Henry Camp gave another interesting talk on "Gaining a Competitive Edge through Sufficiency - 10 Steps to Breakthrough Results". His focus this time was on the concepts from The Choice, which describes the necessary conditions for a successful life: Lots of chances, Toughness/willingness to recover from mistakes, and the Ability to collaborate with others.
Henry emphasized that it's the employer's responsibility to look out for their employees. And his "10 steps" here are all about creating the environment where the employees can thrive and develop mastery.
- Pay a fair wage. Reference to Dan Pink. If people don't have enough money, they get wrapped up in getting more (often in looking for other opportunities), and won't be engaged in your company.
- Educate employees to understand how they can help the whole. Not classroom education, but guidance and information that shows how their role impacts the whole.
- Give employees autonomy. People aren't robots.
- Only give employees jobs that suit them well. Use personality surveys and other mechanisms to ensure good fit. Help people through their development curve (Situational Leadership).
- Encourage non-constraint (people) downtime. "Don't sweat the assets."
- Gate improvement initiatives to reduce bad multitasking. Priority must be on maintaining (growing) flow. Don't release more work than people can handle - ideally one improvement initiative at a time.
- Treat mistakes as learning opportunities. It's better to go slow today than to go slow forever.
- Provide training to understand co-workers. People develop meaningful relationships. "There is nothing so unfair as treating different people the same."
- Make relevant metrics public. Sometimes changing the metric can make a significant impact.
- Ask for ideas (for improvement). If all the above exists, people will willingly provide useful and meaningful ideas for improvement. Then pick one and implement it - as with the Humberto Baptista talk earlier.
Henry clearly feels this very strongly. He gave an example of an employee who left (because of #4), but who has very fond memories of the people and way of working at Shippers Supply. It's the right thing to do for all sorts of reasons.