IKEA announces plans for St. Louis store
IKEA said this week that it is submitting plans for a St. Louis, Mo., store.
The application marks the beginning of the governmental approval process, which is expected to lead to the opening sometime in fall 2015. The closest IKEA stores to the proposal are the Chicago-area stores in Bolingbrook, Ill., and Schaumburg, Ill. Additionally, a Kansas City-area store is under construction and on track to open fall 2014 in Merriam, Kan.
Located in the heart of Midtown St. Louis, the 380,000-sq.-ft. proposed IKEA store would be built along the northern side of Interstate 64 near the Vandeventer Avenue exit. It would sit on nearly 21 acres purchased in the Cortex Innovation District, a technology community created to commercialize the benefits of university and regional corporate research in St. Louis.
“We look forward to continue growing our Midwestern U.S. presence with IKEA St. Louis,” said IKEA U.S. president Mike Ward. “This dynamic location would provide the already 101,000 St. Louis-area customers a store of their own and introduce the unique IKEA shopping experience to other consumers in Eastern Missouri, Southern Illinois and beyond.”
Toro posts positive numbers for fiscal 2013
The Toro Co. reported net earnings of $154.8 million, up from net earnings of $129.5 million in fiscal 2012. Net sales increased 4.2% to $2,041.4 million for its fiscal year ended Oct. 31, from net sales of $1,958.7 million in 2012.
For the fourth quarter, Toro reported net earnings of $5 million, compared with earnings of $0.3 million in the year-ago period. Net sales for the quarter increased 12.7% to $382.4 million from net sales of $339.3 million in the fourth quarter last year.
“The Toro Co. completed a record year with new highs for revenues, operating earnings and earnings per share,” said Michael J. Hoffman, Toro’s chairman and chief executive officer. “We are particularly excited to have crossed over the $2 billion revenue milestone for the first time in the company’s history, a timely accomplishment as we head down the home stretch to our Centennial in July 2014. In addition, we remain focused on returning value to our shareholders, as demonstrated by the increase in both our annual dividend guideline and quarterly cash dividend.
“For the fourth quarter, even with favorable comparisons to last year when we saw soft preseason demand for our snow products, we delivered solid performance. Practically all of our product lines contributed to our sales growth and our expanded gross margins further evidence the traction we are gaining with our productivity efforts,” Hoffman added.
The company expects revenue growth for fiscal 2014 to be about 4% to 5%, and net earnings to be about $2.85 to $2.90 per share.
What not to say: Employees reveal pet peeves
The next time one of your employees admires your business suit, it’s OK to wonder if she’s sucking up.
More than one in five U.S. employees admit to complimenting managers to get on their good side — even if the flattery is a bunch of hooey.
Just be glad you aren’t a supervisor in India: Almost half of workers there (46%) say they sweet-talk their bosses even if they don’t mean it.
Those are among the findings in a 2013 Kronos Boss’s Day Survey of more than 4,000 workers in the U.S., Australia and India.
Harris Interactive conducted the survey with 2,041 full-time and part-time U.S. workers and 2,100 full-time and part-time Australian and Indian workers Sept. 24-26, 2013, on behalf of the Workforce Institute at Kronos Inc., which helps companies with workplace issues such as labor costs, regulatory compliance and productivity. The Workforce Institute is a think tank that provides research and education on the workplace.
Workers in all three countries get truly annoyed when managers use inside business jargon, according to the survey, whose release coincided with National Boss’s Day, which is celebrated Oct. 16.
The phrase that irks them the most? “Think outside the box.” Twenty-five percent of U.S. employees can’t stand it when managers tell them to do this.
Other annoying phrases cited were:
“I don’t care how— just get it done” (24%).
“I need you to be more proactive” (17%).
“I’ll circle back with you” (17%).
“I’d like to task you with this project” (11%).
Indian employees get far more irritated by corporate jargon (95%) than do Australians (83%) and Americans (76%).
Age, geography matter
The older the worker, the more he prefers honesty in a boss: U.S. employees 55 and older value this trait in a manager (90%) more than U.S. Millennials do (69%).
And the younger workers are, the more they prefer a boss who’s “direct” and has a sense of humor: Among different age groups, “directness” is most important to Millennials (43%), as is “humor” (34%).
All that talk about Southern hospitality and manners? Maybe it doesn’t translate to the workplace. A thoughtful boss was least important in the South (26%) and most important in the West (41%).
As for those stereotypes about the laid-back West Coast? Maybe there’s something to them. A goal-oriented boss isn’t as important to those living in the West (26%) as it is to those in the Northeast (45%), Midwest (51%) and South (48%).
What about that workplace buzzword “transparency”? It isn’t as important in the Midwest (17%) as it is in the South (31%).
In a press release, Kronos highlighted these findings among U.S. workers:
A large majority of employees (69%) say their managers set a good example, agreeing they are ethical, honest, collaborative, creative, empowering, innovative, dedicated and trustworthy.
Given the choice between a manager who is a high achiever but demanding, or one who’s nice but ineffective, 75% chose the former.
When respondents ranked the three most important attributes of a good manager, honesty was at the top (78%), followed by goal-oriented (44%) and compassionate (40%).
Asked if they’d prefer a manager who invests in their professional development or one who invests in programs to make work more fun, 61% chose the former, while 39% chose the latter.
Four out of 10 employees (43%) prefer direct individual praise from managers, 32% favor praise from their manager’s manager, and 25% prefer praise in front of peers. Indians are most likely (39%) to want recognition among peers.
“One of the interesting aspects of this survey is that U.S. employees would choose a high-performing and demanding boss over a nice but ineffective one,” said Sharlyn Lauby, president of ITM Group Inc. “In the same vein, they’d prefer a manager who invests in their professional development over one who invests in making a fun working environment. Employees are saying they don’t need their boss to be their best friend; rather, it’s important to them that they are able to work effectively, be challenged and grow.”
Dana Wilkie is an online editor/manager for SHRM.
© 2013, Society for Human Resource Management.
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