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Positive Changes In The Workplace

.. tress to survive, to kill the mastodons and live for another season. We really have not changed all that much. Today’s workplace requires us to give our best as often as possible. James Kouzes feels that Opportunities to challenge the status quo and introduce change opens the doors to doing one’s best.

Challenge is the motivation environment for excellence (Kouzes, Posner 39). The only exception that needs to be brought out by that is that we need to give people a change to get used to the changes before we introduce more. The major reason for stress is when you do not allow for the adjustment period in-between major changes. Stress has gotten a bad name. Stress of all kinds is good —– physical, emotional and mental. It’s strengthening. What troubles us is the absence of recovery strategies need to balance the stress.

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by James Loehr, sports psychologist (as quoted in Fortune, 11/28/95) Many times when people feel threatened by change they may be willing to take on more risks to improve their status within the company. Geoffrey Colvin, author for Fortune magazine says One great thing about difficult times is that they make our hard-wiring work in our favor. People really do feel threatened. That makes this a good time to launch gambles you believe in. It also means that others in the organization, feeling threatened, are more likely to think up risky, innovative moves that could be worthwhile, so it’s important to make sure you find out about them.

And remember that those above you also feel threatened, so now could be an excellent time to propose that crazy idea you just know would succeed. Your audience is receptive.(Colvin 243) If you have built trust in your ideas you can create a positive situation for both you and your boss with the successful ideas you may develop. We must be careful not to bombard our employees with the catch phrases of the day. Many top managers are looking for a cure. They are embracing the latest concepts to improve their productivity. These concepts are in abundance in today’s society.

It appears that anyone can come up with an idea that will work for someone. You can have everything from Total Quality Management (TQM) to Work Focus Groups (WFG) to Just in Time (JIT) processing. In the article TQM reduces problems and stress by James Montague you are given the theory behind TQM. Simply put, TQM is focused on understanding customer requirements and meeting their needs every time.(Montague 16) Like that is a reality. It may be something to strive for, but the reality is that you are not going to be able to do this all of the time.

The problem with these is not with the concepts, because many of them are basically the same but with the adoption of too many of these processes in the workplace. Employees who have gone through many of these processes just look at the new one and assume that they can talk the talk and then go back to the way things were. The company I work for, Appleton, has joined in a joint venture with another company. This company has placed most of their managers in the upper management positions of the new joint venture. They are trying to instill their way of management in the new company.

This has created a feeling of chaos in our local plant. When the employees have a feeling of unrest, they will be more accepting of the new ideas that this joint venture has fostered. It will be an effective way of developing acceptance with little or no resistance to the new ways. Changes in the workplace can bring out the best in the employee if it is introduced correctly and with the proper focus. Involving employees in change can create a feeling of ownership. If the employees are involved in the changes and are made aware of the need for these changes they will be more likely to accept these changes.

The companies are going to have to set out company goals and organize people around those goals. They will have to have a team for every business process. Formal, narrow jobs will have to be replaced by fluid, versatile, flexible roles on a team declares Marc J. Wallace Jr., cofounder and partner of the Center for Workforce Effectiveness. Most companies are developing this form of team work as a vast array of information just waiting to be tapped. These new and innovative work environments are allowing employees to become more flexible in their work environment.

This allows employees to take control over the total outcome of the product they are producing. Kenan Jarboe and Joel Yudken, authors of an article, Time to Get Serious About Workplace Change, from Science and Technology magazine, feel that a high-performance work system will seek to enhance organizational performance by combining innovative work and management practices with reorganized work flows, advanced information systems, and new technologies. Most important, it builds on and develops the skills and abilities of frontline workers to achieve gains in speed, flexibility, productivity, and customer satisfaction. Keeping top performers happy can be a full-time job, but in this economy with 1-2% unemployment rate, it’s worth the effort. Just ask Walter Noot, who is head of production for Viewpoint DataLabs International, a company in Salt Lake City that makes 3-D models and textures for film production houses, video game companies, and car manufacturers.

He compares the modelers and digitizers on his team to sports stars: high performers who sulk if they suspect they’re getting less than they deserve. Noot decided to do something radical. Now no one in his group gets a salary. They’re still full-time Viewpoint employees, with benefits, but they’re paid as if they were contract workers. Every project’s team splits 26% of the money Viewpoint expects to receive from a client.

Almost overnight salaries have jumped 60% to 70%. But productivity has almost doubled. Where the group used to have set hours, they now work when they please. One fellow works 24-36- hour marathons, keeping a pillow and blanket under his desk for catnaps. Some people work only at night.

Whatever. Now life is bliss,: says Noot. It has totally changed attitudes, I never hear complaints. (Munk 62-6+-) Noot has learned, as other managers are learning, we need to give the employees control over their destiny and then the changes that go into effect will come from them and they will accept them and even sometimes embrace them. Bibliography Works Sited Doyle, Willima and Perkins, Willima Smash the Pyramid Warner Books 1994 Colvin, Geoffrey.

Let the tough times roll!. Fortune. , v. 138 no12 (Dec. 21 ’98) p.

243-4 Jarboe, Kenan Patrick.; Yudken, Joel Time to get serious about workplace change. Science and Technology. , v. 13 (Summer ’97) p. 65-7 Kouzes, James M.

and Posner, Barry Z. The Leadership Challenge Jossey-Bass Publishers 1987 Losyk, Bob Generation X: what they think and what they plan to do., The Futurist, V. 31 Mar./Apr. ’97 p. 29-44 Montague, James TQM reduces problems and stress. Business Credit., v.

97 (Feb. ’95) p. 16 Munk, Nina The new organization man., Fortune. v. 137 Mr. 16 ’98 p.

62-6+ Riley, R., (1998, March). Education first: Building America’s future. Vital Speeches of the Day, 64 (11), 322-327. Verespej, Michael A. The old workforce won’t work: technology isn’t the only thing to change.

Industry Week, v. 247 no17 (Sept. 21 ’98) p. 53-4 Computers Essays.


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