Writing, publishing, geekdom, and errata.

Unions and CEOs and morale, oh my!

No comments
Most analyses of the failings of the American economy - especially of the auto industry - tend to be ideological, and therefore, flawed. Business is not a one way street; this is the major failing of capitalists and proletariat alike. Unions and CEOs both have tripped over ideological footstools in their insistence to find the viewpoint that gives their position the most power.

A case in point: I was commissioned to survey the morale of employees of a local business. The managers were happy with the survey design, and the survey of employee morale went out. Long story short: It seems like there's a strong correlation between how positively one views oneself and how positively one views one's co-workers.

So the "typical" management take home lesson is that it's all on the workers to get a positive attitude, right? [1]

Well, no.

The survey does have some implications for workers. There is an obligation for the workers to try to view things in the most positive way. There is an obligation here to do the right thing by themselves, their co-workers, and the business. That will improve things not just for themselves, but for all the people there.

But management also has a role. Management's role requires analysis to discern - but that's why they're managers, right? It's difficult, for example, to have a positive view of anything while the workload is so large that it is simply impossible to handle. It's hard to be upbeat when the trainwreck of conflicting rules and priorities was visible from two days away, and everyone denied its existence. It's hard to be happy when the slackers and naysayers get the same smile and pleasant tone as those who are working hard. It's impossible to be optimistic when your best efforts seem like they are never going to be enough.

Management - through scheduling, HR, and a dozen other means - directly affects all of these things.

And it's really impossible to be positive when your boss is denying their responsibility and making it all yours.

Two-way street, folks. The more we view these things as collaborative problems rather than antagonistic ones, the better off we'll be.

[1] Luckily for them, the management at this business seems to agree with me.

No comments :