An individual, or just another number?

 
October 21, 2014

 

 Honey Software explores the Employer-Employee relationship and the battle against employee apathy in growing businesses.

 

It goes without saying that the larger a business becomes, the more difficult it is for each employee to be treated by their employers on a truly individual basis. For a company like Walmart, that employs an impressive 2.1 million people, the senior management connecting on an individual basis with every employee is simply a logistical impossibility. That being said, nobody wants to feel unappreciated, and in the realm of business, it’s quickly catching on that the key to both effectively producing efficient and motivated employees and to lower turnover lies with the treatment of the employee. What are Honey Software’s views on this philosophy?

 

 Treating the individuals as individuals. 

How can a business’ management affect the relationship with their employees to improve motivation and fight employee apathy? Micah Solomon from Forbes claims the most important way to do so is the ‘central law of employee motivation’, Employee Autonomy. For Honey Software however, working towards this ideal conflicts with a more traditional approach to large business – things like streamlining organisational and hierarchical structures, homogenizing position descriptions and setting standardized deadlines and quotas are all tried and true staples of expanding businesses that have aimed (and succeeded) to improve cohesiveness and efficiency in the past.

The question we at Honey Software pose to ourselves and to our readers at large then, is how can a large or growing business go about improving ‘Employee Autonomy’ when history has continually pointed towards tighter control of employee work life?

 

 It’s just not that simple.

For Honey Software, it just wasn’t that simple – the two are not just mutually exclusive paths, but completely different business philosophies that mirror the changes occurring in modern HR. Honey thinks that if the CEO of Walmart wereto try improve his relationship with his employees without giving them the ability to showcase their strengths and differences amongst their peers, he’d only make a fool of himself.

 

The catch-22.

What does our hypothetical CEO do, then? It seems unthinkable to let 2.1 million employees ‘loose’, doesn’t it? But therein Honey Software reaches the crux of the issue. Deep down, both employees and their employers are all human, and in the most basic sense behave the same ways. Senior management in business have been conditioning themselves for centuries that in order to properly control and secure the viability of their business, they must control their employees so as to limit the decision making or, in this case, autonomy, to the select few who can be trusted with it.

Honey Software asks, what would happen if the senior team took this philosophy and applied it to the psyche of their employees? Every human wants to be valued and appreciated in their work. In the case of Walmart’s 2.1 million share of them, the boss can’t go around personally patting each member on the back at five p.m. 

So instead, appeal to their humanity in a different way:

 

Trust.

Things like improving hiring (making the right fits) and offering employees shares, deadline flexibility and a degree of control in how their work is presented, completed or constructed all appeal to employees on a more intimate level – it makes the workplace not just a job, but a part of their life they take pride in, and especially somewhere they feel they belong to – Something we firmly believe in at Honey Software. Secondly, giving employees more freedom in how and when they work will not only make them feel more comfortable and happy with their position, but also serves as an effective way for them to showcase their talents that will distinguish them from their peers – the kind of people you want to hang on to in a successful business.

 

Want to share your own view on the matter? Access Honey Software’s social media outlets or leave a comment here.