This practice seems to be commonly ac-
cepted as fruitful, although many firms believe it impossible of application in filling some of the higher as well as some of the more technical positions. Where the system is applicable, it acts as a powerful stimulus to the men by adding to their present wages the promise or possibility of better positions and higher pay in the future. It gives assurance of promotion for faithful service much greater than in houses which fill the upper positions from outside sources on the assumption that they thus get ``new blood'' into the business. The men secured from outside may be more skilled or more productive of immediate results than any available in the house organization. By their importation, however, the wages of all the men aspiring to the position have been cheapened. Nor does the evil stop there.
_The assumption is naturally drawn that the same practice is likely to be followed in filling other vacancies. The stimulus to initiative and activity is thus weakened for men in every grade and their wages are shrunk below par_.
The importance which some successful employers attach to this principle of promotion from the ranks is well illustrated by an incident which recently occurred in a large manufacturing establishment organized on a one-man basis. During the president's absence it was decided to open up a new zone of trade for a new product. No one in the organization knew the product and the field, so a new man was put in charge. The work progressed surprisingly well; the enterprise was in every way successful.
When the real head returned, he called his managers together and told them that the new man must be removed and the most deserving man in the regular organization appointed in his place. He was met with the protest that no employee was capable of taking up the work and reminded that the new man had already achieved great success. The president answered that he was willing to lose money in the department for the first year rather than cheapen and disorganize the service by taking away the certainty of promotion and by re-
moving the incentive to study and self-development which had increased the efficiency of every ambitious employee.
Innumerable examples of the same principle in promotions could be gleaned from the records of some of the oldest and most progressive houses in the country. In one establishment visited, the quality of whose wares is strenuously guarded, it was discovered that the chemist and metallurgist in charge of the factory laboratory had been lifted out of one of the departments and supplied with the money to take a specialized course in physics, chemistry, and metallurgy. The advertising manager, the factory engineer, and two or three of the foremen had been given leaves of absence to study and fit themselves for the positions to which their talents and inclinations drew them. Even among the workmen there was a fixed basis for advancement towards the better jobs and the higher rates, dependent on satisfactory service and output.
To these major considerations in increasing the worth of wages, those companies which
have given the longest attention to the problem add many other inducements.
_An efficient and contented employee has a positive money value to any employer. To hold him and keep him efficient, his personal comfort and needs should be considered in every way not detrimental to the company's interests_.
As nearly as possible, the ideal in factory location and construction is approached. Some industries have removed bodily to country towns, less for the sake of a cheap site than for the purpose of establishing themselves where housing conditions for workers were good, rents low, the cost of living cheaper, and other factors tending to _*add value_ to every dollar paid in wages were present. Direct appeal was made to the intelligence of employees, whose health is part of their capital, by making and keeping working conditions as healthful and sanitary, as little taxing on eyesight and bodily vigor as circumstances and judicious investment of capital allowed.