Tuesday, July 27, 2010



Aflac chief executive won't lay rancid workers

Maybe Aflac must tone down the duck's quack since it seems soft equally feathers as it comes to layoffs.

Hardly any companies inside this time and age can say they haven't had vacancy cuts all through this fiscal fix. Still fewer can say they've by no means laid rancid employees.

Other than since its founding 55 years past inside Columbus, Aflac has managed to dodge chopping heads inside the U.S. And Japan, where it sells supplemental health insurance.

'I believe vacancy security enhances the productivity of your employees,' chief executive Dan Amos told me all through a contemporary interview. 'You can't be inflicted with your sensitivity and soul inside it if you're apprehensive in this area your vacancy.

With the intention of mind-set is a prime wits Aflac has consistently made lists of top seats to bring about. It furthermore scores distinguished on diversity.

With discussion to a lot of CEOs pro this discourse, I can say with the intention of Amos is inside a minute underground on the layoff come forth. Companies be inflicted with been cold expenditure - and employees be inflicted with been the foremost victims.

What's other, a lot of CEOs believe it's valuable to reward employees with shell out increases - still if with the intention of earnings laying rancid other workers than would befall de rigueur if shell out was frozen.

Other than Amos, who's been chief executive pro 21 years, is not inside with the intention of camp. He chooses to freeze merit increases to dodge layoffs. Aflac has a merit freeze inside place aptly currently.

To befall rational to companies inside a lot of other industries, Aflac does not be inflicted with to contend with the boom-and-bust cycles faced by construction, car, airline and other businesses. Aflac's rate of plan renewals is positively predictable by 88 percent, Amos understood. With the intention of allows pro effectual planning to dodge seesaw hiring and firing.

There's lone other strategic come forth on which Amos, 58, may befall inside the underground - international extension.

Inside the early-to-mid 1990s, Amos sold otherwise clogged operations inside a half-dozen countries where Aflac was floundering to focus on the U.S. And Japan.

Now, in this area three-fourths of the company's $18 billion inside revenue comes as of Japan, where Aflac has a 25 percent invasion rate amongst households. Inside the U.S., where the company calculates invasion differently, it's 6 percent amongst businesses.

So Amos, by smallest amount pro the foreseeable prospect, is planning to stay pushing inside persons markets, where he sees bounty of room pro growth.

By the method, the duck - and how Amos chose to aid it - has been answer to together revenue and return growth ended the years.

As the public notice campaign ongoing a decade past, Aflac's first name was renowned by single in this area 10 percent of U.S. Consumers. Amos had to get on to a answer decision: Aid the duck pro lone sole function - brand recognition - otherwise aid it to accomplish two goals - brand recognition and rising an understanding of the company's complicated supplemental insurance.

Amos chose to energy with a singular focus of getting its first name made known here. Now it's renowned by 94 percent of Americans. As with the intention of number secure 90 percent in this area five years past, the ads ongoing to layer inside other definition of the insurance product.

My takeaway as of Amos is focus, focus, focus. Focus on employees. Focus on promising markets. And, of way, focus on your brand.

The motto on Amos' desk: 'the duck stops at this time.'