Never let it be said that Regina Sacha-Ujczo isnâ€™t dedicated to her job. The day after a riding accident in which she was tossed from a galloping horse, Sacha-Ujczo (pronounced "sha-ka u-so") was on the phone talking about why Green-based FedEx Custom Critical is one of Northeast Ohioâ€™s top workplaces.
"Iâ€™m a little bruised up and my lip is a little swollen, but Iâ€™ll be OK," says Sacha-Ujczo, sounding surprisingly cheery. "I love this job and I love talking about this place."
With loyalty like that, FedEx Custom Critical â€“ the business-to-business expedited shipping division of Memphis-based FedEx Corp. â€“ must be doing something right. One human resources area in which the organization excels is in compensation and benefits.
The shipping organization is a pay-for-performance environment. Each employee has individual, team and organization goals, including customer satisfaction goals in which quarterly bonuses are awarded, and "profit kickers" which awards the entire organization for reaching its profitability benchmark.
With all of the incentives and bonuses, the compensation of FedEx Custom Criticalâ€™s top performers exceed the market average by 70 percent.
"All of us share in the mentality that itâ€™s not just about showing up," says Sacha-Ujczo, FedEx Custom Criticalâ€™s human resources director. "It is about the end-result and it is about the customer."
FedEx Custom Critical surveys a random sample of 150 customers served over the past month and studies each area of the transaction. Based on the feedback â€“ which is shared with the entire workforce â€“ Custom Critical looks for trends in its customersâ€™ comments and service areas where it could improve.
"We have had executives go to all the major areas of the organization to hold small group discussions about what they could do," Sacha-Ujczo says. "We really try to draw the link between employee engagement and customer loyalty."
The organization also offers a slew of non-monetary benefits including open kitchens, a cafeteria with a special Weight Watchers menu, free chair messages, and on-site fitness facility. Its facility also includes meditation rooms for people who want to get away from the noise of the office for a few moments and a nursing room for mothers. To discourage personal Web surfing, the organization offers an Internet cafe where employees can visit work appropriate, but non-work related Web sites during lunch or breaks.
"Theyâ€™re able to do things that they couldnâ€™t do while their working, or theyâ€™re too busy to do at home," Sacha-Ujczo says. "Itâ€™s very much appreciated when people want to do research or buy something on the Net."
A family-oriented organization, FedEx Custom Critical offers an adoption assistance program where it contributes up to $2,500 to employees to help defray adoption costs.
"A lot of time is focused on [Family and Medical Leave Act] and time away for babies and they forget about the folks who want to have children in a different way," says Sacha-Ujczo. "These are all the things that set us apart as a unique organization, and the bottom line impact of these benefits is indisputable."
A March 2005 poll of health care recruiters found the national turnover rate of health care professionals, including registered nurses, was 13.9 percent and the vacancy rate was more than 16 percent. Not so at Millersburg-based Pomerene Hospital, which has no registered nurse openings and an overall vacancy rate of less than 1 percent.
Part of what helps retain these valuable workers is the benefits of the Public Employees Retirement System, where the employee can start enjoying full retirement benefits after only 30 years of contributing. The benefit amount is based on years of service and 70 percent of the employeeâ€™s highest year of income.
"In the last five years, 75 percent of our retirees have returned to work," says Connie Poulton, human resources director for Pomerene Hospital. "A lot of that is because of the sense of family here and us being in a small community."
At software developer OEConnection, based in Richfield, employees can spend long hours writing code and finishing projects, so time off is crucial to employee morale.
Thatâ€™s why every full-time employee receives 160 hours of paid time off over a year, which can be used in hourly increments.
"Itâ€™s not broken down into personal time, or anything along those lines," says Amy French, OEConnectionâ€™s director of human resources. "Itâ€™s all in
one bucket. So if you can manage your appointments and other things separately from work hours, you can have four weeks of vacation."
In addition, OEConnection workers also have 12 paid holidays off per year.
"It was important to us that associates have time away from the office," French says. "It also helps us differentiate ourselves and helps us be an employer of choice."