We all know that HR is never dull, but sometimes it can get downright strange...
Bad marks for being a good employer
The Costco Wholesale Corp. is often held up as a retailer that does right by
its employees, paying them well and offering generous benefits.
But The Wall Street Journal reports that Costco's kindhearted philosophy toward
its 100,000 cashiers, shelf-stockers and other workers is drawing criticism
from Wall Street. Some analysts and investors contend that the Issaquah, Wash.,
warehouse-club operator is too good to employees. Costco shareholders,
they say, are paying the price.
"From the perspective of investors, Costco's benefits are overly generous,"
says Bill Dreher, retailing analyst with Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. "Public
companies need to care for shareholders first. Costco runs its business like
it is a private company."
Costco President and CEO Jim Sinegal sees things differently. "The last
thing I want people to believe is that I don't care about the shareholder,"
he told the Journal. "But I happen to believe that in order to reward the
shareholder in the long term, you have to please your customers and workers."
Worker pay, benefits, and job quality have become an especially contentious
issue in the retail industry, thanks in no small part to the growing dominance
of Wal-Mart, which the Journal describes as "parsimonious" when it
comes to employee compensation.
The Wall Street Journal