HPA's Site Visit Team was impressed with the phenomenal safety record and exceptional morale of Alstom's employees. A major factor in both of these areas seems to be a number of behaviorally engineered policies and programs. Positive reinforcement techniques abound. For example, for every 500 days of no lost-time injuries, every associate gets a $50 bonus; when 1000 days are achieved, they receive a $100 bonus, and so on. In addition, for every quarter without a lost-time injury, each employee receives a $25 gift card. Bonuses are awarded both quarterly and annually. Perfect attendance is rewarded both financially and socially. For example, an associate achieving five years of perfect attendance receives $500, has the day named in his or her honor, and is Guest of Honor at a special luncheon.
A unique program is the BRAVO program, where everyone receives five BRAVO points to award to other employees every six months in four categories: Above and Beyond, Teamwork, Customer Service, and Innovation. These points can then be redeemed for items, ranging from travel mugs to crystal to luggage.
The Company is very family oriented. In addition to a strong flex time policy, rewards are frequently family-oriented, and the Company encourages employees to bring children and pets to work with them if necessary. To help cover emergencies, employees can take advance or "negative vacation time" up to a week, thus not losing pay. As the plant manager told us, "employees are viewed as assets, not liabilities."
There is a high level of trust among employees and management. The company has developed a culture of respect and trust that infuses the entire operation. An anecdote told to us by the plant manager illustrates the positive effects of such a healthy work environment. He received a phone call from a plant manager on the mainland asking how he dealt with the problems from shift changes when employees need to come in early and/or stay a little late to transfer responsibilities. The ALSTOM manager here was surprised by the question, since at the local plant these considerations were not an issue. Employees work as a team and help one another as standard job practice.
The high morale and company loyalty is indexed by the low turnover among employees. In fact, the Company has a policy of providing financial reward for individuals achieving the qualifications for the next position on the career path even if that position is filled by someone else. Yes, if you're qualified and don't get the job, you still get the pay!