One of the areas of success I have been involved with, particularly in strategising a business from stagnation to sustainable growth and acceptable profit has been through the development and involvement of the most precious resource – PEOPLE.
As I have stated many times before, people don’t stand at machines getting filthy because they particularly want to; it’s because they have to and in all probability haven’t had the opportunities I have been given?
So what must we do to recognise that business success comes from the targeted development of PEOPLE.
Over the last 30-40 years attempts have been made to make the workplace a more pleasant place to work. In doing so, the ‘Humanisation’ of work has had limited results and were introduced in a number of instances purely to pacify people. The real increases in productivity has come from technology, when in reality it should have come from a combination of people and technology.
In a lot of businesses, the inability to balance this man/machine approach has met with only marginal success. The aspect of a more enriched, satisfying experience for employees was not achieved as it should have been. More and more of these ‘Quality of Work Life’ improvement projects, although they stemmed from a sound theoretical base, were poorly implemented and did little to consider the fact that some employees did not want their jobs changed or enriched? Maybe this gave rise to another major job enrichment dilemma. A lack of proper communication. Where all employees, in conjunction with management, were an integral part of the decision making process.
We should all ask ourselves a very important but simple question. Is it time we considered going back to the age old concept of ‘Quality Circles’ (QC)?
What has happened to the ‘QC’ that met one (1) hour per week during regular working hours, are cross functional, and solve problems as a team?
History tells me that when QC’s get involved with problems, issues or concerns, direct and indirect benefits invariably result. The success of the QC process can mainly be attributed to the fact that it is a simple practical application which results in motivational and organisational improvements.
My firm belief is that business communication is the raw material of management which, if used correctly, adds so much value to the strategic outcomes of the company. It motivates employees and management working together to solve problems.
People are motivated by personal needs. The QC process offers employees a potential to satisfy the needs that are important to them. The QC team is looked upon as an important asset of the company who gain recognition for their accomplishments.
There is a pride of accomplishment and a feeling of control over everyday problems that plague employees be they workers or management. The interface that employees share with management satisfies an important communication requirement which is a meaningful part of any progressive company. It certainly develops a sense of ownership by everyone seeking to help their company remain competitive and thus making their individual jobs more secure.
When I look back over my journey, true job satisfaction and motivation comes with changes to the job itself that allow for challenging work, recognition, a sense of autonomy and a chance to use individual talents and giftings.
I still say that these concepts would be difficult for the academic professionals today to understand. Those who are highly qualifies in a tertiary sense but have not really been at the coal face.
For companies to prosper in today’s ever changing and volatile market place, if you require assistance to review your operations, develop growth and profit strategies, and the have get the support needed to manage through the transition and turn the strategies into reality, this is what I suggest:
Get an independent executive who has been there, and done that, and is able to relate to all employees and management through personal experience and success.