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View More Press Releases by eePulse, Inc.

Press release:

Business Leaders Improve Growth Estimates for 2004

Issued by: eePulse, Inc.

Date: Jan. 12, 2004

Michigan Business School/eePulse, Inc. Study Results

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – January 12, 2004 – Over 920 worldwide business leaders who responded to the December 2003 Leadership Pulse, a research project conducted by Dr. Theresa Welbourne of the University of Michigan Business School and eePulse, Inc., showed significantly higher growth expectations for the first quarter of 2004 compared to their data for actual growth in the last quarter of 2003.  They also indicated that their main concern for future growth involved employee issues.

Respondents from Fortune 500 firms and smaller, entrepreneurial organizations rated the actual growth of the degree of movement, growth or reduction for sales, net profit, number of customers, number of products or services, and number of employees in the last quarter of 2003.  They also rated the expected growth of these same five resources in the first quarter of 2004.  

The results indicated the following with the resource, the percentage who reported actual growth of this resource in Q4, 2003, the percentage who report expected growth in this resource, and the change in percentage points from Q4, 2003 to Q1, 2004:

Sales - 67% to 82% = 15 point increase
Net Profit - 62% to 78% = 16 point increase
Number of Customers - 60% to 76% = 16 point increase
Number of products or services - 49% to 61% = 12 point increase Number of employees - 35% to 49% = 14 point increase

“Consistent with scores from prior months, employment growth ranks lowest; however, in past months, number of employees were expected to decrease, then moved to being stable, and now growth is even more on the horizon,” states Theresa Welbourne, Ph.D., adjunct professor at the University of Michigan, founder of the Leadership Pulse study and eePulse, Inc. CEO.  “The overall pattern shows that sales and customer growth spurs further growth in jobs and new products.”  

In the December Leadership Pulse study, respondents were also asked to give their number one concern for future growth.  Their responses centered around five key themes:

1.  Employees
Concern about developing the right leaders, hiring enough employees, retaining key employees, and motivating employees to sustain growth  

2.  Capital
Worry, particularly from leaders of smaller firms, about having enough cash and access to funding to sustain growth

3.  Customers
Ability to retain customers, provide timely, new products, obtain payment from customers, and more

4.  Government and Policy Issues
Concern over tax burdens, cost of health care and energy, government regulation, terrorism fears, war, and jobs going overseas

“These results are consistent with the overall patterns we’ve reported in the study since June, 2003, and we are seeing slow but steady growth expectations in addition to concern about being able to keep up with the growth,” states Welbourne.  “Leaders who have laid-off significant portions of their staffs in the last few years are expecting growth but not spending money to get ready for growth.  This makes senior executives nervous about their ability to execute.  However, at the same time, they have been remarking about the learning that has taken place over the last few years, the courage and energy of their workforce, and more.  It is yet to be seen if employees will stick it out and help their companies grow or jump ship as soon as new jobs become available.  The key to success in 2004 will be leadership; those firms with loyal employees and strong leaders will retain their people and meet their customers’ needs. Those firms that have weak leaders will lose key employees as soon as new jobs become available elsewhere.”  

Persons requesting more detailed analyses of these data or individual managers who wish to be included in the Leadership Pulse study can contact Dr. Welbourne at 734.996.2321.  A website is available for those organizations that would like to have up to 50 senior leaders participate in the study.  If a company participates with multiple executives, it will receive monthly benchmark data at no charge.  If interested in individual participation or expanded participation for benchmark reports, please visit either www.eepulse.com (see Leadership Pulse) for more information or sign up at the following web site: www.umbs.leadership.eepulse.com.

About Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies

The Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies was formed in October 1999.  The Institute actively engages the nation’s most successful entrepreneurs and offers an outstanding faculty composed of both academic researchers and practitioners in entrepreneurship.  The Institute’s mission is to focus the capabilities and resources of the University of Michigan Business School to provide education, experience and opportunities in entrepreneurship; serve as a catalyst for new venture development; and contribute important research in the field of entrepreneurship.  Members of the Institute’s Advisory Board include Samuel Zell, Chairman of Equity Group Investments; Michael Hallman, former COO of Microsoft Corporation; and Eugene Applebaum, Founder of Arbor Drugs.

About eePulse, Inc.

eePulse, Inc. transforms surveys into leadership tools.  Using eePulse’s proprietary web-based enterprise-wide software suite called Measurecom (TM) (measurement and communication), organizations and leaders immediately improve their performance.  Productivity enhancement comes from action taken in response to real-time stakeholder information.  Using Pulse Survey and Pulse Reporting engines, data are provided as frequently as weekly so that immediate action can be taken to confront “breaking news.”  Managers solve problems and pursue opportunities today, improving quality, enhancing customer service, realigning strategy, and improving organizational agility, learning, and performance at all levels.  The complete Measurecom product suite includes Pulse surveys, Pulse Reports, Communicate-back tools, Issue tracking, Action planning, Learning modules, Proprietary metrics such as Energy Pulse, Valour Pulse, and Culture Pulse, and ROI reporting.  

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