- 07/02/2019 at 1:11 pm #1289433EduGorillaKeymasterSelect Question Language :
The passage given below is followed by a set of questions. Choose the most appropriate answer to each question. In 2003, Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson were developing new human resources guidelines at Best Buy, an electronics retailer, when they suggested a profound shift in the way the company managed its employees. They wondered what might happen if they granted workers 100 percent autonomy and expected of them 100 percent accountability. What if employees were judged solely on the work they did and not at all on the manner in which they did it?
Ressler and Thompson dubbed their plan the Results-Only Work Environment, or ROWE. The scheme involved some radical proposals. People could work from home absolutely anytime they felt like it, without needing a reason or excuse. There would be no such thing as a sick day or a vacation allotment – employees could take off as much time as they wanted, whenever they saw fit. Perhaps most provocative: all meetings would be optional. Even if your boss had invited you. Don’t think you need to be there? Don’t come. In return for this absolute freedom, workers would need to produce. Bosses would set macro expectations (e.g., increase sales by 10 percent) and then assess the results without micromanaging (e.g., keeping tabs on who arrived at the office earliest in the morning or left latest at night). If the goal was met, there were no complaints from your boss about that Tuesday afternoon you spent at your kid’s football game. If the goal wasn’t met, no amount of face time around the office would substitute for the lack of results. Of course, if your job description involved opening up the store at 9 a.m., fulfilment of that goal was a must. But for knowledge workers, measuring output became entirely divorced from hours logged in the office.
The key difference under ROWE is that superiors are managing the work instead of managing the people. It forces clear thinking on what the expectations should be for delivering results.
Thompson claims the effect on employees is remarkable. ‘When you get to take over your own life and feel responsible for yourself and your work,’ she says, ‘you feel proud and liberated and dignified. It’s the control, but it’s also the clarity on top of it. I now need to know what my results are supposed to be so I can prove that I’m getting there.’
Decades ago, it was useful to be physically present in the office as much as possible. That way, your boss knew how to find you when it was time to get a question answered or to work together on a project. Now, though, we have mobile phones and email and instant messenger and collaboration software. It’s quite easy to get things done from different places and at different times. Chair-warming presenteeism isn’t necessary.
But what happens when we give ROWE a taste of its own medicine and judge it solely on its results, instead of its intentions? According to Phyllis Moen, a sociology professor at the University of Minnesota, who has conducted a number of studies on the effects of ROWE on Best Buy employees, ROWE has had some surprisingly positive results, including better employee health, reduced turnover and improved morale.
That all sounds great for the employees. But Ressler and Thompson claim the company benefited, as well. According to them, voluntary turnover rates went down as much as 90 percent on ROWE teams, while productivity on those teams increased by 41 percent. Thompson and Ressler have laid out their blueprint for ROWE in a book titled Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It.
In today’s scenario, which of the following causes would be most likely to weaken the purported usefulness of ROWE?
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- It is difficult for managers in a ROWE-based office to coordinate work among the employees.
- People whose jobs involve meeting with clients cannot be allowed the kind of freedom conferred by ROWE.
- Employees who have become used to a ROWE-based work environment are unable to adjust to an ordinary workplace again.
- ROWE policies involve minimum face-to-face interaction among employees, and therefore weaken their sense of being a team.
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