How Scarce is the PHR/SPHR Among HR Pros?
Apple - Firing Retail Workers for Theft at a Store Near You...

Wal-Mart - So Flexible They Provide a 1-800 Number to Call In Sick....

I can't believe I missed this nugget last year.  It's a shared services best practice right out of The Empire Strikes Back... Let's get warmed up with a little skit with a Star Wars twist....

-C3PO - Calls 1-800-IAM-SICK
-Underutlized Storm Trooper in Shared Services Call Center on Death Star - Sick Time RequestC3po Hotline, how can I help you?
-C3PO - uh, hi.  I'm sick today and was told to call this number.
-Storm Trooper (without a hint of compassion) - What seems to be wrong?
-C3PO - My legs won't move...
-Storm Trooper (following script provided by center on PC) - Did you do your weekly maintenance as suggested by the empire?  Wellness is the best way to reduce sick time regardless of your location in the galaxy....

Most of you have handbooks that cover how employees report out when they are sick, right?  Sure you do.  And your idea of getting hardcore is making sure your employees "speak directly with a supervisor" instead of dropping a voice mail or email to them.  That makes the problem children have to confront a supervisor head-on with the expectation they won't be in.  That in itself can put pressure on employees not to take sick days when they aren't really sick.

Think you're tough?  You are S.O.F.T. my friend.  Wal-Mart is tough.  Here's what the gang at the capital WM rolled out last year across the Empire (from the WSJ):

"Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has enacted a new attendance policy that penalizes workers for multiple unexcused absences and requires them to call an 800 number whenever they get sick, changes critics say are part of a bigger effort to nudge out unhealthy and long-tenured employees...

The policy change comes at a time when some of Wal-Mart's 1.3 million U.S. workers are riled by fears that the retailer wants to cut costs by attracting healthier employees and a greater percentage of part-time workers. Some employees and Wal-Mart critics decry the new policy as a way for Wal-Mart to discourage unhealthy employees by tracking sick-time use more closely, setting stricter guidelines for authorization and making the process of applying for sick leave more onerous.

Wal-Mart's concerns about its soaring health-insurance costs came to light last year, when an internal memorandum authored by a top Wal-Mart official was leaked. The memo offered numerous suggestions for corralling benefits costs by luring healthier workers."

The memo referred to can be found here - take a glance if you haven't already, it's a fascinating read.  The highlight?  Proposed job redesign to make sure that everyone retrieves carts in the parking lot, regardless of title.  The goal?  To encourage less heathy workers to find other employment...

That's playing in the big leagues, my young skywalkers. 


Dave Walker

All of the sudden, I'm amazed that US corporations are not crying out for state health care. It would take the burden of health care benefits off the companies and help control their costs (of course, I am assuming that companies are completely self-serving).

In Canada, our health care system is primarily funded through personal taxes, and if companies want to offer enhanced benefits, that's nice but not mandatory.

If companies want to offload health care costs, why not push for government-run health care? Do they care about the personal tax rates of their employees?

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