"They can see a direct correlation to work they do," says Jeryl Mitchell, vice president of human resources for FedEx Freight in Memphis, Tennessee, which moves 57,000 shipments a night.
In recent years, the company also has used technology, including tracking how long shipments stay on the docks, and management training, including motivational coaching and leadership training, to enhance productivity.
While FedEx Freight's overall staffing has stayed at about 22,000, productivity gains have not come at the expense of employees' personal time.
Hourly and salaried workers have maintained a typical 40-hour week through recent productivity gains, Mitchell says.
"Asking people to work a significant amount of overtime is not consistent with our philosophy.
(Mitchell says that the firm is poised to start hiring in substantial numbers later this year.)
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