning, some are hilarious and some are obviously “whining” in nature.

The other day, I found a review posted by a former employee of Fedex Office (which most older people still refer to as Kinkos. These comments were posted on Sep 24, 2011 by an employee who left the company in 2010.

I read reviews not just to see what employees think of the companies they work (or worked) for, but to consider how I would feel, and what actions I would take, if the employee making the comments was my employee, meeting with me to share his thoughts and concerns. Business owners and managers can certainly learn a lot from listening to what their employees have to say. We used to say in our businesses, “constructive criticism is welcome, destructive criticism is not.”

FedEx Office Center Manager in Petaluma, CA: (Past Employee - 2010)
“Overwhelming, stressful, and yet fun if those are traits you thrive on.”

Respected brand.

Able to work your way up from entry level to upper management.

Very good pay.

The employees are some of the brightest and most talented people I have ever met.

The benefits are outstanding.

Rigidly inflexible upper management in regards to 'pet' projects and their usefulness.

A great deal of favoritism is involved in how far a team member can climb the ladder.

HR is definitely more concerned with the firm than with the justness towards employees.

The organization has become so politically-correct that team members can no longer wish 'merry Christmas' or whatever religious holiday wish they personally patronize and instead can only say 'happy holidays'. This made me sick.

FedEx has no real understanding of what it is to run a successful document business. So far, the changes made have alienated most of the historically loyal customer base and one by one they are leaving.

FedEx marketing insists on contacting customers numerous times at home, has managers contact customers at home, has a service level survey contact them at home too. Many customers can expect to be contacted up to 5 times for one small order. Many of my customers have stated this is too much. And a few have even told the service survey that the number of calls turned them off and they would not be back because of it.

Advice to Senior Management
Remember that you are only as successful as your team members. You earn your paychecks on their backs and you should treat them as such. Good team members should be rewarded. You push rewards and recognition but only allow managers to spend 50-75 bucks on team member relations per month. In a store with 18 team members this doesn’t add up to even a decent pizza party for the monthly meeting. Good team members need more to remain good. You should stop listening to inexperienced college grads about what's best for your company and go out to the field and see for yourselves.

Also, stop threatening team members with their jobs all the time. My center was consistently over 100% to plan and I was still being pushed to tell team members their jobs were on the line if performance was not improved. In my eyes, with the income statement backing me up, my team members were doing a fantastic job and still my SCM told me not to 'coddle' them so they would not become complacent. This is a poor culture to cultivate and a large part of why I left.

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