General Question

burntbonez's avatar

How could work be structured more fairly and efficiently?

Asked by burntbonez (5194 points ) December 5th, 2012

Capitalism is supposed to help folks make money, not fairness. Yet, perhaps fairness would help capitalists make more money. What fairness improvements in your workplace would make the place more profitable? How would those changes increase both fairness and profits?

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15 Answers

KNOWITALL's avatar

Personally, I have been at the same workplace for almost 9 years. I bust my arse to do my work quickly and accurately while everyone sits around and talks all day. They all make more than I do, and it’s very frustrating.

A lot of companies have this person, usually a lowly staff member and usually female, who suffers in silence and takes the abuse from everyone from the boss to other staff members while getting paid crap wages, but get all the work done while others take all the glory and cash home.

It would make things more profitable for anyone in our company to give 100%, let alone 110%. Holding people accountable, like “I heard you talking for 3 hours this morning, Susan, but for some reason your work was not completed by 2pm as instructed, can you explain that to me?”

I wish my boss knew everything I did about what these people DON’T do all day, but he never asks and I’m not a snitch. :( Good question though.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Everyone should have a stake in the success or failure of the company . Low level to high.
If the big boys are going to command a “performace based” salary and bonus in the 7 figures, then there should be a claw back option for up to 3 years later if they do not meet the goals they were previously rewarded for achieving.
Big boy salaries and bonuses should be based upon strategic 5 year goals not annual or even quarterly figures.

Coloma's avatar

@KNOWITALL Yes but….you also CHOOSE to be the worker bee, you don’t HAVE to be the busy bee all the time if you feel over worked and under-appriciated then maybe it’s time to move on to an environment that values your work ethic, or speak up to reform the wayward workers negligence. That is not being a snitch, that is looking to implement changes for the greater good of the whole.
I am a huge fan of implementing personality type testing in the workplace, as it lends itself to putting individuals in positions that they will naturally excel in.
As a boss I am more likely to look at the end results, and as long as the work is done and it is done well, I don’t care what methodologies people use or if they slack off a bit in their “free time.”

I agree that being a team player is important, but, I like to give space and take into account individual differences, energy levels, personality traits that are customized in an individual.
Of course this is WHY I prefer creative and flexible work environments over hardcore micro-managing. Us NT types make great bosses because we value the fact there there is more ways to skin a cat than just one, and we value originality and creative problem solving over robotic drones. lol

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Coloma Yes, my boss says the same thing, and his boss before him did too, and the boss before that. No one cares as long as the work gets done, and I think that makes for very unhappy employees. If you don’t know who’s doing what, then how do you justify paying them? It doesn’t make sense.

Yes, I have the choice to stay at a job I love (the job itself), keep my 401k and my vacation, and benefits because and ONLY because I support my husband who has epilepsy.

I told one of the new mgrs that it was like being in a relationship with an abusive husband, you don’t want to leave, you just want things to be better. Unfortunately, I try to fix things I see wrong, or tell someone who can fix them, but a lot of it is lazy management. We basically manage up if that makes sense.

Coloma's avatar

@KNOWITALL Yeah, sounds frustrating, agreed. This is often where personality comes in, with some types being very structured and needing a lot of organization and productivity and others being more relaxed and flexible in the “hows” of getting things done.
No easy answers, anytime we mix up a bunch of different types sparks will fly, no doubt. haha

KNOWITALL's avatar

Yep, I’m very structured and have my hours accounted for down to the minute…lol, you got me there!

Ron_C's avatar

Capitalism seems to work best when the employees share in the company’s success. When only the management profits, employees loose their incentive to make improvements and perform above the average.

JLeslie's avatar

One way profits are increased when workers are treated well and paid well is there is usually less employee turnover. Turnover costs the company money. Rewarding trusted workers also decreases theft, if the company actually sells tangible items. Loyal staff means they go above and beyond for the company.

Paying the staff very well may actually reduce profits a little, although it may be possible to raise the wages of workers towards the bottom and lower the wages of the top people and still be very profitable. But really, how profitable do you need to be? How big a margin do you need on each sale? I think ethics should play into. We don’t have to earn every single cent we can suck out of someone, we can treat people well, employees and customers, and I think that leads to a better work environment, and extends the life of a company over time.

KNOWITALL's avatar

What our company has done to increase profitability is to fire a bunch of people, let the remaining people take on 3–4 more jobs without any extra pay, which creates a nice fat margin for the boardroom. It works because the unemployment fears, but when the country gets back to plenty of available jobs, it’ll look like rats fleeing a sinking ship. It’s sad because a lot of us love our jobs, they’re just working us to death for peanuts.

Shippy's avatar

Having the reputation of a person with integrity, helps to build “Good Will”.

wundayatta's avatar

I believe in more inclusive decision-making. I believe in incentives for workers to take on the interests of the company more closely. I’ve never worked in a place where this happened, but I’d love to try it.

Coloma's avatar

Well…I’m a rare bird in the fact that I would gladly pay someone just to bring some fucking ENTHUSIASM to whatever it is. The world needs more nutty professors, not more gloomy drones.

ragingloli's avatar

Democracy in the company. Business decisions made by popular vote (one employee, one vote) or by democratically elected representatives.
(also called socialism)

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jstephenson104's avatar

With the assesment act of 2006, noone has the enthusiasm or incentive to get the job done. Everything costs twice as much, but unless they work for big brother, noone makes twice as much. Can’t own anything or barely raise a family on a manufacturing job, so I don’t wonder why everything made overseas, just think its funny, the same people complaining about jeeps being made in italy are the same people who frown on anyone working an actual laborous job.

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