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How to succeed in business; likely a matter of employee opinion.


Since 1974, Hay Management Consultants has conducted more than 2,000 employee attitude surveys and management effectiveness surveys in North American organizations. Hay recently completed an analysis of the information in its data base to identify:

* how employee attitudes have


* which attitudes/behaviours

are driving high performing


Hay identified significant gaps between the values that employees think will determine the success of their organizations and the actual values that are being emphasized. Hay consultants Mark Jackson and David Sissons say, "We're finding that managers have a good grasp of the new management theories that are prescribed in popular business writings, but they find it extremely difficult to implement the necessary changes in their organizations. We have found two primary reasons why change is so difficult. Either the organization's values have not been articulated clearly, or the organization's culture has not been assessed in order to examine the gaps between current and future desired states."

In summary, Hay's research identifies four common characteristics of high performing companies that are supported by changing employee attitudes:

1. The concept of "team" is a critical success factor but opinions differ over its implementation:

* management's opinion is that

co-operation among employees

has remained steady over

the past five years; however,

hourly workers believe that it

has only improved slightly in

the same period

* managers see the ability of

management and employees

to work together as improving

but employees indicate

they believe it has declined

since 1985.

2. There is consensus among all groups of successful companies that communication and opportunities for employee involvement are important and that they are improving.

3. Driving increased accountability down into the organization is another success factor:

* managers are being encouraged

to take on more responsibility

* for hourly employees, their

new-found input to business

decisions has still not translated

into increased responsibility.

4. Commitment to quality is a key issue:

* the majority of employees

believe the quality of their

companies' products or services

is quite high

* in low performing companies,

they are not seeing initiatives

for ongoing quality


"Our research suggests that progress has been made in some of the key new business areas." say Jackson and Sissons, "but further changes in both management philosophy and the expectations of employees are essential. If the new values are to become more entrenched over the next decade; it will become more important than over for companies to take stock of their cultures. Only by actively defining and closing the gaps between where they are today and what they want the culture to be tomorrow will organizations be able to take full advantage of the new business trends."
COPYRIGHT 1989 Canadian Institute of Management
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Canadian Manager
Date:Dec 22, 1989
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