As we enter the month of June – 2020, where millions of people across the world are struggling with their fight against Corona Virus, I came across a mail in which the management of a shipping company decided to recognise their employee efforts by offering them a one-time bonus of 10 dollars. Even a Turkey can fly in a Tornado but the true colors can be revealed only during tough times.
No doubt management holds accountability for shareholders but until and unless employees are treated respectfully and are properly recognised for their efforts, shared goals can’t be achieved. Ethical conduct should be an integral part of any company’s DNA or else hitting the shoals is not that far away.
The year was 1914 when Henry Ford decided to take one the greatest decision of all time by doubling his employee’s wages. He introduced and implemented three changes in his company:
1- Reduced the workday from 9 hours to 8 hours.
2- Shifted from two shifts to three shifts per day.
3- Doubled the basic rate of pay from 2.5$ to 5$. (The Greatest Decision Ever)
This magnificent generosity of 10 million dollars annually towards employee benefits resulted in following outcome:
1- Labor turnover dropped from 370% to 16%.
2- Productivity increased from 40% to 70%.
3- Within two years profit doubled from 30 million dollars to 60 million dollars.
He further reduced the price of his famous Model T from $850 to $350, turning his employees into his customers.
Paying one time 10 dollars bonus to their employees is one perspective, whereas making them prosperous by doubling their wages is one. Only if the shipping company can see a bigger picture, of making their employees prosperous, their prosperity will make them to buy more and in turn more shipment for the company. High wage doctrine (is what economist call it) made Ford a billionaire and if implemented by the shipping company might help them to fight their war too.
Readers, who are wondering whether this is the shipping company for which I work too? Then the answer is “NOOOOO”. When I was small my math’s teacher gave me a good lesson which I still remember. He wrote 100 on the board and asked me “What is it?” I answered “Hundred”. He then removed the last zero and put if before one and wrote 010 and asked me “Now?” on which I answered “Ten”. The lesson given was basically not a math’s lesson but a life lesson. Placing a 0 before or after 1 can make a big difference. Same way placing yourself in a good or a bad company can define your worth too. Choose your company wisely friends. Your value is directly proportional to which you are associated with.
If it walks like a Duck and quacks like a Duck, it is a Duck. Don’t waste your precious time to further investigate the reality. Knowing all the streets in hell will not make it a better place to stay. Change is never easy but it’s the only thing which is constant and it’s better to change now because we are never going to be as young as we are now. Same is true for the company too. Only when trust before profit becomes our DNA, can the employee will move heaven and earth to achieve a common goal. Otherwise it’s just going to be a search of incompetency, shame and shallow results.