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Employee Morale and the Company Car

Donald Glade Avatar

Do a Google search on “employee morale” and you will get “about 1,020,000 hits”.  Evidently, it’s a pretty hot topic!  Actually, after I went through all the million plus hits, I found that there are actually 748,639 non-duplicative hits.  Still quite a few, and definitely a hot topic. 

I found out all kinds of things about employee morale by reading through all these hits.  For instance, I found that to improve morale, “A job well done might be rewarded with a gift card or a cash bonus,” but it would be a mistake  to give someone a company car.  You see, that would be “missing the point….a transparent manipulation.”  The employee doesn’t really “want an expensive gift. He/she wants to spend time together!” 

I’m unclear as to whether they want to spend more time with the boss or the hottie in the next cubicle.  But I guess that’s not important; just don’t give them a car.

I learned that “professional Coaches can establish methods by which employee and management morale will be permanently boosted and profitability assured”.  That’s right: boosting employee morale can ASSURE profitability!!!  That really does deserve multiple exclamation points in bold.  I mean, didn’t anyone tell Ford?  They lost billions this past quarter.  What do you suppose is the biggest perk of working at a car company?  Coincidence?  I think not.

Wait, I guess that must also mean that the atmosphere at ExxonMobil must be positively euphoric!  After the record profits they had, there can’t be any problem with employee morale.  After all, I’m sure all the employees are equally sharing in the record profits.  How gasoline figures into the company car picture is something I haven’t quite figured out yet, but I’m working on it.

I am learning so much, my head will explode! 

This must be the secret that ExxonMobil discovered:  “Boosting employee morale means that people will take more pride in their work, call in sick less often and be more productive.”  ExxonMobil figured this one out.  A recent study revealed that during the last quarter, not one employee missed any work time.  No paid time off was taken: not sick or vacation!  This assured the record profits seen. 

There was a corresponding up tick in accrued liability for PTO at Exxon, but Exxon’s auditors are petitioning the AICPA, FASB and SEC to be allowed to take the accrued liability to zero, noting that “Our employees are so happy; they plan to never take any more time off and donate accrued PTO back to the company as their gift to the company.”  And as a side note, Exxon began giving gift cards to senior execs in lieu of company cars.  As a result, Harry & David had a record Christmas season.

So as promised last week, I am providing the secret to boosting employee morale: take away the company cars and give gift cards!  Next thing you know, all your employees will show up for work (even on their days off), and profits will soar!

About the authorDonald Glade is President and Founder of Sourcing Analytics, Inc., an independent consulting firm specializing in helping companies optimize their HR / benefits / payroll service partnerships through relationship management, financial analysis, and process improvement.

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5 responses to “Employee Morale and the Company Car”

  1. Tom O'Brien Avatar


    I like this article because it highlights the folly of chasing the wrong thing. I once worked at a company where the thing employees valued the most was the in-building free health-club. That was one SICK organization.

    In healthy companies people work there because they are part of a high achieving team and recieving appropriate feedback and rewards. High standard, a clear mission, respect for co-workers and clients are absolutely critical to success.

    Tom O’B

  2. Donald Glade Avatar

    Thanks for the feedback, Tom. I hesitated posting this article, especially since last week I promised to give some advice on boosting employee morale.

    But like you, I realize that there are so many approaches, many focused on the wrong things.

    Next week, I’ll provide some of my own ideas (seriously presented) on ways to positively impact morale.

    BTW, you were actually in my contacts from the old HoJo days. We probably met back in 1995 or so. Nice to hear from you. Look for an e-mail from me with all my current contact information.

  3. […] • We’ll, who would take a giftcard over a company car? Seems like an obvious choice to us. [systematicHR] • […]

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