If you have to be anti-union…

...John Mackey of Whole Foods shows you how to do it:
Human beings evolved in relatively small tribal bands. Many scientific studies have indicated that our ability to maintain close trusting relationships with family, friends, and co-workers is constrained to probably not more than about 150 people. We can, of course, know many more people than this, but it is hard to know them well enough to develop close bonds of trust based on actual experiences. At Whole Foods we recognize the importance of smaller tribal groupings to maximize familiarity and trust. We organize our stores and company into a variety of interlocking teams. Most teams have between 6 and 100 team members and the larger teams are subdivided further into a variety of sub-teams. The leaders of each team are also members of the Store Leadership Team and the Store Team Leaders are members of the Regional Leadership Team. This interlocking team structure continues all the way upwards to the Executive Team at the highest level of the company.
Guess the part of this paragraph where he's criticizing Walmart:
It has been our experience at Whole Foods that trust is optimized in this type of smaller team organizational structure. This is because each person is a vital and important member of their teams. The success of the team is dependent upon the invaluable contributions of everyone on the team. Trust is optimized when it flows between all levels within the organization. Many leaders make the mistake of believing that the key to increasing organizational trust is to somehow get the work force to trust the leadership more. [Ed: You guessed it! Good for you!] While this is obviously very important, it is equally important that the leadership trust the workforce. To receive trust, it is usually necessary that we give trust. Organizing into small interlocking teams helps ensure that trust will flow in all directions within the organization -- upwards, downwards, within the team, and across teams.
As I suggest here, there is an entire spectrum of organized workplaces from the totally unorganized to the highly organized. While independent trade unions are usually what's best for most workers, some organization is better than none. Walmart's employer-as-daddy model is good for Walmart managers egos, and bad for everybody else - including, I'd argue, the company as a whole.

Leave a Reply

To prove you're a person (not a spam script), type the security word shown in the picture. Click on the picture to hear an audio file of the word.
Anti-spam image