Memo from management to labor: You are tools, assets, and resources, so deal with it.The relationship between management and labor has always been a strained relationship. In its worst form, this relationship exists as slavery. This happens when men (management) value money more than human life. Its been said, The love of money is the root of all evil. In many cases, management tends to think of labor as replaceable tools, resources, or assets to be used to make money. Workers want to be thought of and treated as human beings not tools, resources or assets. Unfortunately for labor, the Golden Rule in the business world is, The one that has the gold makes the rules. Can you say disgruntled worker?
The bottom line is the bottom line in the business world. Earning a living and providing for their families are the goals of laborers. Management strives to lower operating cost while maximizing profit. This includes lowering the cost of labor even if it means laying people off. For labor, this could mean the difference between having medical insurance or not. Not having medical insurance or insurance with high cost and minimal benefits creates a strain on workers trying to provide for their families. Workers want to earn as much as they can and get the best benefits package they can get. Insurance and salaries are just two examples of many issues that drive management and labor apart. This setup is a tug-of-war that can mean the difference between success and failure for business. Not to mention providing a good product or service.
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The Strong Survive
Management, for better or for worse, trys to implement policies and procedures to insure not only that the business is profitable but that it continues to exist. Their attitude is that anything and anyone can be sacrificed to serve and preserve the company. Hours, benefits, and jobs get cut in order to preserve and protect the company. Only the strong survive. But management still expects labor to act professionally and to give one hundred per cent to the company. After all, no company, no money.
The attitudes and actions described above have caused the labor class to be dissatisfied with their working conditions for years. But business can continue this way because there will always be people willing to work under these conditions in order to earn a living and provide for their families. But for those workers that are odds with management it may be in their best interest to understand the mission and work with management to affect change. If that doesnt work or if its not possible, it may be time to go to a company that gets it.
Some Companies Get It
This view of management is not intended to be a broad-brush swipe at all management. That would be ridiculous because there are some companies that get it. For example, Southwest Airlines Seems to have a management model that inspires worker loyalty and appreciation. These companies go out of the way to show that they value their workers. These companies have programs and special events that theyve integrated into their company culture that shows their appreciation to workers on a regular basis. These programs and special events are substantive and add quality to the workers lives. These companies would not send out a memo from management to labor: You are tools, assets, and resources, so deal with it.
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