If you destroy the people of a company, you do not have much left.” – W. Edwards Deming 

Check out John Hunter’s post on some workplace experiments happening at 37Signals.  Sounds like some progressive thinking individuals trusting and respecting their employees.  John talks about how the company experimented with 4-day work weeks over the summer so their employees could enjoy the nice weather.  They discovered that they could complete the same amount of work in 4 days that they were doing in five. Since the experiment worked for them, the 4-day work week became standard.  Illustrative of the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle.

John also tells of helping employees pursue their interests even if they aren’t work related. Also, the use of a company credit card so that employees can feel free to acquire a book or software or attend a conference without going through any unnecessary approval processes.

What do you think the outcome of all this will be?  What would it be at your company?  Would you or some of your peers take advantage of such policies? Would this type of trust and being treated like an adult bring out your most productive self?  Would people abuse the privileges?

Personally, just the actions of the company would motivate me.  I may or may not take partake of such benefits.  To me, a company that makes these decisions with their people in mind are thinking about long term viability and not end-of-month.  They are thinking about talent management, not human assets.  They are more likely to retain their best talent and attract more talent.

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