WHO’S LOYAL TO WHOM?
Employers and employees alike say they prefer a friendly, family-like atmosphere
at work, but that doesn’t seem to hold up under examination.
In a classic case of miscommunication, a recent study by Randstad North America,
an international staffing firm, showed 73 percent of employees and 84 percent
of employers said they preferred a close-knit, family-like work environment.
But a survey based on more than 2,800 telephone interviews found something wrong:
70 percent of employees said they were loyal to their employers, but only 53
percent of employers said that was case. On the other hand, 77 percent of employers
said they were loyal to their employees, but only 41 percent of workers felt
that to be true.
TOUCH AND GO
More consumers, it seems, are finding dealing with other human beings just slows
them down. They are opting for touch-screen technology at automated checkout
stations, and businesses are responding.
Nearly 13,000 self-checkout systems will have been installed in American retail
stores like Kroger and Home Depot by the end of this year, more than double the
number in 2001, according to the market research firm IDC.
Delta Air Lines spent millions of dollars this year to install automated kiosks,
and 22 million of its passengers—40 percent of the total—checked
in by touch-screen this year, up from 350,000 in 2001.
Fast food restaurants like Jack in the Box and McDonald’s are experimenting
with automated ordering stations that executives say have reduced lines and the
need to order from a human being.
“Skiosks” dispense lift tickets at several Colorado ski resorts.
COME AND GET IT
Savvy retailers are finding ways to combine the online and in-store shopping
experience. Reports in the Wall Street Journal show retailers who sell online
are increasingly encouraging customers to pick up their online purchases in the
store—it’s an attempt to get customers into the store and stay long
enough to do some shopping.
To lure online customers in, retailers are using the incentives of avoiding shipping
charges and getting the items ordered online faster. Some retailers are reporting
up to one-third of online sales now are being picked up at the store.