Can Companies Be Too Invested in the Present? How to Plan the Future of Your Employees

Posted by on January 29, 2014 in Business Management, Business Start Up Advice, Hiring [ 0 Comments ]

can companies be too invested in the present?In order to build a company that can last the test of time, you need to have a knowledge of how to survive the present, and the foresight to predict what will happen in the future of the market. If you want to build a sustainable company, the future should play a large role in the way that you run your company. With many companies that were too focused on the present going out of business, business leaders across the globe have begun to ask themselves, “can companies be too invested in the present?”

Very few businesses are able to make a profit by simply focusing on doing well in the present. Sure, you might be able to make a buck or two, but what happens when the market begins to change and your employees start to sense that you don’t have a plan for the future? If you don’t have your plans for the future set, you’ll be stuck in the past, and your employees will be jumping ship.

Related: 3 Budget Friendly Ways to Recognize Employees

A Rite Aid Case Study

Rite Aid, for example, was one of the largest drugstore companies in the country. They had over 5,000 stores and could be found in more than half the states in the union. The store was sinking, and tried taking on a couple of its competitors to help out the business. Unfortunately, when taking on the company Eckerd and Brooks, Rite Aid was also forced to take on their debt. Their employees weren’t happy with their practices, either. Rite Aid would sell expired medicine to people, and there were times when they wouldn’t pay their employees for the overtime that they worked. After nasty lawsuits from their employees, their business has drastically gone down, and a lot of employees have left the company.

Sears and Kmart were other companies with outdated business models and too invested to heavily in the present. After merging together in 2004 for 11 billion dollars, neither company has seemed to find their way financially. Employees were never really invested in working for either of these companies, because they felt like the companies weren’t truly invested in the employees. One of the reasons for the low employee morale is because of the low starting salary, while others pointed to the tiny annual raise. KMart employees were frustrated by not being able to work more than 32 hours a week.

Thinking About the Future

One of the best ways that you can avoid becoming the next KMart, Sears or Rite Aid, is by keeping your employees engaged in their work. Setting up an employee rewards program is a great way to do this. If the people who work with you are enjoying their jobs and are good at what they do, it will help keep their minds open to new possibilities for the future. You’ll get better ideas, be able to create plans for the future and you’ll avoid being too invested in your current success.

Related: Employee Recognition for a Generational Workforce 

With many other examples of companies who have forgotten about planning for the future, you and your company need to learn from the mistakes of others. Take the necessary steps to plan for the future, brainstorm how your company can keep up with the rest of the market and help your business thrive, both now and in the future.

Bio: Jacob Kache works as a consultant for O.C. Tanner, a company dedicated to developing employee recognition and rewards programs that help companies appreciate people who do great work.

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