How US keeps Workers Happy - Common Sense Solutions to an Age Old Problem


United States, the only superpower in the world is an economic jaggernaught. When the Japanese bombed Pearl harbor in 1945 an unhappy commander of the Japanese Imperial navy Admiral Yamamoto uttered the words "I have traveled the length and breadth of America and seen their economic power. By this action we have only succeeded in waking up a Sleeping Giant." True to his words US dropped two nuclear bombs and the mighty Japanese Empire surrendered unconditionally soon afterwards. US has a gigantic workforce that powers its unending engine of industry big, bigger and gigantic.

Europe is also a very powerful economic block. But surprisingly Europe is plagued by trade union action often whereas in the larger US one hardly hears of labor union strikes despite the millions of workers who work very hard daily.

The answer lies in a fascinating feature in most US companies. In many, many US companies several times a year employers conduct a so called "employee opinion survey" which is conducted through an independent 3rd party. No names are mentioned and nobody but the 3rd party sees the surveys. The questions vary from "are you happy with the promotion prospects in the company" to "does your General Manager inform you frequently about what is happening in the company and so on."

The results are tabulated and sent to the CEO's who in turn make sure the grievances are addressed aggressively. The bonuses and promotions of the CEO's and GM's are tied to the EOS scores. They are also later shared among employees for transparency. The regularly held EOS scores are also tracked aggressively to make sure trends do not drop.

What a fascinating way to keep employees happy in probably the most competitive and toughest work force in the world. Managing ones labor as a happy bunch of people is very much a part of the management's responsibility or else you are considered as a failed manager. Another key feature is of course the great deal of respect US managers extend to the so called blue collar workers including being addressed by your first name only, whether you are a janitor or a CEO. It is very much a partnership than a bunch of people subjected to a rigorous set of rules like the post colonial times in Sri Lanka and even today.

One can always learn from another whether you belong to a 2000 year old existence or a 300 year old existence. World is always a place of learning from the smarter.

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