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.
We can be sanguine about the Coronavirus or be concerned or frightened – but we can't ignore the dramatic effect this crisis has on the global economy. In this article I don’t intend to give instructions like those issued by the government, about crowds and the like. I write about the business aspect, with all the issues you should deal with.
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.
At first results seem great. Especially when before the authoritative manager there was an indecisive one. Now decisions are made quickly and everybody falls in line. But this kind of management suffocates the company. It suppresses positive initiatives and when the authoritative CEO makes a mistake no one will dare correct them or point out the possible harm.
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?
The local market is growing more competitive and diminishing, customs defenses are disappearing and imports make sales harder. Both Gad and Shim'on have turned to exports. They don't only compete with each other, but with the global market.
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.
About a year ago I started working with a medium-sized company, about 200 employees, and a shift-supervisor listed as CEO a consultant who would come to the site once a week. I asked what job the actual CEO did, and he said he had no idea.
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".
What did it feel like, the last time you were complimented? For a nice outfit, doing well in school or on a successfully completed project? How did you feel posting about your kid's or grandkid's high grades on Facebook, or WhatsApp, and got dozens of likes?
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.
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.
In a course I gave to a certain company, some employees mentioned the "lean production" the company was implementing at one of its divisions. Nathan, who works at that division, stated that "actually, all this lean stuff has one hidden agenda. It's directed towards moving maintenance over to the operators, loading them with more tasks than they are already loaded with".
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…
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.
This month will see the publication of my first book will: Manage! Best Value Practices for Effective Management. To celebrate it, I would like to dedicate this weekly article to the role of the ideal manager.
Brainstorming is one of the basic tools in the development of ideas, problem-solving, creative thinking or any other group endeavor. When we develop Fishbone with the objective of arriving at the root cause of a specific problem, brainstorming is the basic tool we should use.
Many CEO's have attained their management positions without any training or preparation. Almost all the direct managers of employees that I have met (work managers, department managers, line managers, etc.) were promoted to their positions because they were good employees.
Once I came to a small company whose employee turnover was extremely high. Few employees would stay for more than a few weeks before leaving. The CEO would shout at his employees for any minor transgression. I asked him why, and he said they needed to learn (usually they learned that it would be best for them to leave).