Employees value a company's care over its financials

LIVINGSTON, NJ: According to a new survey by The Cherenson Group, a company's reputation among potential employees depends more on how workers are treated than on the firm's financial health.

LIVINGSTON, NJ: According to a new survey by The Cherenson Group, a company's reputation among potential employees depends more on how workers are treated than on the firm's financial health.

Asked what is the most important factor in defining a company's reputation, 36% of survey respondents answered, "The way employees are treated at the company.

Another 27% said, "The quality of the company's products or services.

Only 17% said, "The company's financial condition."

"I thought that with all that's going on in the world, people would be more in tune with the financial health of a company,

said VP Michael Cherenson. "But people still think with their hearts rather than their pocketbooks."

In past research, Cherenson found that people were likely to turn down higher-paying jobs with companies sporting a poor reputation, and instead take lower-paying positions at companies with a good reputation.

"All management would be very smart to recognize that they should invest in their reputation. It has payoffs,

Cherenson said. Furthermore, internal communications programs that produce happy employees can pay dividends in attracting new employees, he added.

Content workers will also translate to lower employee turnover, he said, explaining that long gone are the days when someone took a job and expected to stay at the same company for life. But in their place has come a desire by employees to work with people they like - to seek out a family atmosphere in their jobs. Therefore, maintaining high morale can decrease turnover and increase productivity.

PR can be used to foster that feeling, Cherenson explained. "That's a PR function - to build relationships, to build a community,

he said.

Cherenson's 2002 reputation survey was done the week of February 11, and interviewed 800 New Jersey residents aged 18 and older. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.5%.

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