« Freakonomics Radio

63. The Dilbert Index?

2012-02-22 | 🔗
Measuring workplace morale -- and how to game the sick-day system.
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as for economics, radio on marketplace, here's the host of Marketplace- I really don T, know if a little butter Economics, radio, that moment in the broadcast, every couple of weeks where we talked to Stephen under the co author of the books and the blood of the same name, it is the hidden side of everything. Dumber good is out again great to talk to you and I got a question for you are ass. You are you pretty happy with your job am I bring every most days. Tell me that's what about your coworkers as their employer morale with it depends on how heavy the beatings ARBA no actually figured. You know, workplace morale is something especially in economy like this is something that really worth thinking about. It translates directly into productivity, low morale mix, add for the bottom line. Good morale is kind of a a tie that lists all boats. Now. Here's Michael Johnson who studies organizational behaviour at the University of Washington, blotted thee-
current research on employee morale and managing people in general and organization suggests that this may be The only remaining competitive advantage that organizations have organisations. I do this well, they tend to do really well financially, too, but Kai. Let me run an interesting wrinkle past year in a tough job market like this. On fewer people quit their jobs lesson two million a month now compared to more than three million before the recession, which means that more grumpy employees are staying put right so that their staying put because their worried that they can find another. Exactly are you up to How do you measure grumpy Dennis? Well, unfortunately, that's the problem. It hard alot of firms surveys- but personally I am- I you know what we live- here's the thing for each hour: managers everywhere. We all lie on the service. We a exact. We really lion. Most survey rest, but especially you know. How happy are you in?
I'm the person who pays you and I need you to tell me how average area so sometimes you have to get creative. We actually put this question out to readers and our free economics blog. We got some good answers. Here's Damon Bevin, he's a software engineer. Lexington Kentucky he used to visit lots of different companies. Here's how he said. Stout worker morale in those places. I look for that a number of comments and that seems to be inversely proportional to the the level of around a lot to do. I feel, like I passiveaggressive way, employ complaining First of all, I love the Gilbert and expert. Also I love there were crowd sourcing, the segment facet, of course you cut down here. Now, but I try this one. This is from a management consulting named TIM Wad Loca. He visited more than a hundred manufacturing companies around the world. He came to believe that parking direction is an indicator of employee morale. Here's what, while those saw
I had two companies that had low morale by these people seem very anxious to leave work enough and if they got to work they would back their cars into their parking spot and it seemed like maybe They got to work. They were so dreading it. They were landing their escape us about that. That's great now that doesn't apply here marketplace well headquarters, because our parking lot is mandated knows in parking? Oh, that's the way to keep morale high level at the park, their limits and that this is good, anecdotal evidence that the key phrase being there and a good. Oh my friend, exactly what you really want to know. If you want to keep your eye in six days because cos in sick, especially when you're, not sick, is kind of. You know the ultimate expression of bad morale
Yeah, but what I mean come on a Charles going to call everybody calls in sick and says I need a note from your doctor would have b, twelve not going to happen to Michael Johnson, the? U Dub professor, we heard from earlier. He investigated a pair of auto parts plants that tried out a variety of incentives somewhere, carrots somewhere. Stick. They want to cut down an absentee, he found that the combination of threat and reward actually worked very well, but he also found an interesting loophole. Little something we call the F M L a year that family medical leave out right only without yet you better get time after care for re sick, injured, whatever family, Maria, exactly that federal law. Now, when the company made it harder to call in sick the way? Some employs found a new way. Here's Michael Johnson overall absenteeism, dropped about forty four and a half days, but the absent here that was related to the FM allay, went up about it. A day and a half over the.
Seemed ass. They might actually be gaming, the system so that they could keep taking days off work and not suffer any. Punishment, for it right so take a while to get there, but this is a hidden side right. Does the unintended consequences of all that stuff? That's exact right now and you know at the other day, isn't it nice to know that whenever you're feeling down and eat a little more time, the federal government is there to be better at rest, even done or for economics dad come? Is the website he's back in a couple of weeks circular thanks much guy
Transcript generated on 2021-03-16.