I don’t know about your specific company, but usually the first step is layoffs. Most often, labor costs aren’t the biggest expense, but it always seems simplest, fastest, and easiest to fire employees - and if and when sales are back up, recruit new ones. Furthermore, we know there is always latent redundancy, so we assume any reduction in the workforce will lead to greater efficiency.
In the past, when I managed Osem-Nestle’s factory in Yokne’am, we often had improvement teams working with internal leaders. For four years, we had a yearly workshop teaching employees how to lead improvements teams. The woman leading these workshops then led and managed the improvement teams, and coached the leaders. After four years, we transitioned to doing that internally as well.
At 6:15 I started riding my bicycle towards Ramat Ha'Nadiv and we started making our way up to Mansur el-Aqeb. We were supposed to meet Uri there. When we reached the top, there was no sign of Uri. We waited. Uri didn’t arrive, nor call. We tried calling him, and there was no answer. After about fifteen minutes, we started riding again, heading north. A short while later, Uri came riding towards us, smiling.
Covid-19 changed many things in one fell swoop. One of those is the prohibition on face-to-face meetings. With the meetings we were used to no longer possible, we started using Zoom or similar softwares. School and university lectures, management meetings, consultations, workshops, coaching sessions.
A medical start-up I worked with in the past faced a considerable schedule delay. I suggested the CEO display the company's goals and schedules in a prominent location, breakdown company goals to personal ones assigned to each managers, and thus delegate responsibility to them.
My last article dealt with the question – how to approach the crisis in your business. Among other issues, I discussed employee retention vs. employment costs. In this article I'm going to take a big step forward, and present the opportunity this crisis offers you, to engage employees with company goals.
In some companies, working with improvement teams brings quick, clear, and considerable success. On the other hand, in others the work done by improvement teams is accompanied by frustration, and has no quick and clear results. Why? What's the difference?
wonder of wonders, CEOs who aren’t machine-maintenance people, are sure they "know enough", or "know best", how to maintain the "human machines" in their company. And if not the CEO, then one of the executives will be able to do it, in addition to their regular job.
The kibbutz assembly needed to approve participation of a team from the company in a professional conference in Italy. I remember a heated debate. Travelling abroad was rare, and every trip was a cause for envy. In the assembly, a suggestion was raised – instead of one of the executives, "Sarah", a kibbutz member, will go, because she hadn’t been abroad yet.
Everyone can contribute something to someone else. For an employee, knowing this and feeling they can do something meaningful for someone else, brings great satisfaction. When your employees renovate a youth club in the nearest city, or help kids with homework at the community center – they feel incredibly meaningful.
I drew a big pyramid on the board, with him at the top, below him 8 VPs, and at the bottom 10,000 employees. I asked – how can you guarantee they'll efficiently produce quality products, if they aren’t engaged or invested in company goals?
Nestle is a world leader in constant improvement and striving for excellence. And the Sderot site, with approximately 650 employees, is without a doubt one of their leading sites in all aspects. Nestlé's motto, which you'll find displayed at each one of their sites and to which everybody strives, is "0 waste, 1 team, 100% employee involvement".
As kids we played the game Telephone. We sat in a line, the first kid whispered something in the ear of the second, who whispered what they heard in the ear of the third, and so on until the last in line. Of course there was a considerable difference between what was originally whispered and what the last kid heard. That's how it is. There's a gap between what we thought and what we said, and an even greater one between what we said and what was heard and understood.
I used to manage an organization with several hundred employees, under a collective agreement. The premium paid to employees who exceeded production goal was set in the collective agreement, old an anachronistic. It wasn’t a real encouragement and it didn’t contribute to motivation, and didn’t change employees' way of doing their work.
Israel added that Tomer was unwilling to teach other employees to operate "his" machine. It was clear that Israel postponed meeting Tomer as much as he could that morning, and once we finally got to him they communicated poorly. I couldn't understand what Tomer was saying and I'm not sure Israel clearly understood him either.
Our event focused on changing the production department and increasing efficiency. The team led a radical change in the department, including opening a wall which separated the two parts of the production space. On the third day, Osnat, one of the team members, burst into tears and couldn’t continue. She went home and returned to work only after a week of sick-leave.
In it they could see how, at the end of the work day on Thursday, at three in the afternoon, the door to one of the departments was left open. Actually, it wasn’t a door, but a wide gate, made of two metal doors. Its width is about three meters, its height about four meters.
Space itself is thus affected by the people and objects in it. All matter is made up of electrons and protons which vibrate and influence the energy field - colors, which are themselves a frequency, textures, and the way a certain space is designed.
We often used the term motivation, but do we always mean the same thing? Last week I gave a talk in two classes in the School of Economics & Business Administration at the Ruppin Academic Center, as part of Dr. Adi Loria ("Select Issues in Management MBA"). The topic was "The Relationship between Management Methods and Employee Motivation".
Aviv set up a company and supervised production and sales in the local market from day one. Unlike many other founding CEO's, Aviv understood that if he wished to grow, he would have to let go, to bring in managers and give them responsibilities. Aviv also appointed QA and HR managers in the early stages, which is rare.
I am sometimes asked if I provide organizational consultation regarding management conflicts, and I answer that usually the source of the problem lies in the missing parameters in the allocation of authority, within management, and from there, the situation spreads to the entire organization.
When I was young, I managed the kibbutz field crops section. Meir (not his real name) was one of the main workers, a serious professional. He knew all the tasks and could do any of them equally well. But he didn't want to perform just any task. He chose what he wanted to do and what he didn't, as well as how he performed it.
One of the most popular articles from my blog is one I published last year on coping with employee absenteeism. In the article, I discuss how, 15 years ago, the significantly high rate of employee absenteeism was handled through positive rewards for employees who were never absent, along with interest and concern for the health of anyone at home sick.
Ron works in a senior position at a major company and was in charge of arranging a very important tour with the Minister of Commerce at one of the projects managed by the company. The visit was important to the company, but to Ron it was even more significant. He viewed the success of the visit as a personal test and an opportunity to position himself better in the eyes of the company CEO.
One employee interviewed said that she loved working there. People were nice and she enjoyed working with them. I showed this same employee a photo of the sign over the door and asked her if she recognized it.
If it is true that much employee absenteeism is an expression of lack of motivation or identification with company objectives, does granting a non-absenteeism bonus address the root cause?
I asked the Swiss manager how he addressed the situation. He shrugged and said "There's nothing you can do. An employee who gets up in the morning and doesn't feel like going to work just goes to his doctor and says he has stomach or back pains. What can the doctor say?"
My young daughters, who will soon turn ten, often use a phone app called music.ly, filming themselves in a clip with a song in the background. When I asked them one day how they synchronize separate clips of each person onto the same screen, they looked at me in disdain – a look reserved for someone who is generations behind the technological times…
I often hear the claim that salary is the key to employee motivation. Every time, I ask whoever said it - what makes their work interesting? Why do they stay long hours after work even though they aren't getting paid for extra time? The answers are usually in the range of "my responsibility", "I'm significant", or "people listen to me". "And where is it expressed in your salary?" I ask. Here is where the conversation usually ends. I'm under no illusion that I've convinced my companion, although perhaps sometimes I have. Let's talk about the real factors that generate motivation and interest in work for everyone.
Last spring, we found a tiny, abandoned kitten and named him Richard. Our dog adopted him as her own and the children plied him with milk from a small bottle. Richard the kitten grew quickly and ate whatever he wanted, and to this day, he's the only cat who comes into the house to find food always at hand.