Inc. magazine recently featured a profile on the CEO of Barry-Wehmiller, a St. Louis-based manufacturer, about his efforts to improve the way employees were treated at the company. Bob Chapman became CEO in 1975 and has implemented what he calls “truly human leadership” – the idea that you don’t manage people, but act as stewards for them. For their manufacturing employees, that included getting rid of time clocks and allowing for people to get coffee whenever they wanted to, not just during an appointed break time.
The strategy has paid off. Chapman says he learned that about 80 percent of people feel they are working for a company that doesn’t care about them. But when academics from two different graduate programs surveyed the Barry-Wehmiller staff, 79 percent of employees felt that the company actually does care about them. “Caring becomes part of the culture.”
Categories: Executive Corner