When a Paycheck is Not Enough

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Boring, repetitive, inefficient tasks almost sank the American auto industry in the 1970s. Auto manufacturers made and sold poor products. American auto workers were labeled lazy, uncaring and overpaid. Foreign automakers infiltrated the market with cheaper, well-made cars that yielded great gas mileage. This was critical during the oil embargo which contributed to gasoline shortages and skyrocketing prices. Foreign automakers then began to market stylish vehicles which captured a larger share of the market.

History teaches many lessons if we choose to pay attention. Auto workers were well paid and enjoyed excellent benefits. Benefits included health and dental insurance, stock options, and substantial retirement packages. Unfortunately, the industry failed to evolve and did not meet the demands of the era. Workers were unmotivated because they were not valued as contributing members and partners. Their ideas and suggestions were ignored; they were treated as unimportant and they bore the blame for the poor quality. Company executives took the employees, the customers and the market for granted.

The American auto industry has turned around and is once again building products that are innovative. Employees are encouraged to be actively involved in quality improvement. Customers are provided a variety of choices.

Organizations that provide services to people should study and learn from the auto industry. Employees are motivated by intrinsic factors that go beyond a paycheck. Engaging and challenging employees with meaningful work and opportunities for professional growth will sustain the workforce and provide an exceptional product.

Are you looking for more than a paycheck? Do you desire to feel empowered to make a positive impact on those around you? Do you want to experience satisfaction in your professional life? Then let’s talk.

Marcyline Bailey, LCSW, ACSW works with individuals who want more than a paycheck from their work and chosen profession. Find the satisfaction and success you seek. Let’s talk and turn your vision into a reality.


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