Morning Advantage: Weight Watchers Workers Want Fatter Wallets

Weight Watchers leaders are waging a battle — and it’s not just over our expanding waistlines. They’re angry about the wages they’re being paid, complaining that the base rate for running meetings ($18) hasn’t increased in more than a decade, even as the company shells out millions to celebrities like Jennifer Hudson and Jessica Simpson to advertise the program. Hundreds have taken to an internal corporate website in protest, some arguing that Weight Watchers gets away with paying so little because most of its leaders are female.

Steven Greenhouse at The New York Times says that the uproar comes at a tough time for Weight Watchers. Two years ago, the company reached a $6.2 million settlement that ended a class-action lawsuit in California in which employees complained about minimum wage violations, off-the-clock work and paychecks that didn’t explain how wages were calculated. And Weight Watchers is forecasting lower earnings this year, citing problems recruiting new members. (Is it any wonder, with its $42.95 monthly fee, when there are plenty of free weight loss apps that simulate the Weight Watchers experience?)

But for disgruntled employees, they sure do seem to love their work. As Teri Weatherby, a meeting leader in Hartford, CT, puts it: “Other than the financial problems, it’s probably the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done,” she said. “That’s what they prey upon. It’s like an abusive relationship. You know you should leave, but you stay because you love it.”


Cash is Nice, but Think About What Might Benefit Both Employees and the Company (Business Horizons)

What if you could "pay" your employees in such a way as to not only give them something they valued but simultaneously improve their commitment or job-related knowledge? You can. As a reward for high performance, you can give employees the freedom to redesign their jobs, or you can provide extra training. How about giving them a sabbatical? That will get their attention. Herman Aguinis of the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University lays out the options for non-monetary compensation. —Andy O’Connell


A Chance Encounter Becomes Impromptu Mentoring (Fortune)

So, you're a kid on a bike and you recognize the guy who takes a walk through your neighborhood as Mark Zuckerberg. Why does he take walks through your neighborhood? Because his office is nearby and it's California and the weather is always beautiful. And what do you do? You strike up a conversation with him, and pretty soon you're talking to him every day as he passes by. Before you know it, he's urging you to learn to program and giving you detailed instructions on how to go about becoming a budding engineer. It's a story of two people united by a sense of wonder and enjoyment. —Andy O’Connell


But Can They Still Wear Their PJs?

Marissa Mayer’s No-Working-From-Home Rule Is Stupid — Or It Could Save Yahoo (Wired)
New Research: What Yahoo Should Know About Good Managers and Remote Workers (HBR)
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer Installed a Nursery In Her Office (Gawker)

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