Lessons of 60 years ago for Worker moral / happiness…still valid today

Frank Woollard and William R Morris of Morris Motors Ltd  understood the importance of having a happy and motivate workforce way back in the 1930s,  In his book ‘Principles of Mass Flow Production’ (1954) he devotes a whole chapter to it, stressing the importance of the process being improved for the benefit of the workers and the customers alike. Chapter 19 is called ‘ Human Relations’ and he specifically addresses the fact that displacement of labor is NOT the goal of improving processes and instead is a consequence of poor process and products that result in reduced customer demand. He also address the problems of monotony due to division of labor. He writes on page 185 ‘They ( management ) realize that most men, if not women, want a job which is an interesting one, if possible, that will challenge their skills’. He also writes ( p 185) ‘Monotony can also be relieved to a very large extent if the operator knows what part he is playing in the whole business’. and he goes on …’help operators to feel that they are in the picture: that they are not merely performing inconsequential tasks at the bidding of some incomprehensible dictator’ …. Enlightened stuff indeed …and considering that in the West in 2016 we have still not overcome this feeling by workers that they are disconnected from the overall goals of the company or that they are taken for granted. In the UK right now we have a Junior Doctors Strike….in France there is the Air Traffic Controllers strike….both symptoms that management has not learned to do what Woollard told us was important back in 1954.