National Geographic : 1981 Nov
Many factors contributeto productivity:producibledesigns, superiortools,clever processes,minimal regulations. But,heading the list is people. Most of us areawareof the im pressiveproductivityimprovements Japanesecompanieshave realized with theirpeople by using teams of cooperatingworkers called Quality Circles. Wisely hundredsof American companies now are duplicating these efforts in theirfactories. At Motorola,overa decadeago, we initiateda plan of our own. Today we call it the ParticipativeManagementProgram(PMP),and it reachesbeyond the factoryfloor We believe it has helped us achieve the same,and often better,qualityand productivityresultsfor which Japa nese companiesget credit. PMPis an effective way to get the individualworker more in volved, responsible,informed,andtherefore,more productive. Any individualworker can suggest things aboutanyjob he or she does thata supervisormay not know as well.As managementlis tens andacts,qualityand output rise. In PMPteams of employees meet frequently sometimes daily among themselves and with supportgroups to tackle the basics.Every one is encouragedto define problems andsuggestsolutions.The managementlistens,contributes,acts.Each team operatesto high, publishedstandardswhich itparticipatesin setting. The teams measure theirimproving performanceto these standardsdaily weekly monthly And everyone benefits. Employees who want to can communicate additionallyby sub mitting written recommendations.These are posted on prominentbul letin boardsand must be answeredin 72 hours.Notjust with words, but with changes in tools,proceduresor policies when humanly possible. The results have been dramatic.Quality output,andcustomer service are way up. Costsare down. Ourjobs are more satisfying. One-thirdof our45,000 U.S. employees areoperatingunder PMPtoday Building on ouryears of experience,the balanceof our U.S. operationswill be fully managedthroughemployee participation in 1983. If we are succeeding well now, and we are,imaginehow much better we will be soon. There is much more to PMPthat we'll be talking aboutin ads to come. You see, we believe what we've learnedaboutproductivityand the American worker can help othercompanies as well. A MOTOROLA A World Leader In Electronics Qualityandproductivity throughemployee participationin management. ©1981Motorola Inc. Motorola and ( are registered trademarks of Motorola, Inc.