I’ve never really been that big a fan of change. I like my routine. Wake up, eat. Gym, eat. Work, eat, eat, eat. Home, eat then sleep (That’s not a typo, I like to eat that much). So this is how it went Monday through Friday and has been for the years I have worked here.
So, you can image my dismay when management interrupted one of my feedings to introduce us to something that would radically alter not only the way we conduct business while at work, but introduced us to whole new way of thinking in general. To use an analogy from the Bible, they didn’t want to feed us a fish but rather teach us to fish.
This new concept revolved around one central theme with many applications. The concept centered itself on something I have read about in text books, seen on late night infomercials selling motivational DVD’s, and has been the ever elusive carrot my other employers have always failed to grasp.
They did the seemingly impossible…….they empowered us. Over the course of the next few weeks they began to slowly tune the way we operated internally. Time management and productivity was managed not by management itself, but by our specific departmental teams. We identified the problems, worked on the solution, set our own goals and took the steps necessary to achieve them.
Next, they changed the way meetings and top-down communication was conducted. Questions were answered with more questions. Meetings would go something like this:
Me: “Do you think we should handle this particular situation by doing XYZ?”
Chris “The real” McCoy: “Well, what do you think? Do you feel that is the best way your department can handle the situation? If so, how can we help you?”
We were required to provide input, make our own decisions and think for ourselves.
After this, they changed when and where we work by doing away with the time clock. Flex time was introduced. We were given the freedom and ownership of our work quality, space, location and time. This translated into ownership of the outcome. Now the outcome of the problem, the solution, the customer relationship, and the day in general rested squarely on our shoulders.
In short, they empowered us to be free. In that freedom we found greater job satisfaction, an increased desire to work for the greater good, and a greater loyalty to the organization that made it all happen.
So, by now your thinking, “they must be passing out CablesAndKits Kool-Aid over there”. I would say heck yeah they are, give me another glass. This is the kind of place that feels more like home than it does work. When you think like this, co-workers (as well as the customer) become family and another day at the office turns into what you get to do, not what you have to do.