What Comes Round........
This is a picture of a Mulberry Tree; but not the type that gives silk.
I like the following piece of folk lore, which explains how the rhyme
" Here we go round the mulberry bush,
The mulberry bush,
The mulberry bush,
Here we go round the mulberry bush,
On a cold and frosty morning "
came into being.
The story goes that a sprig of mulberry found its way into the exercise yard of HMP Wakefield, a women's prison.
Thus when, in due course the tree attained a mature height, it became part and parcel of the daily exercise routine.
There is no conclusive evidence for this; but I for my part hope it is true.
2 Make the employee a better customer/fan
This strategy encourages the formation of a virtuous circle in which the employee wants to be part of the process; endorsing the values of the firm. The more the employee feels he/she is wanted, the more effective will be the service to the customer.
It should never be a case of what we make or what we sell; but rather why we make or sell.
Thus the mission or dream statement is of prime importance.
For example a retail outlet may promise to provide a one-stop shop at low prices with local produce in a calm atmosphere, seven days a week, together with measurable improving standards.
" Together, we at ------------ will engage in best practice, to bring you quality, fair priced local sourced products, bringing benefits to our community. " Thus it becomes
almost a religious benediction, to which customers and employees buy into.
If you think this is total tosh; consider Apple Inc. , who by producing items of desire; which they contend will make your life better, matched by superb quality control have created a world-wide army of followers ( yes, I 'm one of them), who have endorsed the dream, caught the vision and in many case become early product adopters.
We see here a virtuous circle in operation; where employees strive to design better products and customers enthusiastically respond to, by buying in large numbers and spreading the word.
Check out Apple's latest and biggest store in Covent Garden, London.
It's a beautiful store and shows the commitment to quality. You'd buy an iPod/iPad there wouldn't you?
Anyway, enough about Apple: let's consider what firms need to do, in general to promote their employees' esteem.
1. allow them to contribute ideas.
This is fundamental if managers want to keep employees in a virtuous loop; because nature , herself works in a bottom- up process and therefore asking employees at regular intervals for their ideas, gives them a sense of importance and actually promotes a raising of standards in the store/ manufacturers.
People are not marks on spreadsheets, they have perceptions and opinions and need sounding boards.
By this I mean group talks and not counsel meetings where ideas are filtered often second hand through managers for approval.
2. give them offers and keep them up to date with product news.
I believe a work force, given frequent concessions, either as discount policy with ability to buy at launch time will again create a happy, more contented set of workers.
3 unstress their work practice.
Team building unites and commits a work force.
You will only achieve better productivity, in the long run, by building confidence into the team. the ethos should be on individual improvement, not on penalties.
In all these points; communication is paramount. It is not something that should be taken for granted and , as a general rule of thumb, the person who works the least amount of hours, should be the target for regular information checks. If that person is cognisant and on-message, then the system, at that time is working.
Enough, enough, I hear you cry; so for something completely different, here is a picture of Cheltenham Town A.F.C. ready to kick off for the first home match of the season against Crewe.
They won 4-3.
N.R. " Travels with Boogie " by Mark Wallington.
A delightful true story of Mark and his dog Boogie, walking on the coast path from Minehead to Poole, and later in the second story, sculling from Hampton on Thames to find the source of river. We know where that is don't we ?