Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Withholding in the Workplace

When it comes to the workplace, withholding certainly is an important concept to review. When you withhold, you don't share. In other words, if an employee is ignored by her supervisor, she will certainly not be motivated to share her good ideas. Why is this a bad thing? Because she might have an idea that would reduce waste by 5%. If implemented, this new process would save her company $5000 a month/$60,000 a year. However, she choses not to share it, and "money is left on the table." And this happens all the time in the workplace.

So what is the point? Appreciating your employees is not only the right thing to do, it can often generate additional profit for your organization!

Many years ago I heard a story that illustrates the withholding concept in a powerful way. An hourly employee in a manufacturing plant was retiring after 40 years of service. He had been a loyal and hard-working employee. Over the years he had thought of several good ideas for process improvement, but no one had ever asked his opinion about anything. So he "soldiered on" and kept his good ideas to himself. At his retirement party he looked at the plant manager and said-"you had my hands for 40 years-you could have had my mind for free." How much money did that company "leave on the table" by ignoring that employee?

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In your opinion, which of the following is the most effective way to recognize an employee for a significant accomplishment at work?