"Yesterday I happened down a road I drive on occasionally. I typically take the road northbound as a shortcut to a particular destination. But yesterday I found myself driving south on the same road and barely recognized it. In fact, I had to turn to my wife and ask if we were on the right road. The surroundings seemed unfamiliar to me despite the fact that I travel on the road a couple of times each month."
"The movie practically writes itself: The bitter family feud. The plucky underdogs. A community pulling together as one to triumph in the name of justice. Hollywood-ready, to be sure—but the unlikely hero in this tale happens not to be a matinee idol but the CEO of a regional chain of grocery stores."
By Jennifer Carsen, JD
Writer, HR Daily Advisor
If you haven’t been following the saga of Tewksbury, MA-based Market Basket over the past few months, here’s a recap:
The Grocery Wars: A Summer of Upheaval
- In June, Arthur S. Demoulas led a majority group of board members of the family-owned business to oust the company CEO, Arthur T. Demoulas. The men are cousins and are hereinafter referred to as “Artie S.” and “Artie T.”
- Artie T. was replaced by a geographically distant pair of CEOs.
- Following the ouster of Artie T., Market Basket workers—none of whom are unionized—walked off the job in droves. In a prepared statement, they demanded Artie T. back “with full authority, non-negotiable … We will not work for anyone but ATD.”
- Rallies attended by thousands of workers and customers sprang up around the area.
- Business at the normally booming Market Basket stores dropped off as much as 95 percent due to the lack of fresh groceries being delivered to the stores as a result of the walkouts, as well as voluntary customer boycotts.
- The new co-CEOs urged the striking workers to return and fired several senior managers. The workers reiterated their demands that Artie T. be reinstated.
- Impassioned Market Basket protest songs were written and posted to YouTube. A cartoon giraffe, sticking his neck out for his boss, became the visual symbol of the protestors.
- In late August, Artie T.’s group bought out the 50.5 percent of the company held by Artie S. and his supporters. Artie T. returned as Market Basket CEO.
- There was much rejoicing.
"Leave, vacation, and sick time are among the most important benefits that attract and retain employees. What are your competitors offering? What’s happening out in the real world? Help us (and you) find out!"
Please participate in our brief survey and see how what you are doing stacks up against what other successful companies are doing.
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"Spending too much time babysitting? If you are trying to police a rule like “Do not abuse sick leave,” you probably are, says consultant Hunter Lott of “Please Sue Me” fame. How are you going to enforce a rule like that? Babysit your employees? Follow them? Stop! Get out of the babysitting business and go PTO."
Yesterday’s Advisor featured Lott’s “Please Sue Me” presentation. Today, more of Lott’s tips as delivered at the SHRM Conference and Exposition held recently in Orlando.
"Attorney Aaron Zandy, SPHR, uses essentially this opening statement at the beginning of every trial. But, he says, “sometimes it’s easier than others.” Here’s the statement:"
“It’s a case of perception vs. reality. The plaintiff perceives he (she) was disciplined, retaliated against, and harassed. The reality is different. He (she) was terminated for a legitimate, non-discriminatory, non-retaliatory reason by a professional, well-trained manager with supportive documentation.”
"With the recent tragic death of comedian and actor Robin Williams, my family and I decided to watch one of his many great films over the weekend, Dead Poets Society. The movie is about a group of boys at a private prep school. It’s there that they meet Professor Keating, their new English teacher, who is played by Williams."
Keating encourages the boys to embrace their individualism, think independently, and pursue their passions. This leads them on a path of self-discovery that clashes with the rigid culture of the conservative institution they attend. Keating’s methods ultimately cost him his job, but they win him the respect and affection of his students.
"In yesterday’s Advisor, we covered Consultant Jennifer Barton, SPHR’s tips for maximizing your total rewards program. Today, we discuss what you can do to make it more effective."
"A colleague shared with me an article published recently in The New York Times Sunday Review. In addition to the fact that the article had been recommended, its title, “The Secret of Effective Motivation,” was certainly enough to get me to read it. Who in management doesn’t want to know the “secret” of effective motivation?"
The article’s authors—Amy Wrzesniewski, a professor of organizational behavior, and Barry Schwartz, a professor of psychology—had conducted a study about motivation. According to them, there are two types of motivation: internal and instrumental. Internal motivation, as you would guess, comes from within. People are motivated to do something based on the feeling of satisfaction they derive simply from doing it. They’re the employees who come to work every day because they simply love what they do.
"If you’re like most of our subscribers, you've got so many daily tasks that it’s hard to get to the really important things. This survey will help us find out which are the really important tasks and which are the time-robbing tasks."
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