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