Worst Companies to Work for

Keeping employees happy can only improve a company’s bottom line. Employee satisfaction can significantly impact the productivity, sales, and reputation of any company. Despite its importance, many companies struggle to keep their employees content. While some companies have policies specifically designed to boost employee morale, others seem to prioritize it far less.

For the fifth consecutive year, 24/7 Wall St. identified the nation’s worst companies to work for. 24/7 Wall St. analyzed thousands of employee reviews from jobs and career website Glassdoor. The site maintains a growing database of more than 8 million employee reviews for more than 540,000 companies worldwide.

Family Dollar Stores, Express Scripts and Forever 21 — received this lowest rating and top the list of the worst companies to work for.

Click here to see the worst companies to work for.

In an interview with 24/7 Wall St., Scott Dobroski, a Glassdoor spokesperson, explained that the three leading drivers of long-term employee satisfaction include: “culture and values, career opportunities, and trust in senior leadership.” For Dobroski, any company can improve these features by listening to employee feedback and addressing them in a timely manner.

Many complaints about the companies with the lowest ratings concern the lack of those leading drivers. According to some employee reviews of RadioShack, for example, sales associates believe upper management is out of touch; they see little room for professional growth; and they are unimpressed by the company’s culture.

Many employees at the worst companies to work for also cite poor work-life balance, low pay, and poor leadership as major reasons for their discontent. By contrast, technology companies such as Google and Facebook, which are some of the best rated companies, are notorious for high pay and generous perks.

Tech companies are not the only ones that manage to take care of their employees. Wholesale grocery store Costco, for example, has some of the best employee reviews of any company. There are numerous highly rated companies such as Costco where pay is by no means the only factor in employee satisfaction.

However, most of the worst-rated companies are customer-facing, low-paying businesses with high employee turnover rates. For nine of the 10 companies, the most commonly reported annual compensation on Glassdoor is lower than the national average annual wage of $48,320. The majority of these 10 companies operate in the retail trade sector, which has an above-average turnover rate, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The high turnover rates at these companies suggest employers treat employees as easily replaceable. With low-skilled workers readily available, employees at some of these companies may indeed be disposable. However, many companies with the lowest employee satisfaction are also not doing especially well financially, which may suggest that low employee satisfaction is but a symptom of poor management overall. The Employment Policy Foundation also estimates it costs a company an average of $15,000 each time a an employee leaves

Just as employee satisfaction can impact profits, a company’s financial performance can impact employee satisfaction. Many major retailers are losing ground to online giants such as Amazon.com, and their in-store sales are falling. As a result, employees working on commission may find it more difficult to earn commission wages. Similarly, as many of these businesses close stores and implement other cost cutting measures, employees may be assigned shorter shifts and consequently earn less. In Kmart, for example, where cashiers frequently complain about the difficulty of working on commission at a failing retailer, all full-time positions were recently switched to part-time.

To identify the 10 worst companies to work for, 24/7 Wall St. independently examined employee reviews on Glassdoor — this is not a Glassdoor.com commissioned report. To be considered, a company needed to have a minimum of 1,500 reviews and be currently operating and headquartered in the United States. Employee counts are from the most recent financial documents for each company. For subsidiaries, head counts are for the parent company.

How Damaging is a Bad Boss?

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What’s the one factor that most affects how satisfied, engaged, and committed you are at work? All of our research over the years points to one answer — and that’s the answer to the question: “Who is your immediate supervisor?”

Quite simply, the better the leader, the more engaged the staff. Take, for example, results from a recent study we did on the effectiveness of 2,865 leaders in a large financial services company. You can see a straight-line correlation here between levels of employee engagement and our measure of the overall effectiveness of their supervisors (as judged not just by the employees themselves but by their bosses, colleagues, and other associates on 360 assessments). So, as you can see at the low end, the satisfaction, engagement, and commitment levels of employees toiling under the worst leaders (those at or below the 10th percentile) reached only the 4th percentile. (That means 96% of the company’s employees were more committed than those mumbling, grumbling, unhappy souls.) At the other end, the best leaders (those in the 90th percentile) were supervising the happiest, most engaged, most committed employees — those happier than more than 92% of their colleagues.

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This study is by no means unusual. We’ve seen the same pattern in the U.S., the U.K., the Netherlands, Spain, United Arab Emirates, and India. We’ve seen it in financial services, manufacturing, high-tech, government, universities, hospitals, food service, oil, and every other industry we’ve studied. We’ve seen it in organizations employing 225,000 people and 250.

And we’re not the only ones who’ve seen it: In a recent article, Jim Clifton, the CEO of the Gallup organization, found that 60% of employees working for the U.S. federal government are miserable — not because of low pay, poor workplace benefits, or insufficient vacation days — but because they have bad bosses. He goes so far as to report a silver-bullet fix to this situation: “Just name the right manager. No amount of pay and benefits will solve the problems created by a manager who has no talent for the task at hand.”

This matters so much for two very basic reasons.

Bad Bosses Negate Other Investments: As Clifton points out, none of the other expensive programs a company institutes to increase employee engagement — excellent rewards, well-thought-out career paths, stimulating work environments, EAP programs, health insurance, and other perks — will make much difference to the people stuck with bad bosses.

Good Bosses Lead Employees to Increase Revenue: And, as many other studies have shown, there’s a strong correlation between employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and revenue.

To take just one example, in the first of many such studies, published more than 15 years ago in HBR, Anthony Rucci, Steven Kirn, and Richard Quinn identified “the employee-customer-profit chain” at Sears. This was a straightforward dynamic in which employee behavior affected customer behavior, which in turn affected company financial performance. Specifically, in Sears’ case, when employee satisfaction improved by 5%, customer satisfaction improved by 1.3%, which led to a .05% improvement in revenue. That might not sound significant, but for $50 billion Sears, that that came to an extra $250 million in sales revenue.

This study has since been replicated by J.C. Penny, Best Buy, and Marriott. And for all of them the results held true — effective leaders led to satisfied employees, which led to satisfied customers, which led to a direct and measurable increase in sales revenue.

Put all of these studies together, and to us the implications are clear. Investing in leadership development not only pays off, it’s a prerequisite to getting the most out of your other investments in workplace effectiveness and the most from your top line.


Salacious News

4 Reasons Why We Care More About Salacious News

How many times have you clicked on articles that oozed of controversy and skimmed past articles on Biblical truths? According to google.com the top trending topics of 2015 included searches on celebrity, scandal, death and world events. Surprisingly (or not), when it comes to online content, it appears that we are no longer interested in edifying content like ‘5 ways to improve your relationship with God’, but instead articles like, ‘Couple caught stealing from church’ are getting a lot more of our attention than ever before. So, why is that?

1. Their scandal makes you feel better about your own life 

Unfortunately people in the public eye usually make the biggest headlines because of a scandalous or controversial situation that they’ve been involved in. In some strange way this tickles our interest and makes us feel a lot better about our own lives, decision making and circumstances.


2. It serves as entertainment (or gossip)

“Did you hear about…” is a phrase that most likely finds its way into your phone conversations or catch ups with friends, (after you cover the weather and work of course). Is it entertainment or gossip? Either way, we find ourselves discussing and dissecting the details of celebrity’s lives in a manner that is less then positive.

3. Gives insight into what celebs get up to behind closed doors

 
Whether we consider our own lives to be exciting or mundane, some of us can find some kind of fascination from reading about celebrities and their outrageous shenanigans. We’re unlikely to admit it but some of us enjoy getting (what appears to be) the inside scoop on celebrity lifestyles, their failures, mishaps and embarrassingly uncensored moments. Again adding to the thought, ‘Well…at least my life isn’t as bad as that.’

4. Even if you don’t agree, you want to have your say

Although we might not like them, know them or agree with their conduct, dress sense or something they said on a TV programme, we want to have our say and we want to make sure everyone hears it. The comment section below every controversial post is usually jam packed with assumptions, observations and criticisms, along with a handful of back and forth heated debates between Facebookers. Even if we don’t admit it, we like having something to talk about!

As the saying goes ‘what you put in is what you get out’ and that doesn’t only apply to healthy eating, but it applies to your ‘consumer diet’ too. If all of what we read, listen to and watch is purely of a worldly, salacious and controversial nature, then we aren’t obeying what God is commanding us to do in Phillipians 4:8, but instead we’re giving our attention to ‘exciting’ and salacious entertainment, which only serves the purpose for the reasons listed above.