I guess one of the philosophies of management I disagree with is to let your employees suffer. I think this is a silly idea.
I guess the thinking on this is that when you don’t care about how efficiently your employees work, they will work harder to make up the difference. It is also tied with a silly idea of the economy. That is, a company doesn’t have enough money to invest and people have the tools to do the job they are required to do.
US business is often accused of being inefficient, and often you hear managers and analysts say that American labor is not cost-effective. That is, they can get more efficient and cheaper workers overseas. Yes, that is partly true. You can get cheaper workers, but not necessarily more efficient ones.
Many companies have outsourced their call centers and others offshore and then taken them back once customers complain about wasted time. This is not about call centers, but rather about the investment in the worker that companies should make and what is reasonable.
I’ll give you an example. One of my coworkers was once asked to do a job and due to the poor tools he had, it was two days of him struggling to do what was asked of him. He tried various software but it had issues as well. What he was asked to do was not simple, but someone who was unfamiliar with it thought it was. He shared the challenges with me and I realized that we needed to buy an upgraded version of the software he was using. When I brought it to the manager’s attention, he didn’t believe this software was necessary. He just encouraged him to “try harder”.
I was convinced the software was the answer, so I bought it myself. I used it and it immediately did what he was asked to do. The software cost $80 which was just a fraction of what the company was paying him to figure out the cheap software they had. Their cheap software could not solve the problem and only resulted in wasting $300 of the company’s time. This is not me saying “Look at me I am right” but rather spending money to save time is always worth it.
US companies can be high-tech if managers will approve the necessary tools to work.