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Listen to Your Employees: AMERICAN SYSTEMS’ Joe Kopfman Advice for Smooth Operations

ExecutiveBiz spoke with AMERICAN SYSTEMS executive Joe Kopfman about a number of topics, including his take on optimum employee relations:

“’Statistics show that employees who become whistleblowers — or call a government hotline — do that, many times, out of frustration, ” said Kopfman, who serves as chairman of the company’s ethics committee. ‘We have not had a single hotline report in the past year, ” he says, adding, “While we have never had an abundance of hotline calls, we have also seen a reduction in the number of negative exit interviews — that is not the time you want to be hearing about an employee issue.’

“Online participatory tools include a suggestion box. Any employee can offer an idea. Or ask a question. If the latter, a senior executive within the company answers for all to see.

“The intranet portal also includes online flashes, similar to email, released routinely. Each e-flash focuses on a specific area: IT, HR, contracts.

“’Basically, any particular topic that we want them to know about, ” said Kopfman.’

“’But probably the best way we’ve been pulling questions out of employees is [CEO] Bill Hoover travels to every single office twice a year, and holds town hall-type meetings, ‘ said Kopfman.

“Every question that Hoover’s asked is later answered online.

“’We are finding that to be a great communication tool, ” said Kopfman.'” L

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