Wal-Mart is Way Ahead of the Pack in Terms of it’s Thinking on Employee Health Care

By partnering with its employees’ union to support the proposed government mandate for large businesses to provide health care insurance for their employees, Wal-Mart is demonstrating extraordinary foresight and leadership.  When  push comes to shove, nearly everyone in America wants better health care coverage for our citizens.  Employer provided health care coverage is the only way this can ever happen–tax payers can’t afford it and neither can the government. American businesses, on the other hand, can afford to pay for it and it will not cost them jobs nor will it drive down wages.  In fact, doing so will not only make American businesses more profitable, it will make them more competitive in the global economy.

Without realizing it, American businesses are paying a tremendous price for continuing to use out-moded, top-down management practices that are incredibly counter-productive–these are the same mangement practices that enabled the Japanese auto manufacturers to take over the American auto industry.  The cost to American businesses for using these practices has been conservatively estimated to be somewhere between $4 and $5 trillion annually.  If the people running American businesses would simply wise up and start utilizing management practices that brought out the best in their employees, they could recapture most of these $4 to $5 trillion.  This savings in productivity would not only be enough to pay for the best health care coverage on the planet, it would make America the most competitive nation in the global economy.

So, I say hats off to Wal-Mart.  Your extraordinary forsight and leadership has pointed out the way to get America and American businesses back on their feet.

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About Ross Reck

Who am I? I am the author of The Engagement Formula, Turning Your Customers into Your Sales Force, The X-Factor and my popular weekly newsletter: Ross Reck’s Weekly Reminder. I'm also the coauthor of Instant Turnaround!, REVVED! and the best selling The Win-Win Negotiator. I've also spoken at hundreds of meetings, conferences and conventions throughout the United States, Canada, Latin America, Europe and Asia. My consulting clients include Hewlett-Packard, John Deere, American Express, Janssen-Ortho, Inc., Shire Pharmaceuticals, Philip Morris International, the Chicago Cubs, Rolls-Royce and Xerox. I received my Ph.D. from Michigan State University in 1977. From 1975 to 1985 I served a Professor of Management at Arizona State University. During my career at ASU I was the only two-time recipient of the prestigious “Teaching Excellence in Continuing Education” award and was identified by the university as an “Outstanding Teacher.” In 1985 I left my position at ASU to search full-time for a new "Management Model" to replace the current model with it's emphasis on authority, control and formal communication channels. Last February, I found it (it's actually a leadership model) and it's featured in my new book, The Engagement Formula: Three Simple Steps that Guarantee Full Employee Engagement.

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