POINT why successful organizations put people first..
Intel does it. So does Microsoft, Motorola, W.L Gore & Associates, Southwest Airlines, Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, Hewlett-Packard,Lincoln electric and Starbucks. What is it? These companies pursue “people first” strategies.
There is an increasing amount of evidence that successful organizations put people first. why? astute managers have come to learn that their organization’s employees are its only true competitive advantage. competitors can match most organizations’ product, processes, locations, distributions channels, and the like. What ‘s far more difficult to emulate is a workforce made up of highly knowledgeable and motivated people. The characteristics that differentiates successful companies from their less successful counterparts in almost every industry is the quality of the people they’re able to get and keep.
What kind of practices differentiates people first organizations? We can list at least four (1) They value cultural diversity. They actively seek a diverse workforce based on age, gender, and race. (2) They are family friendly. they help employees balance such flexible work schedules and on site child care facilities. (3) They invest employee training. these organizations spend heavily to make sure employee skills level are kept current. this not only ensures that employees can handle the latest technologies and processes for the organizations but that employees will be marketable to other employees. (4) people first organizations empower their employers. They push authority and responsibility down to the lowest levels.
Organizations that put people first have a more dedicated and committed workforce. This, in turn translates into higher employee productivity and satisfaction. These employees are willing to put forth the extra effort – to do whatever is necessary to see that their jobs are done properly and completely. People first strategies also lead to organizations being able to recruit smarter, more conscientious and more loyal employees.
putting “people first” is easy to say. And it’s currently politically correct.What managers, in his or her right mind, is going to admit publicly that employees take a backseat to cost cutting or profitability?It’s important, however, not to confuse talk with action.
Putting people first is not necessary consistent with long term competitiveness. managers recognize this fact and are increasingly acting on it. today’s organizations are more typically pursuing a “labor -cost minimization” strategy.
When you look beyond what managers say, you find business firms place profits over people. To stay competitive in a global economy, they look for cost – cutting measures. They reengineeer processes and cut the size of their workers for full time permanent staff.
Organizations with problems typically look to staffing cuts as a first responses. And organizations without problems are regularly reviewing their staffing needs to identify redundancies and over-staffing. their goal is to keep themselves “lean and mean”. in today’s competitive environment, few organizations have the luxury to be able to provide workers with implied :permanent employment” or to offer anything more than minimal job security.
for almost all organizations today, employees are variable cost. Staffing levels are kept to a minimum and employees are continually added or deleted as needed.
Interestingly, the labor – cost minimization strategy appears to be spreading worldwide. It began in the United States in the early 1990’s. Now it has become the model for companies in countries such as Japan, South Korea, Thailand – places that historically protected their employees in good times and bad. Many firms in these countries abandoned their permanent – employment, people first policies are inconsistent with aggressive, low cost, global competition.