Fifty years ago a good blue-collar job was with a large manufacturer such as General Motors or Goodyear. It paid well, offered great benefits, and was pretty secure. But those jobs have mostly gone away.
So where are today’s good jobs for people without a college education?
My coauthors and I tackle this question in a new article in the January-February Harvard Business Review. Called “More Than a Paycheck,” it shows how every company in America can offer its employees good jobs while still staying competitive.
Anthony Wilder Design/Build, an award-winning home-remodeling company, uses economic engagement to increase teamwork, company spirit, and profitability.
A few years ago, the owners of a Maryland architectural firm opened up their books for all employees to see. Now, the founders are demonstrating effective leadership and getting employees involved. They’re turning everyone into owners.
Now employees are constantly bringing intelligent business ideas to the table. One of the best rewards is seeing someone who never had a shot at an education be able to show you how smart they really are. I have a warehouse worker with a GED who can tell me the current ratio of my business. I’m more proud of that than I am of anything else.
I don’t have employees in my plant anymore. I have entrepreneurs who are looking to find ways to make more money.
Once we started using the principles of economic engagement, there was an immediate, positive change in attitude here. Everyone learned more about business, earned more money, and there has been very little turnover. We got our debt back under control, and had a great year financially.
“The results are nothing less than incredible.”
“It’s not because somebody is cracking the whip, but it’s because everyone is aware that this affects the bottom line and their own income.”
“Bill turned us into True Believers in economic engagement and helped us rekindle the successful concept that frontline employees have the answers required to continue on our road to a profitable, rewarding and FUN future.”