Bringing God into the Business: The Impact on Human Resource Management Practices and Employee Turnover at L&R Pallet
Despite L&R Pallet having become the largest pallet manufacturer in the Rocky Mountain region, it was facing dire staffing and financial difficulties in 2013. James Ruder, the 44-year-old president of L&R Pallet, was convinced it was just a matter of time before the company closed its doors. However, after taking a mission trip to Peru and hearing God's message to "love on" his employees, Ruder decided to hire seven refugees from Burma in a desperate attempt to find an alternative source of labor. Within a week, the Burmese employees were outperforming his other workers. Thinking he had found the solution to his employee problems, Ruder hired an additional 18 refugees. Within several weeks, though, he found that he had a real mess on his hands with the refugees getting injured, some of his Mexican workers calling him a "Mexican hater," and the rest of his staff resenting the attention he was showering on the refugees. Ruder needed to determine how to handle the growing tension within his company's culture as well as find the necessary human capital to run his business.