Productivity Improvement and Business Economy

America’s seriously declining productivity at last is receiving the broad attention and concern it deserves. Labor, business and government leaders have become convinced that without improved productivity our country as we now know it will not survive.

But recognition alone is not enough where a problem of this magnitude exists. We are like a giant ship in the open seas. Once a decision is made to change course, it is many miles and minutes before any results become apparent. Continue reading

Employee Satisfaction and Productivity

Eaton Corporation is a diversified manufacturer with sales of $1.8 billion in 1976 and 18,000 employees in 65 plants in North America. Recently, it embarked on one of the most venturesome attempts to counter worker alienation in the U.S. The approach, referred to as the “new philosophy,” actually dates back to the late 1960s. Eaton was building a new plant in Kearney, NE, and the manager-to-be wanted to avoid the kind of deterioration in employee-management relations he had seen in his old plants.

You can download excellent powerpoint slides on HR management, business strategy and personal development HERE.

So he turned to Baton’s employee relations research and development manager, Donald N. Scobel, for help. Scobel suggested neither job enrich¬ment, job redesign nor participative decision making as possible solutions. Instead, he created something he re¬fers to as “an enriched environment.” Continue reading

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.

You can download excellent powerpoint slides on HR management, business strategy and personal development HERE.

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

Innovation and Productivity : Lessons from Texas Instruments

No U.S. company is working harder than Texas Instruments, Inc., to foster innovation and to boost productivity, a crucial factor in an era of seemingly endemic inflation. And they’re pretty successful at it. Some observers point to TI as the prototype of what a U.S. company must be to compete in the surging, worldwide electronics market of the 1980s. Others suggest that only TI—of the major U.S. consumer electronics corporations— can compete effectively with the Japanese. How successful is TI? Continue reading