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Don’t hit me, boss

November 30th, 2009 admin Leave a comment Go to comments

A survey report published this morning in Les Echos concludes that three in five workers no longer have any confidence in their management. The same number (not surprisingly) claim that management no longer has the same interests as their employees, who are unhappy essentially with not only their own salaries and level of recognition, but also management pay and even company strategy.

The report suggests that employees are becoming more and more individualistic, moving away from the unions and collective negociations and prefering face to face bargaining with the manager, who is not always equipped and experienced enough to respond correctly. 45% are worried for their jobs even though 73% reckon that their employer is economically in a solid position, and the two pet hates that are mentioned are redundancies in companies which are making profits (quoted by 2 out of 3 surveyed) and the excessive pay of certain executives (1 in 2). Funnily enough, stress at the workplace is not seen as a major concern, despite the media attention of these recent weeks.

Of course, the “new management methods” (Taylor, Fayol and Weber are quoted, so the newness could be debated) come in for scrutiny, and in the future, it is suggested that there is going to be an increasing need for not only “a closer collaboration between the base, operational management, and the executives“, but also “mutual listening, emotional intelligence, and above all the capacity to motivate others and give purpose to actions“.

Could it be that there is a future for Lean Management after all?

The short-term needs to face up to the current economic context, improving performance, reducing costs, and increasing profits, are seen as a obstacle to this more ‘human’ side of management.

How many exclamation marks should I put after that last sentence? Sadly another case of journalism not exactly getting the whole story.

Thanks to this current economic situation, we are seeing more and more the emergence of the need to align the  ‘Respect for People’ pillar of the TPS with the ‘Continuous Improvement’ work. Once we get journalists reporting on how profits have increased because of a much tighter and human collaboration between management and their teams – and their mutual listening and emotional intelligence’  -then we should see a snowball effect pretty quickly.

Les Echos report on employee confidence is the full report for those French-speakers amongst you.

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