Over the past century, there have been dozens of management philosophies that have been touted as "the way" to keep employees motivated and encourage excellence and productivity. But it's far from a solved problem. Stack ranking (aka vitality curve
) has fallen out of favor a bit, and a trend of self-managing has appeared that could keep employees more satisfied with their bosses -- because if you're managing yourself, you only have yourself to blame. Some companies are trying to quantify various metrics for organizational behavior
to make it more objective and fair. Maybe we'll know how it all works in a few more decades, but in the meantime, check out these HR experiments.
- Zappos issued a kind of ultimatum to its employees -- accept its experimental new management system or take a severance package. Over 200 employees (about 14% of the workforce) chose to leave the company, which doesn't necessarily mean that all of these former employees didn't like "Holacracy" -- but it suggests that self-management policies aren't for everyone, either. [url]
- Google experimented with a flat organization circa 2002, but it ended after a few months when a flood of mundane managerial details overwhelmed the few people with obvious authority at the company. Since then, Google has continued with a data-driven culture to help develop its management techniques and policies -- finding that engineers hate technical micromanagement, but really like to be closely managed when it comes to career guidance. [url]
- If a company's org chart is flat, there's presumably no promotions for many employees, so how can flat organizations keep employees happy? Okay, a growing company can still offer expanded roles with more responsibilities, but a large, stable company may need to design stock option plans and bonuses to keep people around. But if money isn't a great motivator.... [url]
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