The economic conditions have unveiled to the public what I like to call “the two faces of management.”
First, there is the 9-5 manager who is not concerned with his/her employees or the betterment of his/her company, rather he/she believes by showing up to the office his/her job is done and pay deserved.
Second, there is the manager who has always been–or developed into–the innovative leader.
It is obvious that what management needs, especially in these current economic conditions, is a manager that is willing to go above and beyond to drive his/her company through the recession. Despite all the selfish and negative aspects that have been surfacing in the news these past months, I have been able to witness a manager of a small company that has devoted his full effort to becoming an ideal manager. The manager I know runs a small air freight company here in Northeastern Pennsylvania, and although the company is not booming, as in past years, they are surviving by “common sense” management.
First, the manager accredits cost saving by asking employees to pitch in and help the company. The manager asked employees if they would mind cutting their paid lunch breaks by a half-hour (on a voluntary basis), once or twice a week, if the employer would buy the lunch. This has proven effective because, not only is the company getting more work accomplished, but the employees are also saving because they do not have to buy their lunch.
Second, management has cut back on redundant meetings with employees which involved tasks lists. Instead management hosts a monthly meeting and asks employees to dtrop any suggestions to improve the work environment into the suggestion box. Management was surprised to see not only suggestions in the suggestion box, but encouragement to keep up the improvements and changes.
Third, management realized that they must make cutbacks. Management executed the cutbacks by limiting the number of conferences employees attend to two for the year, and will only send one employee per conference. The employees are chosen to attend by those who have the least days called off and the best customer feedback. This incentive, of being able to go to a conference, has encouraged employees to work harder.
Overall, these are examples of three simple things done by management in this particular company to improve the workforce. I think that simplicity will become even more apparent in these economic times. Once managers realize that it only takes a few simple steps to improve the workforce, maybe our economy will see the start of a turn around.
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