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Workers

The workers have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to gain. Workers of the world unite. Karl Marx


These are the people who the organization depends on, by making sales, repairing machines, collecting payments, giving lectures, driving trucks or stacking shelves. The term 'worker' in our model includes ‘staff’ and ‘employees’. Some companies consider it so important that everyone understands how their organization works ‘at the sharp end’, that all new people (administration, technical, support, etc.) have to spend some time on the factory floor, delivering services, dealing directly with customers, etc.

Who are the workers?
Workers may not always be actual employees, for example, charity workers collecting donations in their spare time or parents helping out at school. In any particular organization the workers may have widely differing contracts or no contracts at all. Some may be paid on the basis of fixed hours and salaries; for others, the hours and pay may be variable. In some industries, workers are taken on only for a specific season or to cope with an overload of work at specific times of the year.

Treatment of workers: 
An organization may consider its workers as a resource to be moved around, used and expended or it may consider them as an asset to be developed, trained and nurtured. Many organizations say that their most important asset is their employees, but similar organizations will almost certainly have similar employee profiles (education, qualifications, gender, background, social class, etc). The difference between successful and mediocre performance of an organization is not in the employees per se but in their training, the resources put at their disposal, their motivation and the leadership shown by management. An organization should not presume that it can hire intrinsically better people than its competitors!

Listening and encouraging: 
The most successful organizations listen to their employees and encourage suggestions as to how the organization's performance can be improved - after all, it’s the employees actually making products, supporting customers and collecting debts, who really know what goes on. It is often workers at the lowest reporting level who know the value of quality, customer satisfaction and flexibility, while middle ranking managers can be out of touch. >>>