Employees Make it, Then Buy it – 2/23/09
While many companies worldwide are debating the wisdom of bonuses for employees at all levels, Panasonic has gone even further. The company is demanding that they give something back by supporting the business with purchases of unsold equipment.
The Times in the U.K. carried a report from its Asia correspondent about the memo sent out to 10,000 Panasonic staff exhorting them to spend the equivalent of £1,000 (U.S. $1,440) each by July. Apparently the policy isn’t new, as executives “have been ‘encouraged’ for years to fill their homes with Panasonic goods as a symbol of corporate loyalty.” As the targets are mostly at management level, a spokesman said that “the company did not expect refusal rates to be high” despite the fact that salary and bonus cuts were also announced.
Discussion questions: What do you think of policies around encouraging or even requiring employees to purchase company merchandise? Will seeing a company’s employees buying its products encourage shoppers to do the same?
The Japanese culture may allow this to transpire without the backlash such actions would have in the US. However, that doesn’t make it any less wrong. This action is nothing less than a forced pay cut which will do nothing but harm the individual employee at a time when they are already taking forced salary reductions. Worst of all, even if the majority of the employees make the forced purchases, it will not be enough to move the needle on Panasonic’s results.
Mike Osorio, your Dare to be Contagious! TM strategist
Go to the full discussion at RetailWire.com:
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