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Profit at the Bottom of the Ladder: Creating Value by Investing in Your Workforce

Jody Heymann

Most managers assume that surviving, especially in recessions, requires slashing wages, benefits, and other workforce expenses. And lowest-skilled workers are often viewed as the most expendable.

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Book Information

Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Publish Date: 05/12/2010
Pages: 268
ISBN-13: 9781422123119
ISBN-10: 1422123111
Language: English

What We're Saying

November 24, 2010

strategy + business's "best of" list is always a special treat—in large part because it's never just a list, but a series of essays. The magazine gathers together a different team of experts each year, and each takes the task of writing on their chosen category and the books in it. I've listed their picks below, linking to the essays at the head of each category. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

Full Description

Most managers assume that surviving, especially in recessions, requires slashing wages, benefits, and other workforce expenses. And lowest-skilled workers are often viewed as the most expendable. In Profit at the Bottom of the Ladder, Jody Heymann overturns these assumptions. Drawing from thousands of interviews with employees from front line to C-suite at companies around the world, Heymann shows how enterprises have profited more by improving working conditions. She also demonstrates that lower-skilled employees - in call centers, repair services, product assembly - aren't expendable. They can determine 90 percent of companies' profitability. High performers positively shape customers' perceptions of businesses, driving satisfaction and loyalty. To attract, train, and retain top-caliber people in these roles, you must enhance working conditions, creating a system in which your company and its employees profit together. Profit at the Bottom of the Ladder shows what works - from stock options for bakers to flexibility for factory workers to career tracks in call centers. Featuring cases from companies around the globe - including a leading concrete manufacturer in India, a top European pharmaceutical firm operating in China, and successful U.S. manufacturers - this book shows how real organizations are excelling financially by strengthening frontline employees' working conditions.

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