Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Important Stuff

I haven't posted much lately, mostly because I have been pissed with my professor who does not know how to communicate effectively.

I just read a chapter in my book for Library Administration. It was about the human resource frame of management. Basically it talks about how a lot of companies screw their employees over for the sake of short-term profits, then they lose out in the long run because their company has gone to hell in a hand-basket. Think outsourcing to a foreign country where you can pay little to less people, give them a couple crappy resources and then in a few years realize that your customer satisfaction levels are scraping the bottom of the barrel. That's an example of poor human resource investment.

The flip-side of that are examples of good human resource investment. This is when companies give their employees the tools to do their job efficiently. They are compensated for their work. They receive a certain psychological fulfillment in the workplace. This investment brings a return that is much greater than the chop-house method. In fact, when employees feel that the company backs them, they tend to respond by working harder and innovating more. This is what we saw in the post-war boom. What we are seeing now results from the late-90s / early-2000s.

The crux of what I read relied on the psychological fulfillment of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. This theory basically states that man is always trying to find satisfaction of some kind. The quest begins with basic needs--like food--and gradually the needs become more aesthetic and ephemeral, until they self-actualize. The workplace can, and should, be a place where some of these needs are met. Certainly, food and shelter are met via salary, but a sense of purpose is also closely tied to work. Do you really think that what you are doing is important?

Maybe yes, maybe no...


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