All work should be thoroughly supervised

and inspected so that employees know that good service will be recognized and rewarded.

The policy of filling all positions from the ranks seems growing in favor, since it gives certain hope for advancement and hence greater satisfaction with the present wage.

The wage may well include a tacit insurance for the future. Employees should be assured that so long as they remain faithful to the firm, their work and pay will continue, and that in accident or old age they will be provided for. Accepted thus, the wage secures increased service.




TO prevent the usual ``summer slump'' in output, the manager of a factory employing a hundred or more sewing girls on piecework tried various methods. He began with closer individual supervision by the forewomen. He set up a bulletin board and posted daily the names of the five highest operators. He added small cash prizes weekly. He adopted a modified bonus system framed so as not to interfere with the established average of winter tasks. With each his success was only partial. Ten or a dozen of the more energetic girls responded to the stimulus; on the majority the effect was slight.

The problem was serious. June, July, and August comprised the season when his prod-

ucts were at a premium, when future orders were frequently lost because partial deliveries could not be made immediately. Studying the question, he noted specifically, what he already knew, that the output dropped as the temperature rose. A cool day sandwiched into a week of hot weather frequently equaled the best winter records. This fact, coupled with the observation that the spirit of his working force seemed to change with the change of temperature from warm to cold, helped him to arrive at the right solution.

He made the discovery sitting in the draught of an electric fan. He looked up, made a mental note; and next morning he moved his office ``comforter'' out to the head of one file of machines. The draught tangled the goods under the seamstresses' hands at times, but the half dozen girls within range showed a decided increase in production over the day before and over operators at other tables.

He had found his remedy for the summer slump. Within a week he had installed a system of large overhead fans and an exhaust

blower and saw his production figures mount to the winter's best average. From careless, indifferent workers, on edge at trifles and difficult to hold, his force developed steadiness and efficiency. Not only was the output increased twenty per cent over previous summers, but the proportion of spoiled work was considerably reduced.

One of the women who had been a subject of the first day's experiment struck close to the reason of her greater efficiency in her off-hand answer to his inquiry.

``It was a pleasure to work to-day. It was so comfortable after yesterday you just forgot the other girls, forgot you wanted to rest, forgot everything but the seams you were running and the fact that it was a big day. I'm not near so tired as usual either.''

_A successful day is likely to be a restful one, an unsuccessful day an exhausting one. The man who is greatly interested in his work and who finds delight in overcoming the difficulties of his calling is not likely to become so tired as the man for whom the work is a burden_.

The experience related summarizes the experience of every worker who has studied, either on his own initiative or at some other's instance, the effect upon output secured by the removal of distressing or displeasing conditions from the workroom.

The man who has been engaged in intellectual or manual labor finds himself more or less exhausted when the day's work is done. The degree of exhaustion varies greatly from day to day and is not in direct proportion to the amount of energy expended or the results attained. A comparatively busy day may leave him feeling fresh, while at the end of a day much less occupied he may be utterly ``dragged out'' and weary.

Increasing Efficiency in Business Page 42

Business Books

Free Books in the public domain from the Classic Literature Library ©

Business Ebooks
Classic Literature

All Pages of This Book