The Effect Of Innovative Benefits And Services — страница 2

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SAS remains a leader, evidenced by the company?s low turnover rate. When comparing SAS Institute with Nortel Networks, IBM, Cisco, and Intel the SAS benefits are superior. The SAS Institute has received many awards in several areas, and has been named as one of the top companies to work for in the US (Branch, 1999). The unemployment rate in the United States has reached the lowest level in nearly 11 years, roughly 5 percent since 1997 (Solomon, 1997). The proportion of people with jobs is at an all-time high, and the economy continues to grow. Economic growth continues to rise as inflation is remaining steady, and consumer confidence is high (Solomon, 1997). The ?Employment Outlook Survey? of 16,000 companies conducted by Manpower Inc. predicts that 30 percent will seek

additional employees in the near future (Solomon, 1997). Because of this upward trend in the economy, for many businesses the biggest obstacle is in labor shortages. Now faced with continual changes in technology and development of new products, the demand for skilled employees in the computer industry is even more taxing. Workers possessing these shortage skills are so critically needed that they are able to ?write their own ticket.? A programmer may be hired by company A, only to be seduced over to company B by a list of perks and benefits. The labor market has metamorphosed into a virtual contest to keep employees. Company benefits and services programs fall into the Compensation and Protection cycle of the Human Resource Development model, (Werther & Davis, 1996). Human

Resource professionals have realized that the task of recruiting and retaining qualified employees could effectively determine the success or failure of the company. The Human Resource department of a company maintains an array of responsibilities, to include recruitment, retention, compensation, and to some extent, corporate culture. The Human Resources department spearheads the recruitment and hiring of qualified individuals. This involves aggressive recruitment practices, especially when seeking technically skilled workers. Once hired, the department must ensure that these individuals are correctly placed or staffed, into positions that correspond to their skill level and abilities. Once these employees are in place, the focus shifts to retaining these individuals. It is when

business slows and downsizing is a threat that workers become concerned with their jobs. However, in today?s economy the employer is the one concerned with losing workers. These highly trained individuals have come to the company with a variety of human capital: their ability, behavior and energy (Davenport, 1999). Retention of these sought-after employees is crucial. Fitz-Enz identifies three costs of losing good employees as follows: employee-based costs, customer retention, and expenditure in marketing and sales to win new customers (Fitz-Enz, 1996). Any time a company is forced to replace an attrited worker there is a cost. Efforts must be refocused on recruiting a replacement, orienting and training the individual. The company could miss valuable sales opportunities among

other potential losses during this turnover. Consumers can be fickle people. Some customers become accustomed to doing business with the same company representative. If the customer becomes annoyed with the new employee, he or she may take their business elsewhere. This results in profit loss for the company. Finally, if a customer were lost, the time and money it could take to attract new customers would be a loss of profit for the company as well. Therefore, employees are a valuable asset to any company, and their retention is crucial. Compensation of employees is a key element in the hiring and retention of quality workers. Compensation does not necessarily imply salary increases or health plans. According to Leonard, to draw loyalty from employees, a company should

?demonstrate that it cares about their development by exposing them to things that help them grow? (Leonard, 1999). ?Corporate culture? is a new buzzword echoing through the business and Human Resource arena. This term refers to the general working atmosphere of the company, whether it is hostile, friendly, family-oriented, or autocratic. In the recent past, employees were simply fortunate to have work, and employers were at times authoritarian. That environment has started to change. As a society we are changing. Employees are people who want quality of life, not just a paycheck. The SAS Institute Inc. based in Cary, North Carolina is the world?s largest privately held software company with an estimated net worth of 871 million dollars (Branch, 1999). SAS provides high quality