As promised, here are the remaining 6 practices that prove your company cares about its people. We covered the first 7 practices already and those can be found here. As you may recall the entire 13 practices are an excerpt from Chapter 2 of Survey Pain Relief.
8. Self-Managed Teams. It’s one thing to form a team and quite another to allow the team to manage itself. While the team structure will not fix everything and definitely requires executive sponsorship, nevertheless, there have been many highly positive outcomes from the institution of self-directed teams. These teams set their own standards, handle their own problems, and are responsible for disciplining and rewarding the members. Such a structure can eliminate several levels of management, as well as the resources needed to sustain them and the bureaucracy that inevitably emerges to prop them up. In addition, members of self-managed teams tend to be engaged, cooperative and loyal.
9. Training and Skills Development. Managers often complain about wasted training and development dollars, when the real issue is that, once trained, the employees are given no opportunity to use the skills they’ve acquired. By definition, training is expected to have a short-term payback, while the payback for development is longer-term. Both require the opportunity to practice, first-hand or by assisting others, for the learning to be properly internalized. “Skills” acquired and never used are soon forgotten, and the money paid to acquire them is truly wasted.
10. Cross-Utilization and Cross-Training. The motivational effects of variety are not to be underestimated. Cross-utilization and cross-training help employees to “stay fresh” and engaged in their work. Performance and results are improved as fresh eyes have a chance to look at old problems and new ideas filter into the work process. From a labor management standpoint, cross-training ensures that the necessary skill sets will be available on the floor at any given time enabling properly trained staff to step in and work effectively in times of emergency with little or no warning.
11. Symbolic Egalitarianism. There are various ways to signal that we are all on the same team, all of which have in common the idea of tearing down barriers between people. The CEO of Wal-Mart has a very modest office in Bentonville, Ark., which looks more like the office of mid-level manager at a moderate-sized firm, instead of the spacious quarters one would expect of the leader of a company whose annual revenues exceed those of many countries. The lack of barriers and obvious modesty represented by these leaders send unmistakable messages to the employees.
12. Wage Compression. According to Terry Halbert and Elaine Ingulli in Law and Ethics in the Business Environment, “Plato believed that the rulers of the ideal society should be paid no more than four times more than the lowliest member of that society.” This would be an extreme example of wage compression. What we see in big business today is often the direct opposite.
13. Promotion from Within. Such a policy automatically puts a premium on training and development, long-term planning, and seeing the bigger picture. It also avoids all the negativity that can accumulate in good people when outsiders are brought in over them.
There is nothing magic in these 13 practices. Research may delineate others in the future, and some of the ones listed here could arguably be condensed into fewer topics. But it’s the course set that matters. The above require less lip service and more concrete action. Value the human element, let it be known that this is a keystone of your organization and good things will happen.
Now that we have covered all 13 practices we would love to get your comments and thoughts on how you have seen these practices put into action and the positive or negative impacts. Heck, we even would love to hear about some of your own Knuggets and Knucklehead stories on blunders and benefits you have heard of a company making with its people. Some of the best we will highlight. We can keep you anonymous if you like. Looking forward to hearing from you.
This post is part of the book, “Survey Pain Relief.” Why do some survey programs thrive while others die? And how do we improve the chances of success? In “Survey Pain Relief,” renowned research scientists Dr. Jodie Monger and Dr. Debra Perkins, tackle numerous plaguing questions. Inside, the doctors reveal the science and art of customer surveying and explain proven methods for creating successful customer satisfaction research programs.
“Survey Pain Relief” was written to remedy the $billions spent each year on survey programs that can be best described as survey malpractice. These programs are all too often accepted as valid by the unskilled and unknowing. Inside is your chance to gain knowledge and not be a victim of being lead by the blind. For more information http://www.surveypainrelief.com/
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