Based on my experiences at work, the best and most productive times I had were at forward thinking companies that were non hierarchical. The lean, flat and collaborative structure really works.
But most of all, and I think I sound like a broken recorded by now – trust and respect. I think I keep repeating this, because I hope it gets out there somehow. I shouldn’t matter how people get work done, but that they are measured by their output. I am very against employees being measured by how much time they are seen to be spending at the office. This is a false and harmful measure of productivity. Also human beings are not machines and if they are genuinely inundated by a workload that heavy, they will soon break down. And by that I mean, fall ill. And one sick employee will then, too afraid to take medical leave will spread their germs to other employees and that’s how you get a sick office.
Also employees should not be made to live in fear of failure. No one can work well any that kind of pressure. If everyone was afraid we would never have any of the great products or innovations that we have today. I think fearlessness allows creativity to thrive.
I think redundant layers of hierarchy only make postmen out of middle management. Often it comes down to the high level guy passing the buck but not taking the blame when something goes wrong. We can cut cost through a flatter structure, rather than through outsourcing. I never believed in outsourcing as the contractors would not have the same sense of belonging and loyalty to the organization. No sense of pride of ownership. There’s always a feeling that you’ll be replaced so how motivational can that be?
If employees were trusted, then telecommuting could be put in place. In this way the employees can managed their own time, just as long as they produce the work within the timelines negotiated. The company can also save costs in terms of renting office space. It really all boils down to trust. With the technology we have today, even meetings can be held through teleconference no matter where you are. Anyway I always think that traditional meetings are a waste of time, but I am a strong believer in team work and synergy.
If the boss emphasizes that office politics is not tolerated and does not play favorites he or she will see the people thrive. People who genuinely like each other, produce the best team work and look forward to work every day. Now why wouldn’t anyone want a company like that? It baffles me. Well unless of course the people on top are only interested in their own selfish needs. On seeing their own salaries inflate. Yes I think office politics is propagated by selfish needs and once we do away with this kind of thinking we can start to have a healthier workplace and society.