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Some employers have implemented regular employee meetings generally referred to as “town halls” as a means of generating employee in-put. As with town hall meetings in a governmental setting, employee town halls are intended to provide a more structured forum for employees to raise and discuss issues of concern with designated management


representatives. Some


employers include all employees, while others prefer designated employee representatives who attend and share group concerns. In most cases, issues of pay and discipline are not allowed as part of the discussion. Meetings are regularly scheduled and most often conducted on a quarterly basis. In some large plants, they are held on a monthly basis. Employers utilizing town halls have generally found them quite beneficial for identifying issues that might otherwise be ignored and continue to be irritants to the employees. . More recently, some employers have begun conducting “stay interviews”. As the name implies, they are intended to secure information about what the company is doing right or wrong, what it could do better, and why the employee has chosen to remain in their job. It is a more personalized way of seeking employee input. Most employers take a sampling of relatively recent hires as well as more senior employees for the interviews. They often have different perspectives on what their workplace should be. The information obtained helps confirm what is and what is not working in the way of employment policies. The goal is always to have in place every reasonable policy that contributes to satisfied employees.


3. Small Gestures Matter Sometimes it is the little things that


have the most impact. One employer with a relatively large workforce has the plant manager and several of the supervisors near the time-clock each morning to greet employees as they prepare for work. It starts the day on a positive note. Others use such time- tested methods as periodic lunches for the managers and supervisors to share a company-sponsored meal


®


About the Author Richard D. Alaniz is a partner at Alaniz Law & Associates, PLLC, a labor and employment firm based in Houston. He has been at the forefront of labor and employment law for over forty years, including stints with the U.S. Department of Labor and the National Labor Relations Board. Rick is a prolific writer on labor and employment law and conducts frequent seminars to client companies and trade associations across the country. Questions about this article, or requests to subscribe to receive Rick’s monthly articles, can be addressed to Rick at (281) 833-2200 or ralaniz@alaniz-law.com.


with the employees. Such gestures are obviously much easier to provide in a smaller shop, but it can work with the right effort. Still other employers set aside a day for the employees’ families to join them at the plant for lunch or refreshments and a tour of where their loved one spends his/her days. All of these are admittedly relatively minor and well-known gestures, and there are many others of a similar nature that can be used. Unfortunately, they are too often forgotten in today’s hectic business environment.


Conclusion Ultimately, what causes employees to stay or go will vary with each workplace as well as the individual employee. But there are some consistent patterns that must be acknowledged. Employees do not quit companies, they quit managers. How they are treated on a day-to-day basis speaks volumes to them about their employer. In the end, the three most important needs of employees are: 1. Feeling appreciated; 2. Feeling in on things; 3. Having a supervisor (manager) that cares about them and their concerns. All three are totally within the control of every manager and supervisor on a daily basis. They do not require company action. To the extent that we can satisfy these needs, the more likely we are to be able to retain our employees.


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November 2019 ❘ 23


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