Category Archives: Management

8 Crisis Management Principles Adam Silver Followed Deftly

by Categorized: Entertainment/Tourism, Management, Media Date:

The consensus is that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver nailed it by banning Donald Sterling for life, fining him $2.5 million and declaring he’ll force the L.A. Clippers owner to sell the team. How Silver did it was as important as what he did. Here are eight ways Silver followed the  textbook on crisis management in his mass public debut:

1. Quick But Not Impulsive Action — Sure, three days was fast. But two would have been too quick. Silver showed up at the podium at the perfect moment with the Clippers preparing for a night game and the nation waiting for him to act.

2. Short Answers — Silver didn’t owe long explanations and he didn’t offer any. His response to the first question, whether he thought Sterling would fight a forced sale, set the tone: “I have no idea.”

3. Passion and Personal Stake — You can’t make up a cracking but clear voice unless you’re Daniel Day-Lewis. And Silver connected himself to the NBA with a bond of emotion by saying, “The views expressed by Mr. Sterling are deeply offensive and harmful; that they came from an NBA owner only heightens the damage and my personal outrage.”

4. Support, Not a Poll — We all know the commissioner of every sport works for the owners, not the players or the fans. But Silver proved he’s his own man when asked how his poll of owners came out. He didn’t poll the owners like a lackey, he marshaled support like a leader. A poll would have risked backlash from the likes of Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban.

5. Resisting the Tribal Urge — As with other groups, Jews often worry when one of our own commits a big, shameful public act, such as Bernard Madoff’s fraud. There’s even a word for it, a shonda. Silver, as a New York Jew, knows very well that to many, it’s important that the hero is also Jewish. Wisely, he would have none of this tribal talk, when asked.  “I think my response was as a human being…this is regardless of anyone’s religion, ethnicity, nationality.”

6. It’s Personal But Not An AttackSilver, a lawyer himself and the son of a prominent labor relations lawyer, didn’t give Sterling’s legal team much to work with. Even when pressed, he didn’t make statements about Sterling’s character or describe Sterling himself. He might have erred in saying, “There’s nothing I’ve ever seen in his behavior that would evidence these kinds of views.”

7. Direct Connection to History — Many fans never heard of “Sweetwater” Clifton but we now know what he stands for. Silver didn’t just invoke the names of African American trailblazers of the sport and apologize to them, he did it at the single most important moment of his press conference. “To…pioneers of the game like Earl Lloyd, Chuck Cooper, Sweetwater Clifton, the great Bill Russell, and particularly Magic Johnson, I apologize. Accordingly, effective immediately, I am banning Mr. Sterling for life…”

8. Strongest Possible Action — The gold standard of corporate crisis management is Johnson & Johnson’s complete recall of 31 million bottles of Tylenol in 1982 after cyanide-laced pills killed seven people. At every turn the company took responsibility and opted for the most extreme measure. That’s what Silver did.

Pratt To Machinists Union In Contract Talks: Give Up 252 Factory Jobs

by Categorized: Aerospace, Defense, Labor, Management Date:

In an opening salvo of contract talks, Pratt & Whitney management is asking the Machinist union to give up 252 jobs at the East Hartford and Middletown plants, clearing the way for the company to bring in outside contractors for materials handling work on the shop floors.

The number is included in a one-page flier (PDF here) that the union is giving to its members Thursday, based on negotiations Tuesday and Wednesday.

The flier also said the union was told by Bennett Croswell, the Pratt military engines chief, that the ramp-up for the f135 engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will not happen until 2016, rather than 2015 as planned. That engine is already in production in Connecticut and it’s unclear what the delay, or the ramp-up, will mean for jobs.

Pratt said in a memo to its employees that the number of f135 engines it will produce between 2013 and 2020 is 400 fewer than was anticipated in 2009.

Although the 252-job figure is just a starting point in talks that will intensify as the Dec. 8 contract expiration approaches, the proposal shows the direction Pratt plans to take. As the company moves deeper into the next-generation geared turbofan commercial engines and the f135 military work, its goal is to further outsource work to contractors that isn’t a core function, and to disperse company work to more sites around the world.

Both of these trends have been happening for years, angering union leaders in Connecticut, the most expensive place where Pratt has regular production.

Pratt’s hourly ranks have steadily thinned, mostly through retirements but with some layoffs, to about 2,700, divided equally in Middletown and East Hartford. The number is down from 3,400 three years ago, when the current contract was sealed, and is down from about 27,000 25 years ago, before a crushing series of cuts in the 1990-93 recession.

With those numbers in mind, the Machinist union has made job security far and away the primary issue in the talks. The union has already posted a strike picket assignment schedule starting Dec. 9, complete with names and shifts — a common tactic in contract negotiations.

Pratt has also taken pre-strike measures, preparing salaried employees to operate machines.

The union calls the plan “despicable” as some members charge the United Technologies Corp. unit  with greedily padding profits while it pays executives richly.

The company insists it must cut costs aggressively as it competes fiercely with General Electric and Rolls Royce for new-generation engine sales, as Pentagon budgets tighten and as the company endures a delay of two to three more years before high-volume production kicks in.

A typical union member makes $90,000 a year — a figure that can be reached with a base rate of $36 an hour and eight hours a week of overtime.

But the outsourcing of material handling it’s not just about saving money. Bringing in a large logistics firm to move parts, assemblies, components and finished engines around the Pratt complexes could be seen as part of the company’s ongoing effort to focus on its core function of developing and making engines. Companies such as FedEx and UPS have boosted their in-factory services for manufacturers, making a switchover more viable.

Until now, much of the argument between Pratt and the Machinists has been about moving work to locations outside of Connecticut. A provision known as Letter 22 prevents the company from moving union work on the existing generation of engines, unless the Connecticut plants lack capacity to do that work.

The issue of replacing union workers with outside contractors on the shop floor could be equally explosive — and is also protected under the current contract, for work on the existing generation of engines.  The company has done it in years past, notably in the “cribs” where tools and supplies are handled, and among skilled tradespeople such as electricians. The outside contractors, known as “yellow badges” for the ID’s they wear, typically earn less than union workers.

But the company has rarely if ever laid off union workers whose jobs were replaced by contractors, instead typically making the new hires after retirements, or transferring affected workers. And while it’s too early to know whether Pratt’s current proposal would mean layoffs, many of the materials handlers who would be affected have little or no experience in regular production, a source familiar with operations said.

“It is early in negotiations brothers and sisters but the company is heading down a slippery slope,” today’s flier said.

It may be a slippery slope but it’s not a one-way road.  As a negotiation tactic, the union could, for example, allow the company to take back the 252 jobs in exchange for protecting jobs in the f135 and geared turbofan programs — jobs that are not now covered under Letter 22.

The flier also said weekly health insurance premiums would increase. Health care costs were a significant issue in 2001, when the union had a strike that lasted several weeks.  In its memo to employees late Wednesday, Pratt said it is urging workers to use a high-deductible, lower cost plan rather than the more costly, full-coverage ConnectiCare plan.

Pratt and leadership of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers have agreed not to talk publicly about the negotiations.

Sturm, Ruger Leads CT Firms On Forbes Best Small Companies List

by Categorized: Corporate finance, Firearms, Management, Media Date:

What do gunmaker Sturm, Ruger & Co. and Annie’s, the organic food firm with the bunny mascot, have in common? Not much, you might think, but both companies with Connecticut ties are in the top 10 of the Forbes list of best performing small public companies.

Sturm, Ruger, based in the Southport section of Fairfield, comes in at No. 5 in the ranking, which is based on sales and profit growth over the last five years.

Annie’s, at No. 10, is based in Berkeley, Cal., but was founded by Canton native Annie Withey, who still grows and sells vegetables in Hampton and consults with the company.

Three other Connecticut companies also made the Forbes list, which ranked 100 publicly traded companies that have sales under $1 billion — solidly midsize by most standards. They are SS&C Technologies of Windsor, No. 28; TransAct Technologies of Hamden, No. 57; and FactSet Research Systems of Norwalk, No. 78.

Ruger has only its headquarters in its home state and recently announced a major manufacturing expansion in North Carolina. Over the last five years Ruger has ridden the gun wave, with its sales ballooning by 24 percent a year to $595 million and a massive 54 percent a year average gain in earnings per share.

At SS&C, the maker of software and systems for the financial services sector, with more than 400 employees in Windsor, founder and CEO Bill Stone moved to Florida late last year said this month he is considering moving company headquarters elsewhere.

UTC’s Chênevert Among Richest CEOs? Really?

by Categorized: Aerospace, Management, Wall Street, Wealth Date:

Louis Chênevert became CEO of United Technologies Corp. in 2008 and has made something in the ballpark of $20 million to $28 million a year since then.

UTC Celebrates Education Assistance Program Milestone

Chênevert at a 2012 event. He’s the big guy in the middle.
Michael McAndrews/The Hartford Courant

That puts him in the 1 percent of the 1 percent, for sure, but could it tie him for 4th place on the list of richest CEOs of Dow Jones companies?  Wealth-X, a research firm on ultra-rich people, says Chenevert’s net worth is $430 million, tied with John T. Chambers of Cisco Systems.

Click here to see the list.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is No. 1 at $17 billion, wealth from his role as co-founder, not as CEO.  Hewlett-Packard’s Meg Whitman comes in at $1.2 billion.  Stephen Hemsley of UnitedHealth Group, who famously netted $102 million in the recession year of 2009, is No. 3 at $480 million.

How does Chênevert reach toward half a billion dollars after just five years in the big money? Wealth-X says it uses public and private sources, so we don’t know for sure, but it seems unlikely. Chênevert holds unvested stock and unexercised stock options worth about $145 million, according to federal filings. He also holds $49 million in UTC shares.

That gets him about halfway there, and his retirement package has to be worth a few tens of millions more.

By contrast, Jay S. Fishman, the Travelers CEO, holds a similar amount of shares, unvested stock and unexercised options, and he’s been CEO since 2004, making similarly crazy annual amounts. He’s also on the Wealth-X list, but only at No. 10 with a net worth of $220 million.

Both CEOs have boosted their own wealth dramatically by pushing share prices higher over the last five years: 16 percent a year for Fishman at Travelers, 12 percent a year for Chênevert at UTC.

Bottom line: Wealth-X might have overestimated Chênevert’s net worth and underestimated Fishman’s.  Neither one is close to making the Forbes 400 list of richest Americans,  which bottoms out at $1.1 billion. And other than as a scorecard, it doesn’t really matter. These guys are thinking legacy, not war chest.

 

For Nappier And Other Activists, Only A Moral Victory in Dimon Vote at JPMorgan Chase

by Categorized: Banking, Corporate finance, Management, Public finance Date:

Shareholder activists including state Treasurer Denise L. Nappier, who tried to force JPMorgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon to give up his chairman post, will have to be satisfied with a moral victory. Their bid fell short Tuesday at the company’s annual meeting.

Nappier, fiduciary of the $26 billion pension and trust funds, was among the ringleaders of the effort. Despite support from unions and other pension funds, the nonbinding vote to create an independent, non-employee chairman, was defeated with one-third of shares voting favoring the split.

The Connecticut funds hold 1.5 million JPMorgan shares, valued at $74.5 million as of April 30, and $38 million in JPMorgan debt, Nappier’s office said.

Management and the JPMorgan board, and of course, Dimon himself, had worked hard to defeat the measure, so the one-third rebuke is something of an accomplishment.  Still, a similar bid got 40 percent of shares a year ago, and some had hoped that the scandal of 2012, in which a London trader lost $6 billion, would lead to a larger vote for a split.

Nappier’s statement, in part:

“The Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds and many other shareholders realize that highly integrated companies such as JPMorgan Chase, in order to ensure long-term value, should be managed by a CEO overseeing the business, and an independent chairman leading the board in its oversight and evaluation of the CEO’s performance. Independent Board leadership is an important governance variable to ensure that the company looks beyond today’s profits to future growth and success.”

Nappier sent Suzanne Hopgood, a corporate governance expert, former chair and CEO of a New York Stock Exchange company, and chairwoman of the Capital Region Development Authority, to represent her office at the JPMorgan shareholder meeting in Tampa, Fla.

Questions by shareholders about the board operations lasted more than an hour, said Hopgood, who conveyed Nappier’s respect for Dimon and his abilities, but also her concerns “that he has two positions.”

“They are two very difficult, challenging jobs,” Hopgood said.

Three directors on the risk committee were re-elected with votes of between 53 percent and 59 percent, Hopgood said, which are low totals reflecting the shareholders’ concerns.

Nappier is a veteran activist in corporate governance, especially this issue — the splitting of the roles of chairman and CEO. She led a successful campaign to persuade The Walt Disney Co. to split the roles in 2005, a move the company later reversed and Nappier is trying to restore, but her bid was turned back in March.

As with all of her activism, Nappier argues that her interest is in shareholder returns, not political points.  Tuesday, she cited a 2012 report by GMI Ratings that said 5-year returns were 28 percent higher at companies with a separate CEO and board chair than at companies with a consolidated office.

Nappier’s office, citing shareholder advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services, said 21.5 percent of Standard & Poor’s 500 firms had an independent chair in 2012, up from 18 percent two years earlier.

 

 

 

Homespun Advice from a Business Legend

by Categorized: Banking, Management Date:

Larry Bossidy was never the CEO of a Connecticut-based company, but he’s been a big force in business here and elsewhere for decades at General Electric, Allied Signal, Honeywell International and lately, as a board member at Berkshire Bank, which owns the former CBT franchise .

On Friday, Bossidy brought a combination of homespun advice and hardnosed pragmatism to an economic conference of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, at the Sheraton Hartford South in Rocky Hill.

Bossidy

Larry Bossidy at CBIA economic conference
Dan Haar/The Hartford Courant
May 17, 2013

 

The precepts he offered are basic but the execution of them is not so easy, and Bossidy has the track record to back it up.  Know yourself, be humble, reward doers, anticipate change, create systems that root out errors and, mostly, be flexible, not rigid.

“People who have their minds made up are the ones who end up falling by the wayside,” Bossidy said.

Bossidy started his career at General Electric in 1957, where he rose to be chief operating officer of GE Credit, now GE Capital, and vice chairman of the company, the right-hand man to chairman and CEO Jack Welch.  Bossidy later turned Allied Signal into a top-performing company and sold it to Honeywell, which he ran in two stints, before and after Honeywell was nearly acquired by United Technologies, then General Electric, in 2001.

“I always discouraged a lot of philosophers around my place,” said Bossidy, 78. “You want good ideas but you want to get things done.”

That’s the theme of one of the two books Bossidy co-authored after retiring from Honeywell in 2002, “Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done.”  He later co-wrote “Confronting Reality: Doing What Matters to Get Things Right.”

It’s the smart, tough, results-based management style that’s at the heart of GE culture. Bossidy was close to Harry Gray, who converted the old United Aircraft Co. into United Technologies, and who greatly admired Bossidy.  Like a lot of people, I assumed Gray had tried to recruit Bossidy in the tumultuous last years of Gray’s tenure at UTC in the mid-’80s.

Not true, Bossidy told me Friday. “We were friends, but  wouldn’t have gone to a GE competitor. I woudn’t have gone to UTC.”

He’s a Red Sox fan and UTC, he said, was “the Yankees.”  That was a different era, of course, and nowadays Red Sox and Yankees players jump ship for the Benjamins all the time.

“The quality and performance of U.S. companies is a lot better than it was ten years ago,” Bossidy said.

He sees more difficulty in the economy this year and no great boom in 2014 — in contrast to Ryan Sweet, an economist at Moody’s Analytics, who told the audience that U.S. GDP growth could reach 5 percent next year. But Bosssidy said he’s “an optimist for the country,” and that we’ll solve the problems of long-term liabilities and other major structural worries over the economy.  Yolanda Kodrzycki, a vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and director of the New England Public Policy Center, had said earlier that those concerns could hamper economic growth for years.

But Bossidy’s main message transcended business, to the realm of leadership and more broadly, humanity. It’s very hard to promote innovation and teamwork at the same time, and it’s important to remember there are no cookie-cutter solutions to tough problems.

Bossidy was in some ways very much in the mold of typical speakers at business conferences — an accomplished CEO, still with a hand in the game. But he was broader than most, something CBIA appreciated, said Peter Gioia, the association’s vice president and head of research.

For example: As the more gregarious brother of a pair of twins, Bossidy said he learned humility from his mother. She told him, “It’s not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.

Health Activist Report: Big Pharma CEOs Made $1.6 Billion In Last Decade

by Categorized: Health Care, Management, Public finance Date:
pharmareport

Charts provided by Health Care for America Now show high CEO pay and large federal and state penalties at big pharma companies.

The CEOs at 11 large pharmaceutical companies have made a staggering $1.57 billion over the last decade as their companies have gouged the public, a policy group charges, in a release aimed at fomenting anger at the companies.

Health Care for America Now, a Washington, DC group that favors universal medical coverage under strict federal regulation, issued the report Wednesday in response to proposals to cut back on Medicare benefits, or at least on Medicare increases.

HCAN railed against the federal law that bars Medicare from negotiating prices with drug companies, in addition to slamming the CEO profits.

“By prohibiting Medicare from getting better drug prices, the federal government is subsidizing the greed of the drug companies and their CEOs,” said Ethan Rome, executive director of HCAN. “This is why Americans pay vastly higher prices than people in other countries for identical drugs. It should not be the official policy of the United States to price-gouge our people and government – a practice that’s especially offensive when some in Washington are talking about cutting Medicare benefits to seniors and middle-class families.”

Click here to see the pay chart by company.

Click here for more charts and comments from HCAN

HCAN points out that violations of state and federal laws have led to a ballooning number of fines and settlements for marketing abuses, which routinely total in the billions of dollars each year.

The nonprofit group also notes that profits at the 11 companies totaled $711 billion over the last ten years. That’s a two-edged sword, as the profit was at the expense of consumers but also could be used to increase the number of jobs in the industry.

Drug companies say they need the profits to support enormous research costs, which can lead to losses of upwards of $1 billion for a single drug  that never reaches the market. They also say the outsized pay for their CEOs — an average of $13 million a year per CEO, per company — is designed to attract and retain the best managers.

Both arguments are leaky, especially the CEO pay excuse. They pay those amounts because they can, and shareholders go along with it because they’re browbeaten by management and directors who say all the companies do it.

As for research costs, that’s a more complicated picture but it comes down to this:  U.S. taxpayers are subsidizing the world’s drug consumers as well as investors in big drug companies. It’s not an efficient way to create jobs and wealth.

 

Fortune 500 List: Some New CT Triumphs And an OUTRAGE

by Categorized: Economic Development, Management Date:

The Fortune 500 list for 2013 is out, and the ranking of publicly traded U.S. companies by total sales contains two new triumphs for Connecticut and one outrage.

In all, Connecticut has 16 companies on the list, our largest total in recent years, led, as always, by General Electric, the nation’s biggest industrial company. The Fairfield giant is No. 8 with $147 billion in sales last year, down from No. 6 in 2012.

United Technologies comes in at No. 50, which is down from its usual perch in the 40s, even though the Hartford-based industrial grew to $59.8 billion.

The triumphs, for two different reasons, are Priceline.com and Charter Communications. But let’s get the outrage out of the way first.

Northeast Utilities, a Connecticut stalwart for years, which fell off Fortune 500 in 2012 because of its size, is back at the No. 402 spot — in Massachusetts.  Recall, NU merged with Boston-based NSTAR in April, 2012, giving it plenty of size to rejoin the list, with joint headquarters in Boston and Hartford.

So why does Massachusetts get the nod from Fortune? It was NU that bought NSTAR, technically, so we should prevail based on the famous business concept of first dibs.  As it turns out, NU for years has had its official, legal address in Springfield, Mass. for some goofy reason. This year, that’s the headquarters location the map-makers at Fortune used in their list — even though they gave NU a Berlin, Conn. address in years past.

We appeal, and we move on to the good news: Priceline.com, homegrown in Norwalk, has expanded its way onto the list at No. 473, with a stunning $5.3 billion in revenues. Five years ago the travel services company wasn’t even in the Fortune list of the 1,000 biggest U.S. corporations, then it emerged at No. 931 in 2009, with $1.9 billion in sales.

The really good news for Priceline.com is that it had profits of $1.4 billion last year, one of the highest totals of any company in the last 100 on the fortune list.

Also joining the Connecticut list is Charter Communications, the cable TV company that moved its headquarters from St. Louis to Stamford after cutting a deal with the state. Charter promised to bring at least 200 jobs and invest at least $25 million in exchange for millions in low-rate loans, from Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, in the Next Five program.

Charter comes in at No. 340, with $7.5 billion in sales, up from No. 351 on the 2012 list, when it was in Missouri.

Hey, checkbook economic development counts.  Connecticut is, after all, a capital of corporate headquarters. The other Connecticut company that joined the list by way of the Next Five program was Cigna, in 2012 — but that’s different since the Bloomfield health insurer already had thousands of employees here and was likely to move its head office from Philadelphia anyway.

Looking at the 16 companies in Connecticut, we see about six that have only a head office here, no major operations — led by Xerox, the $22.4 billion document and information company, in Norwalk, at No. 131.

On the overall list, Wal-Mart Stores ($469 billion) edged back ahead of Exxon Mobil ($450 billion) but Exxon is far more profitable, with $44.9 billion in net income, compared with $17 billion at Wal-Mart.

Travelers Cos., No. 116 on the list, is a New York company in name only, with its biggest operations in the Insurance Capital, but fair is fair, if we get Xerox, they get Travelers.

The Connecticut companies on the list, with 2012 sales in billions:

8   General Electric, Fairfield, $147 B

50 United Technologies, Hartford, $59.8 B

84 Aetna, Hartford, $36.6 B

103 Cigna, Bloomfield, 29.1 B

112 The Hartford Financial Services Group, Hartford,  26.4 B

131 Xerox, Norwalk,  22.4 B

241 Praxair, Danbury, 11.2 B

245 Stanley Black & Decker, New Britain, 11.1 B

340 Charter Communications, Stamford,  7.5 B

351 Terex, Westport, 7.3 B

399 EMCOR Group, Norwalk,  6.3 B

400 Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Stamford, 6.3 B

438 W.R. Berkley, Greenwich, 5.8 B

473 Priceline.com, Norwalk, 5.3 B

489 Pitney Bowes, Stamford, $5 B

492 Frontier Communications, $5 B

 

Yahoo’s Mayer, New Mother, Extends Maternity Benefits

by Categorized: Management, Technology Date:

When it comes to family-friendly corporate policies, Yahoo CEO Marissa Meyer is all over the lot. Last year she ordered most work-at-home employees back to the office, but on Tuesday she extended paid maternity and paternity leave to 16 weeks for mothers, 8 weeks for fathers.

Marissa Mayer, Yahoo CEO Reuters photo

Marissa Mayer, Yahoo CEO
Reuters photo

CNNMoney sorts it out by saying Mayer, a new mother, is rightly focusing on turning the company around.  That’s what Yahoo really needs — a clear definition.

Can Connecticut companies, especially the old-line ones, offer as much paid leave?  Silicon Valley is a different culture, so for most the answer is no.  Let me know about exceptions.

At Quinnipiac University, management professor David Cadden points out that Yahoo’s new paid leave policy is middle-of-the road — for Europe:

It is extremely gratifying to hear that Yahoo has decided to double the maternity and paternity leave time….CEO Mayer has recognized that employees aren’t singularly driven by just the paycheck. They look and are motivated by other benefits. These include the ability to raise a family. She had curtailed Yahoo’s employees’ ability to work at home which aided many of them in raising their family. While extremely generous by American standards, Yahoos’ policies for maternal and paternal would be merely average in the Northern European context. Such policies are critical in attracting and retaining technically competent individuals. For a period of time, Xerox Corporation had in many of its facilities on-site daycare for young children. CEO Mayer has a comparable capability for herself. She had a nursery built next to her office.”

 

You Can Take That Job Evaluation And…

by Categorized: Jobs, Management Date:

Does your boss have it out for you?  Maybe your supervisor thinks you can do no wrong.  Either way, you might think the annual job evaluation is a waste of time, with check-boxes that make no sense and comments that seem off the wall.

Now you have facts to back up your grousing. At Southern Connecticut State University, management professor Paul Stepanovich took a close look at the office evaluation ritual and found not only that they aren’t always effective, but actually make matters worse.

“They generally do much more harm than good,” said Stepanovich, who’s chairman of the management and management information department at SCSU. “They have been criticized forever, yet almost every organization continues to do them.”

Why is that? Probably in part because the lawyers tell the folks in HR, who tell the division chiefs that job evaluations are the legal means companies have for establishing a documented record of employee performance — in case there’s a dispute down the line.

In a paper published in the Journal of Behavioral and Applied Management, Stepanovich said the evals are so biased that they “actually say more about the evaluator” than the employee, SCSU said.

“Those biases are usually unconscious,” Stepanovich said in a written release. “In fact, most supervisors believe they are providing pretty objective evaluations.  But the research is clear – they are not.”