Increasing Productivity with Scanlon Plan

If you were asked to develop a plan for your organization that would substantially increase productivity and significantly reduce absenteeism, turnover, and grievances, where would you turn? To save yourself a time-consuming search, you might look at the Scanlon Plan. Executives experienced in administering the plan say that they can demonstrate higher motivation and commitment to organizational goals in employees, reduced tensions in labor-management relations, and increased productivity and profit.

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The Scanlon Plan is the brainchild of the late Joseph N. Scanlon, a union official who became an instructor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Scanlon devised a system in which the people who actually do the work and know it best can have the opportunity to find ways to do it more efficiently, and to be rewarded if indeed more efficiency results. The plan differs from a suggestion system in that Scanlon rewards are distributed to the entire group involved in the work rather than to an individual who originates the idea. Continue reading

Fast Track Career Plan and Career Management

On the surface, it might seem that a major electronics company and a publishing firm have little in common. Yet, Motorola, manufacturer of electronic components and radio equipment, and McGraw-Hill, producer of trade magazines and newsletters, have much in common when it comes to training.

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First, both companies have drawn training directors from line management, choosing company generalists rather than career training and development professionals. Second, both have an active and effective performance appraisal system, using both supervisory judgment and other tools to select high-potential employees. Third, both companies are committed to a philosophy that makes employee education and training important ingredients for success. Continue reading

Evaluating the Performance of Sales People and Sales Managers

In most cases, evaluating the performance of salespeople is pat. They either make their numbers or they don’t. Perhaps an oversimplification, but not a monumental one. Evaluating the performance of the safes manager, though, has traditionally been more art than science.

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“At State Farm,” says Donald W. Frischmann, agency division vice president, “we felt that it was both imĀ¬possible and unrealistic to attempt to evaluate the performance of agency managers (sales managers) until we developed a realistic data-supported basis for evaluation. From a research standpoint, we needed to capture and verify the key dimensions of the sales manager’s job. From a corporate standpoint, we knew we would have to use this information to define the role we expected sales managers to fill, communicate those expectations, and help current sales management see how those key performance dimenĀ¬sions were, in fact, the essence of good sales management.” Continue reading

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