Work provides daily meaning as well as daily bread, according to Studs Terkel. Yet work is not always a place where one feels satisfied. In order to attract and retain qualified employees in the up-coming tight labor market, companies will have to recognize that people are their most important asset. Using original research, this book describes what employees want and need from their working environment to maximize their satisfaction and their performance. It assists the reader to deal with employees as unique individuals whose personal needs for self-actualization can be integrated with organizational performance needs.
The book begins with a summary of the conventional wisdom on job satisfaction and performance and a description of what constitutes good work. Bruce and Blackburn introduce their readers to the workplace complexities created by cultural diversity, mature workers, and women employees. They explain the effect of culture on behavior and why the traditional means to foster job satisfaction and performance are necessary but insufficient for managing diversity. They give advice on how to meet the challenges presented by changing environmental and technological trends. They teach how to manage when family demands on both men and women spill over onto the organization, and they describe the emerging conviction that, for many, those in a work setting are family for one another. They provide specific instructions for conducting and utilizing training programs. In the belief that people accept what they help to create, they explain the utility of participation at different organizational levels and some different approaches to participative planning and decision making, including Total Quality Management. They report on interviews with employees from a cross-section of jobs in different organizations to assist the reader to understand how employees perceive the reality of work; and they provide appendices containing training outlines, guidelines for preventing and addressing sexual harassment complaints, and forms to utilize in organizing a participative planning process. Breir book is an important resource for managers, executives, consultants, and students who seek to understand how the changing nature of the workforce is affecting job satisfaction and performance; and who want to act on behalf of their organization and their employees. It is useful for managers in the private sector, as well as those who work for government and not-for-profit organizations.