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THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE ENCOURAGING NEWS THIS LABOR DAY

 THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE ENCOURAGING NEWS THIS LABOR DAY
 PITTSBURGH, Sept. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 75 percent of America's workforce doesn't want to go back to work after their Labor Day holiday.
 You might think that's because they feel underpaid and unappreciated, right? Not true. According to Development Dimensions International (DDI), financial rewards and job security no longer top the list in surveys of what employees want from their jobs. Their new priority is empowerment, and without it, they feel burned out, powerless and victimized.
 "Even in the light of spiraling unemployment, the fact alone that workers have jobs does not guarantee a happy workforce," says William C. Byham, president and chief executive officer of DDI. "Workers want to feel a sense of involvement and ownership of their jobs."
 Byham, who wrote a national bestselling book, "Zapp! The Lightening of Empowerment," defines empowerment as creating a sense of ownership of jobs or projects by providing clear expectations, control of resources, responsibility and coaching. Empowerment means offering help without removing responsibility.
 Business today operates in an environment of change, according to Byham, who draws on more than 20 years of consulting experience in creating high-involvement organizations. The chaos created by competition, deregulation, technological advances, acquisitions, the domestic economy and the global marketplace is exacerbated by chaos within organizations. Yesterday's workforce just can't do the job.
 "The workforce of the nineties can no longer afford to check their brains at the door and leave decision-making to management," Byham adds. "Workers today are responsible for the quality of products and services. This means employees must assume responsibilities typically reserved for managers; focus on continuous improvement; and constantly grow through extensive training."
 The ultimate form of empowerment is the use of self-directed work teams in the workforce. A self-directed work team is an intact group of employees who are responsible for a "whole" work process or segment that delivers a product or service to an internal or external customer. To varying degrees, team members work together to improve operations, handle day-to-day problems, and plan and control work. They are responsible for getting work done and for managing themselves.
 "Companies around the world are discovering that self-directed teams serve as a catalyst in transforming organizations into high-involvement cultures," Byham explains. In a recent survey co-sponsored by DDI, the Association for Quality and Participation, and Industry Week magazine, 25 percent of the 800 plus executives responding to the survey reported that their organizations currently use self-directed work teams. Of those using teams, 47 percent predicted that more than half of their workforce will be organized into self-directed teams within the next five years.
 These organizations are enjoying a wide range of benefits from self- directed work teams, including improved quality, productivity, participation and customer service, and reduced cycle time. Among the companies successfully using self-directed teams are Texas Instruments, Bausch & Lomb, Cooper Tools and Procter & Gamble.
 "While it's true that it isn't easy to build a high-involvement culture that will unleash the talent and energy of employees at every level of the organization, the good news is there is an answer," Byham reveals. "Organizations are realizing that it is possible to reach new levels of quality, productivity and employee satisfaction by developing and encouraging a new workforce. To make it happen takes management support, extensive technical and skills training, teamwork, and a focus on total quality."
 -0- 9/4/92
 /EDITORS: Development Dimensions International is a leading provider of human resource programs and services designed to create high- involvement organizations. International in the truest sense, DDI maintains offices and training centers around the world, and numbers more than 400 of the Fortune 500 companies among its clients./
 /CONTACT: Cheryl Becker, public relations manager of Development Dimensions International, 412-257-0600, ext. 381/ CO: Development Dimensions International ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:


CD-ML -- PGFNS1 -- 6776 09/04/92 07:31 EDT
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Date:Sep 4, 1992
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