Employees are No. 1 asset, tubular execs say

Jan 25, 2010 | 11:56 AM | Maria Guzzo

During harsh economic times, it's important not to be harsh on companies' No. 1 assets—employees, according to tubular industry managers.

Norman Gottschalk, president of Marmon/Keystone Corp., said during a panel discussion at the Metal Service Center Institute's tubular products division conference in Palm Beach Gardens that some companies have shot themselves in the foot by laying off large numbers of employees, most of them young.

"Some companies have taken a whole generation out. That's a lost generation. How are they going to fill it?" he said, adding that he believes 20 percent of a company's employees comprise 80 percent of a company's value. "These are the ones you continually train."

Gottschalk said that his Butler, Pa.-based service center company has placed employees on 32-hour work weeks instead of laying off workers. What's more, he communicates to employees why the company is managing things the way it is. "You have to explain it," he said. "They may not like what they hear, but they know what's going on. If you don't explain, those 20 percent will be the ones who will bail out because they are the good ones who can always get a job."....

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