An Employment Practices Compliance System is a system where training and compliance walk hand in hand to create a culture where employees are not only valued, but are held accountable for their actions in the employer-employee relationship. In his seminal article, Ken Thrasher defines and applies an Employment Practices Compliance System in a corporate setting.
An EPCS functions by providing training and compliance to employees in order to lower the incidence of employee-initiated lawsuits. It is a multi-pronged approach that utilizes technology in order assure 100% employee compliance. According to Thrasher, “an EPCS represents a “standard of care” in terms of educating employees about company policies and procedures (Thrasher, 2003).”
It also utilizes training, education and real time monitoring (Ibid). in addition to being a compliance mechanism, and EPCS is also a risk-management tool that can be used to lower liability insurance premiums in a hardening market. This means that by implementing an EPCS, a company has a nearly iron-clad mechanism against liability. According to Thrasher, it “reduces the likelihood that a claim will be made because the company can demonstrate that it has applied fair and consistent practices among all employees.
In addition to functioning as a risk management tool and a compliance tool, it also helps companies that are embroiled in litigation. Court decisions have recognized the need for all employees to be versed in employment laws, policies and regulations (Ibid). In other words, when a company is proactive, and initiates an EPCS, the courts tend to consistently rule in favor of the company because it is realized that the company is taking measures to assure that its employees are educated about the policies. Additionally, with the addition of the online monitoring of compliance, the company has at its fingertips a record of what employees have been trained and what employees still need to complete the compliance program.
How does an EPCS mesh with the NLRA? By utilizing the EPCS, a company has established clear and consistent rules for training, educating, and assuring the compliance of all employees. Employees that fail to comply with the rules and regulations are disciplined fairly and within the guidelines established by the company. With an EPCS in place, no employee can sue on the basis of not knowing the rules and procedures. They also have to acknowledge receipt of the policies, so therefore, they cannot claim that they did not receive the rules. Therefore, the employee has very few grounds on which to sue when a company has an effective EPCS in place.
In “Holding on to High Performers: A Strategic Approach to Retention,” Eileen Garger postulates theories for employee retention and compensation programs that allow companies to retain their high performers and avoid employee attrition. She identifies three areas that employers should focus on in order to recruit, train, compensate and ultimately retain the best and the brightest in the business world.
When an employer examines their recruitment and selection process, Garger says that the company should focus on employees that have the right attitudes that promote commitment (1999). She also notes that cultural issues need to be addressed throughout the recruitment process (Ibid). By appealing to the cultural differences a potential employee brings to the table, an employer is better able to provide a better “fit” within the company for that particular person.
In other words, to turn a phrase, from each according to his abilities to each employer according to their needs. When it comes to orienting the new employee, the employer should offer training that focuses on creating cultural fits with the employee, therefore, engendering the employee to the company. Additionally, it is Garger’s position that behavioral based interviewing be conducted in order to assure the candidate’s organizational fit. Finally, she states that orientation should “close the sale” for the new hire, and keep them from feeling the employment equivalent of “buyer’s remorse. (Ibid).
Garger then turns to training and career management. She states that a company that takes the initiative and invests in employee training and career management has a better likelihood to retain the employees that it has. Garger states that for companies that are afraid to invest in employee training find their fears unfounded because employees that feel as though their company invests time and money in them tend to stay on with the company throughout the good and the bad times.
Garger gives three tips to assure retention of employees through training. She states that adopting interactive approaches to training, establishing development as a line responsibility, and offering a variety of development opportunities are all ways to accomplish this goal.
Finally, Garger addresses compensation. She states that traditional compensation packages are insufficient in retaining employees because other companies are all too willing to match compensation packages in order to recruit away high performers. In this respect, Garger identifies three ways to compensate the employee in order to assure corporate loyalty. First of all, she states that employers should incorporate non-financial rewards like giving employees more control over their work schedule into the compensation package of an employee. This helps the employee feel “valued and appreciated (Ibid).”
She also states that enlist high performers in solving business problems. By doing this, the employee becomes a stakeholder in the company and more likely to remain. Third, Garger feels that employers should employ a strategy that teachers have been utilizing for years. She feels that employers should recognize employee efforts more informally, more personally, and more frequently. This strategy helps an employee to realize how much they are valued within the organization and can help with employee motivation and retention.
Employee retention goes beyond compensation to getting to the heart and soul of an employee. Gaining the loyalty of an employee will do wonders in aiding a company in keeping them throughout the good and bad times and will virtually eliminate attrition. By focusing on recruitment, training, and compensation, a company can retain the employees that they have and recruit ones that will be loyal to the company in the future.
Garger, E. M. (1999).Holding on to high performers: a strategic approach to retention.
Compensation and Benefits Management. Autumn, 10-17.
Thrasher, K. (2003).A direct defense: using an employment practices compliance approach to
avoid employee lawsuits. Employee Relations Law Journal. 29, 25-37.