… Is the Right of Every Worker

… from individual contributor to CEO

Welcome

First, thank you for reading my blog. I’m committed to making it worth your time. Since this is my initial blog entry, I think it’s only right that I set the stage for future entries. So let me provide some context and try to set expectations.

Why

What’s driving this blog is my deeply held belief that all workers, at all organizational levels, have the right to a better workplace, where they go to work, put in a reasonable day’s effort, and most importantly leave at the end of the day feeling that they’ve accomplished something that’s both meaningful to themselves and valuable to their employer. Too often, though, we don’t leave work with that feeling of fulfillment. The reasons are varied, but they are usually related to obstacles in the work environment that are beyond the ability of most workers to fix.

Background

I’ve spent my career focused on organizational quality, team effectiveness, and individual productivity. I’ve had the opportunities to remove barriers to individual and team productivity, and I’ve been amazed at what people can do if we enable them to perform at their best. I’ve also worked in organizations where performance inhibitors caused people to leave work without a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction.

A Better Workplace

To address this desire for fulfillment and overcome the obstacles to it, I founded Quality Enablement LLC, and created a framework and implementation life cycle that allow someone to assess an organization’s current “quality enablement” status, identify the root causes of the inhibiting obstacles, and deliver the solution. (I will provide details in the following blog entries.) My initial plan was to use the Quality Enablement website and blog to establish credibility so I could sell consulting services.

Revelation

Then I had a revelation … I realized that my true #1 goal is to maximize the number of organizations that provide their workers with a better workplace, and that making money was a somewhat distant second goal. So I decided to give away the once-proprietary framework through this blog, so that I could meet that goal. Here’s a link to part of an interview that may help provide more context:

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Commitments

I’m committed to provide as much support as I can through email response to questions, phone support as needed, and webinars if I see a recurring theme. So please feel free to post any comments or questions in the Comment form at the bottom of each post. For implementations within reasonable driving distance from Wilmington, Delaware, I’ll come on-site, at no cost, for a few hours to help get a project kicked-off. Everything I’m doing for the “business” is driven by goal #1 – maximize the number of organizations that provide a better workplace for their workers. To that end, I have four goals for each blog entry: motivate, inform, guide, and enable:

Motivate

I want to let you, the reader, know why it’s worth your time to continue reading the rest of the blog entry.

Inform

Each entry will have some new information that I feel is important for those implementing the framework in their organization. Initially, I’ll focus on the framework and components, and the implementation lifecycle. After that, you can expect answers to common questions or themes requiring clarification.

Guide

Information without some “how to” guidance doesn’t really help, so you’ll see some steps to follow to use the information for your team(s).

Enable

You will find additional enabling advice, such as other references and support you can expect of me.

My Vision

My goal is to help organizations across the country and beyond provide better workplaces for their staff.

  • I see significantly more employees excited about their jobs, performing great things for their employers, leaving work with a true sense of accomplishment, and achieving real work-life balance.
  • I see an on-line community of teams improving their own workplaces, so that they look forward to the workday knowing that they’ll be able to accomplish meaningful work and have what W. Edwards Deming called “pride of workmanship.”
  • I see practitioners sharing their ideas with the community, and the community supporting each other with suggestions from their experiences.
  • I see the framework evolving as we all learn more and share our learnings.
  • I see an evolving set of tools based on actual experience of practitioners across many organizations that I keep updated and make available to all in the community.

What’s Next

I plan to publish a blog entry every week. The next entry will start to explore the Quality Enablement Framework.

Until then …

“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.”

John Pierpont Morgan

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16 comments on “… Is the Right of Every Worker
  1. Frank X. Daly says:

    Bob,

    Once again you deliver. You know I’m a big fan and believer. Corporate America needs to embrace change and empower employees…again. At one time employees were a companies greatest asset. Now just parts and pieces to be used and discarded. We all need to reinforce the message and challenge senior management to step up.

  2. According to the recent Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report, only 30% of employees are committed to doing a good job — 50% are merely “putting their time in” and the remaining 20% act out their discontent in counterproductive ways.

    I applaud your efforts to change these numbers and engage our workers in meaningful work. The learning what works and sharing best practices will go a long way in improving the world of work for all.

    As someone with a passion for improving the healthcare industry, these efforts are very well placed.

    I will look forward to learning from you and sharing with others.

  3. Jim Biniasz says:

    Bob, I totally get it. I’ve seen firsthand how organizations need to allow the workers to identify barriers and work toward a solution. Sometimes as managers, we need to remember to enable people and then get out of the way to let them do their job. Well done!!

  4. Toni says:

    Bob, I think your vision and goals are right in line with what many organizations and employees need. Most professionals want to find the optimal path to be productive and make a difference. If organizations can better enable that, then both employees and employers are winners. It sounds like you’ll be providing terrific insight and roadmaps to help make that happen. Best wishes with your exciting endeavor.

  5. Dave Light says:

    Bob, this engagement thing is very elusive stuff as you well know but you’ve clearly developed a methodology for tackling it – plus the best marketing plan for taking quality viral – giving it away! Best of Luck!

  6. Rick Lanese says:

    Wow, Bob. You have really hit the nail on the head. This is one of the aspects of Quality that I have been trying to establish throughout my career. You have identified a glaring problem in the workforce that trickles down into virtually every aspect of society. Thank you for your insight and your desire to make a difference. Bravo!

  7. Muhammad Naveed says:

    I agree with Bob’s believe of a “better workplace”, where employees are engaged with their heart and mind, draws a sense of fulfillment at the end of their day, and wake up each morning in getting closer to achieving their team/organization’s goals. While it involves individuals to realize a better workplace, organization’s leadership needs to identify cultural/processes gaps and “inhibiting obstacles”. Great mission bob, all the best. Looking forward to future posts.

  8. Bill Dowling says:

    Bob, the video captures the essence of your belief in people and the way that people work best. There are few people as genuine in both their beliefs and in their commitment to share their knowledge and expertise as you are.

  9. Lara Jarvis says:

    This concept really hits home with me , especially now as I develop myself as a people manager. I strive every day to help make sure my team has a “better workplace”. I truly agree that this idea is the right of all employed.

  10. Mary Anne Doherty says:

    You are so right in your video, how important it is that company executives need to be visibly supportive of improvement projects. It’s amazing how much just that one factor effects the outcome.

  11. Mark Samuel says:

    I believe in what Bob is doing and agree that there is a substantial need for finding the pleasures in one’s work. The economic woes experienced over the last 6 or so years caused many companies to downsize without the output of work needed decreasing. This often caused more work (and stress) for those employees who remained. Many companies were under such financial pressures that they often weren’t able to change or couldn’t see the need for the cultures and processes to change. Now is the time to focus on the quality of the workplace which will retain the good employees and make them more efficient, thus serving the employees’ needs, as well as those of the organization. This is critical as the job market begins to open and employee retention is paramount to company quality and growth. Everyone wants to be heard and the employee that is caught in a non-productive environment often has solutions to the problem, if asked. It’s important for leadership to see employees as a source for problem solving which requires them to have an open environment for sharing information with the employees, asking for their input and, most importantly, listening to and acting on that input. It requires a learning and listening culture and a solid action plan for any change that is needed.

    • Bob says:

      Mark – Thank you for the comments. It’s a somewhat audacious goal – change the workplace one organization at a time – but I hope we can at least make a dent.

  12. John Danzeisen says:

    A good website and start. Interesting topics, exciting prospects and universally applicable ideas. Productivity has been the engine of American growth and success for many decades, and it is getting harder to keep that momentum going. Any insights and ideas to improve employee productivity — and satisfaction — are worth pursuing.
    John Danzeisen

    • Bob says:

      Thank you, John. I truly believe that employee productivity is directly related to on-the-job satisfaction, and I hope my readers can share ideas to help each other get what W. Edwards Deming called “pride of workmanship.”

  13. Paul says:

    What an admirable goal!!! I hope your blog goes viral and all of us benefit from the collective brilliance which comes from different perspectives, experience and education.

    • Bob says:

      Thank you, Paul. I’m hoping the broader community can get value from the diverse input we hope to receive.

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