In the Company Profile I posted earlier, I think I've done a disservice to service-oriented companies like Retailers, Financials, Entertainment, Airlines etc. by not separately covering the 'People' aspect of the business. Starbucks, for instance, was one of the pioneers in offering above average health benefits to all employees, including part timers. In fact its Mission Statement actually puts employees first :“Provide a great work environment and treat each other with respect and dignity.”http://www.starbucks.com/aboutus/environment.aspEven for non-service industries, CEOs invariably refer to 'People' as their most important asset. Microsoft's most valuable assets – its people – literally do walk out the door every night. If not for its vaunted sales force, Pfizer would have a tough time getting to its dominant position in pharmaceuticals. In its hardware heyday, IBM's blue-suited battalions were really what held wannabes at bay.There are, of course, many different ways of defining 'Best Employer'. In America, Fortune's annual list of 'Best companies to work for' is probably the best known:http://www.fortune.com/fortune/bestcompanies/index.htmlIn the UK, the Sunday Times has its own approach to identifying 'Best Companies to work for”:http://business.timesonline.co.uk/section/0,,12190,00.htmlHere are a few others :http://www.employersofchoice.com/http://www.greatplacetowork.com/Distilling the various approaches leads to some common ingredients:1. Culture and values (covered in the Management section)2. Leadership (covered in the Management section)3. Workplace relationships 4. Personal growth5. Work life balance6. Fair policies and practices7. Sense of ownership and prideSo here's an additional set of “People' questions to be answered in preparing a 101 Company Profile. From a research perspective, this stuff is challenging, to say the least, partly because it deals with the 'soft' side of the business, which doesn't seem to get too much attention from Wall Street number crunchers. It's also much more subjective than the rest of the sections, but that shouldn't worry us too much – after all we are trying to understand the most subjective aspect of the business – its people.7. Peoplea. How is it rated as a place to work in?b. Do all employees have equal opportunities for advancement and growth?c. Are its employee policies and practices fair and equitable?d. Does it offer a fair work life balance?e. What are its workplace relationships like?f. Do employees take pride in working there?Here's the rest of the 101 Company Profile for referencehttp://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=21344544
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