MCBASSI & COMPANY

New McBassi video

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We’ve just posted a new video on the McBassi home page that describes the McBassi story and the work that we do. 

Please check it out – and let us know what you think!

What employees want at work

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Susan Heathfield’s blog has a nice list of five factors that she’s found employees look for in their work: respect, access to information, development opportunities, involvement in decision-making, and good leadership.

(Our analytic work with clients through the McBassi People Index® has confirmed the importance of each of those factors in multiple organizations.) 

Two other factors that our analysis often finds particularly important in driving employee commitment?  Jobs that make good use of an employee’s skills and talents, and being part of an organization that encourages and enables teamwork.

The most important employee factors – in shaping employee commitment as well as key business outcomes – vary significantly across different organizations, of course.  So it’s always smart to analyze the unique drivers of employee and business outcomes for your specific organization.

Job crafting

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Job crafting, as defined by Amy Wrzesniewski of the Yale School of Management,  is a process in which employees can mold and reorganize their tasks and responsibilities in order to better fit their individual strengths, passions, and motives.

It’s a great technique for meeting the objectives of one of the items that frequently emerges as a key driver of employee commitment in our People Index® analyses: My job makes good use of my talents and skills.

A recent Business Week article discusses the ins and outs of job crafting, including exploration of the process, some major upsides (and how to best avoid some potential downsides).

Lessons from Toyota

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For the past few decades, people around the world have flocked to Toyota plants to study their greatly admired quality processes.  Now the tables are turned, and people are beginning to study Toyota to understand just the opposite—what went wrong?

 As I read the newspapers and listen to stories about Toyota on NPR, I filter these analyses through the framework that my co-authors and I are using as we write The Worthiness Era.    We use five separate criteria for quantifying the “worthiness” of companies.

Based on the currently available evidence, my hypothesis is that despite all of the public accolades, Toyota has had serious (and heretofore largely unexposed) deficiencies on three of the criteria: worthy employer, customer focus, and (absence of) greed.

 I’ve used our People Index® to help me think through how Toyota measures up on the first category, worthy employer.  The facts strongly suggest that Toyota has had serious deficiencies in multiple areas:

  • Working conditions (too much focus on cost cutting and too little focus on responding to customer input)
  • Accountability (building in true accountability for delivering on Toyota’s promise to its customers)
  • Leadership behaviors (actions that are inconsistent with Toyota’s stated values)

The second category – customer focus – speaks for itself.  Toyota is now paying an extraordinary price for consistently downplaying or flat out ignoring input from its customers.

 At the root of this must be the third category: greed.  In its quest for growth through cost cutting, Toyota has sacrificed the lives of some of it customers. 

 In so doing, it has now put its very existence in jeopardy.  As one of my psychologist friends is fond of saying, “It’s what you get away with in life that kills you.” 

 Toyota was suffering from an undiagnosed organizational cancer.   The old saw that “an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure” is applicable. 

Those who want to learn from Toyota should be seeking diagnostics that enable a rigorous, clear-eyed assessment of their organization’s health.