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Employee Retention of Hasbro -
April 12th, 2011
Hasbro (NASDAQ: HAS) is an American multinational toy and boardgame company. It is one of the largest toy makers in the world. The corporate headquarters is located in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, United States. The majority of its products are manufactured in East Asia.
In 1923, two brothers—Henry and Helal Hassenfeld—founded Hassenfeld Brothers, a textile remnant company in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey. Over the next two decades, the company expanded to produce pencil cases and school supplies.
In the 1940s, Hassenfeld Brothers produced doctor and nurse kits, its first toys. Hassenfeld Brothers' first toy hit was Mr. Potato Head, which the company purchased from inventor George Lerner in 1952. The toy was a smash success. In 1964, Hassenfeld Brothers produced the G.I. Joe toy, which they termed an "action figure" in order to market the toy to boys who wouldn't want to play with "dolls." The company shortened its name to Hasbro Industries in 1968. The company's promotional efforts included the catchphrase "Boy Oh Boy! It's A Hasbro Toy!" in television commercials and prints ads.
In 1982, Hasbro produced another successful toy franchise, My Little Pony. The company acquired the Milton Bradley Company in 1984, bringing The Game of Life, Candy Land, Twister, Chutes and Ladders and Yahtzee into the Hasbro fold, and found continued success in 1984 with the release of the first Transformers toys. The Transformers Jumpstarters toys were the subject of a lawsuit by Hasbro in 1985 where they sued a toy manufacturer for selling toys based on their design. Hasbro won the suit.
In 1985 CBS Toys (including the Child Guidance label) was purchased. In 1986, Hasbro acquired Playskool, which purchased Mr. Potato Head from Hasbro that year. Parker Brothers was purchased by Hasbro in 1991, and with it Monopoly, the most successful commercial board game of all time.
A variety of knockoff Jumpstarters, a variety of Transformers
Hasbro, Inc. is now the parent company of several subsidiaries. The toys and games produced by these companies retain their brand identity, which is an important advertising consideration. Many of Hasbro's games have been around so long that they have entered into popular culture. In 1998 Hasbro bought Avalon Hill for $6 million and in 1999 Wizards of the Coast was bought in a deal worth $325 million. Wizards of the Coast is now a subsidiary of Hasbro and has Avalon Hill as its division. In 2001 money-losing Hasbro Interactive, a subsidiary formed in 1995, was sold to French software concern Infogrames for $100 million.
Ellis Waldman, president of 76-year-old Walco Electric Co., makes a point to know the nearly 100 employees’ names and the names of their spouses and children by heart. The company hosts cookouts in the summer and dinner galas in the winter to maintain cohesiveness socially as well as professionally.
“It’s hard to keep up with the big guys,” said Corinne Mattero, manager of human resources at the Providence-based company, which provides electrical and mechanical solutions for industry. “We can’t pay what Hasbro pays … so you have to find other benefits.”
The company, for example, keeps health care costs at 65 percent for the company and 35 percent for the employee even though, Mattero said, it takes a toll on the company’s revenue stream.
That is the struggle of the small business.
A report published last month by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy found that employees of larger companies stayed in their jobs longer than employees of small companies. Though there are many reasons for this, the study found, benefits such as health insurance and pensions can increase employee retention.
A firm that offers benefits decreases the probability that an employee will leave by 26.2 percent and increases the probability that an employee will stay an additional year by 13.9 percent.
Some small companies in the state understand the power benefits have in employee retention.
Embolden Design Inc., for example, strategically decided to pay for 100 percent of employees’ health care costs in an effort to retain a highly qualified work force, said Ann-Marie Harrington, president and founder of the Pawtucket-based Web development and consulting firm.
The company, which has 12 employees, has experienced very little turnover in the past five years, she added.
“Particularly with technology companies, it’s difficult and a challenge to find good talent and compete with corporate wages,” Harrington said.
Though Embolden Design provides wages competitive with other small technology companies, it substitutes what it lacks compared with corporate wages with its desirable health care offering and “a good benefit package for time off,” a flexible work schedule, free family memberships to the YMCA and a consensus-oriented decision-making process.
“We’ve actually had folks come work for us from bigger businesses where they were offered larger pay,” Harrington said. “They decided to work for [Embolden Design] for quality of life.”
John Cronin, executive director of the R.I. Small Business Development Center, said the small businesses that do well with employee retention are the ones that take the family approach and provide a flexible work environment sensitive to the needs of employees’ personal lives.
“They avoid turnover because of the loyalty [of their employees],” he said. “It becomes a more fun place to work. It’s more of a softer benefit system.”
Dave Baeder, president and CEO of Providence-based Baeder Corp., said small firms can also help retain employees by creating an empowering environment.
“Within the culture of small business … you’re not very deep in any one discipline or department,” he said. “So very often one person is empowered to their maximum.”
Employees wear many hats, which challenges them in areas they wouldn’t think they’d be exposed to, Baeder added. And it rounds out skills they can take with them to other jobs.
Most employees at Business Link International/OpenBOX Technologies, which are subsidiaries of Baeder Corp., stay with the company from two to five years, he said.
They see OpenBOX Technologies, a database integration software company, and Business Link International, an email/fax/voice marketing company, as a stepping stone in their careers.
Hasbro offers tremendous opportunity for those looking to make an impact in a challenging yet rewarding field. An industry where, fun, passion and energy count.
We are a global leader in children's and family leisure time entertainment products, with brands and products, such as MONOPOLY, SCRABBLE, TRANSFORMERS, G.I. JOE, EASY-BAKE and PLAY-DOH, that provide the highest quality and most recognized play experiences in the world.
In the GAME OF LIFE (another Hasbro brand), big decisions matter. If you're looking for an exciting and stimulating place to work, we invite you to learn more about all of the terrific opportunities at Hasbro.