in response to the Pullman Strike between the American Railway Union and employees of the Pullman Palace Car Company, which resulted in $80 million in damages and 30 deaths. Employees went on strike due to the current economic depression at the time (the Panic of 1893), which saw them get their wages cut while their company-owned housing refused to reduce their rent.
A lot has changed since then – we now think of Labor Day as just another day-off, a three-day weekend to round-out the summer, an indication that school is starting, and the final day to wear white until Memorial Day. Not to mention, these days, most companies strive to improve the conditions, morale and overall well-being of their workforce rather than exploit it.
management and employees work hand-in-hand to create a positive work environment and experience for themselves and for their associates. The business continues to enjoy financial success, growing every year, which is a direct result of a visionary business model, along with the dedication of its quality employees. Here, we take pride in knowing that we’ve increased company headcount, year after year, for the past 10 years, especially during such a volatile economic climate. Carole Witkowski, VP of Human Resources for Batteries Plus, LLC, identifies the key characteristics that she and hiring managers look for when bringing new employees aboard at Batteries Plus Bulbs:
“The most successful employees are those who thrive in a fast-paced, ever-changing, competitive environment. We look for people who are independent problem solvers — people who demonstrate an innate curiosity about how things work, and how to get something done. As a retailer and franchiser, we have many customers. We treat each other as internal customers, too, so excellent customer service skills are a key to success. We value employees who believe that they own their career success and work to stand out from the crowd.”
By hiring good employees, the company is able to develop and promote good people from within, establishing a culture where everyone can share in their collective success, and see that their hard work will be rewarded. This also goes a long way towards increasing job loyalty, pride and retention of quality workers. Batteries Plus Bulbs is truly a company where people can make their careers:
“Our stores have been a career launching point for many individuals throughout the organization. A few managers and senior leaders ‘worked their way up’ within the organization. Some of those individuals started as part-time store associates while in school, eventually landing a professional position to further their careers. We offer tuition reimbursement benefits to both full- and part-time associates. Our flexible scheduling in our stores provides for an excellent opportunity for an individual to work while pursuing educational opportunities,” remarks Witkowski, who realizes that in such a competitive job market these days, it’s important for a company to differentiate itself by treating its employees fairly, offering them the compensation, benefits and perks that will make it a coveted business to work for.
We’re especially proud of our focus on health and wellness. We encourage our employees to manage their health in an effort to share the responsibility of keeping benefit costs affordable. Employees are supported to become more informed consumers of their health related purchases with an advocacy service, decision making tools, and numerous health education opportunities. The company regularly brings in experts such as nutrition coaches, fitness specialists, weight loss organizations, alternative medicine practitioners, and others to support a wellness-focused workplace. Each year, the company funds flu shots, biometric screenings and health risk assessments for employees and their spouses. Employees who make a commitment to wellness are compensated with lower insurance premiums, matching HSA funds, and wellness rewards. We believe that employees who are informed about their health, and the costs of various health risks, are more engaged and productive, which helps the company be more successful,” says Witkowski.
“The company likes to celebrate our successes and milestones and we sponsor pot lucks, cookouts and pizza parties to mark special achievements. Once a year, we try to get employees from various parts of the organization – stores, distribution center and corporate offices – together for ‘fun’ events such as casino nights, family zoo days, Brewers tailgate parties, comedy club nights, golf outings, and more.”
With an emphasis on families and treating employees with mutual respect, Batteries Plus Bulbs continues to be a valued employer by its workforce. As the company continues to grow and prosper, Labor Day will continue to mark a well-deserved day off for corporate employees, and a day of retail success for those working in our stores. With a commitment to customer service, and a dedication to maintaining a positive work experience for all its employees, Batteries Plus Bulbs will continue to be a place we can all be proud to work for.
Interested in joining the Batteries Plus Bulbs team? Check out the many jobs currently available.
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