How to make employees happy?

Even in 2007, the vast majority of companies still treat employees as an expense and have a hostile attitude towards them despite all the BS that executives provide during holiday parties or company meetings or what you will read in the annual report or on their website. Just see the real behavior when they lay employees off (the employees that were called “assets” are escorted out by security). No surprise then that employees often do not perform at their best and look at their management with a high level of skepticism. So what makes a great company for employees? Watch this video to find out what some great small employers are doing to keep the best and the brightest with them, and happy.

Thank you Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart has a new slogan reflecting its shift from a low-price strategy to a company that improves the lives of its customers. While the company has abandoned its designer apparel adventure, it has found new avenues for growth and value. One that I talked about was the RediClinic – a place where almost any American can afford to go and get basic healthcare. I am aware that this program has been fiercely attacked by some doctors, hospitals, and lobbyists, but in my opinion, as long as the clinics comply with US laws, the critics have no basis – they are merely afraid of the competition and pressure on prices. The walkin clinics have generally been received well by consumers.

Related to these strategic changes, the company introduced a revolutionary prescription drug program that allows consumers to buy them for as little as four bucks. For free market believers like me, this was a positive step. Drugs should flow across borders like any other product and prices should be determined by market forces, not a government body. Of course, it means higher prices for poor countries and lower prices for us, but isn’t that’s how it is for every thing else?

I am very pleased to know that Wal-Mart is expanding its drug program by adding more drugs. The company says that it has removed over $610 million from the cost of health care in the U.S. While that is a drop in the bucket in the big scheme of things – we spend close to $2 trillion on healthcare, it is still a great start.

I also don’t see a conflict between RediClinics and the pharmacies in the same facility. Stores push related products all the time (computers/keyboards/mouse/monitor/disk drives/printers are all sold together and on the Internet websites often suggest what else to buy) and as long as no laws are broken, I don’t buy the logic of the critics.