In today’s rough and tough business world and our (Australia’s) ability to compete on the world stage, one important aspect of struggling businesses that I have experienced is that they have lost a focus on enhancing all employees quality of work life.
Can I also say that one of the main reasons for this is the rapidly growing influx of highly qualified academic managers who have unfortunately had no experience at the coal face or making things happen on a sustainable basis.
Yes, I am aware we need academic input, but it should be well complemented by experienced achievers who can relate to people through personal experience and success.
Not many managers today can turn there attention to the question of how their business can be organised so that individual employees can enjoy a greater sense of participation, creativity and dignity.
I have always predicated my business strategies on making everyone in the company a marketable commodity by training/multi-skilling and acknowledging these achievements through their pay packets.
Giving all employees the opportunity of a future should be the primary objective of any manager/chief executive. Those less fortunate probably don’t enjoy standing at a dirty machine all day and getting filthy, so lets do what we can to present them with an opportunity for a better future and purpose in life.
Although there still needs to be an organisational hierarchy, there must never exist a culture of them and us. Australian industry is under increasing pressures to satisfy many market demands and in this sense we need to prepare a workforce which is only too happy to ensure the strategic intent of the business is successful at all levels of the organisation.
There is a greater need today for socially responsible management where employees are totally committed to a work ethic that produces wealth and security for them as well as sustainability of operations for the business. People/employees who are most satisfied generally have a high sense of hope for the future and believe in their own capacity to adapt to change. But this culture must come from the top management who can and will lead by example.
Making all employees feel that they are part of the decision making process is not only important but essential.
The strategic approach to improving your business’s quality of work life will lie in redesigning the way you think and do things to accommodate the varying needs of individuals and providing greater opportunities for employees to participate in decisions affecting their jobs.
There is no doubt that there is also a strong relationship between the quality of work and the quality of life. An employees high quality work is likely to lead to a high level of job satisfaction which yields happiness and hope.
The final aspect of QOWL improvement is the necessity for an uncompromised communications strategy where all aspects of company business can be openly shared with employees.
I started my communications strategy through a simple but effective Safety program where something new on safety was conveyed to employees each week and any feedback was acted on immediately and in line with a severity rating of either A,B, or C.
This took a $30m pa business to $120m pa over a four (4) year span, thanks to a very committed team.
Australia is at the cusp of taking business to the world, but we need committed employees at all levels of the organisation to understand that they too can be part of a new Australian business revolution.