Last year I wrote several posts on the results-only work environment concept and the benefits of this approach. To recap a Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE) is a management philosophy focused on employee results over presence. With ROWE employees are free to come and go as they please and do whatever they want, so long as work gets done and deadlines are met.
The ROWE concept is pioneered by Jody Thompson and Cali Ressler from consulting group Culture RX. In 2008 Thompson and Ressler’s book on ROWE: “Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It” was named “The Year’s Best Book on Work-Life Balance” by Business Week. The concept has gathered acclaim from all over the world and Daniel Pink best selling author of Drive, describes ROWE as:
“One of the biggest ideas in talent in the last decade.”
Now Thompson and Ressler are back with a new book called “Why Managing Sucks and How to Fix It” that shows how management can be reinvented. The book is described as “a results-only guide to taking control of work, not people.” In addition to Thompson and Ressler’s narratives on ROWE and management, the book also features case studies written by Culture RX’s clients illustrating how the ROWE concept can “make an organization more entrepreneurial, more connected with the broader industry trends, and more willing to take smart risks.” Indeed, organizations that have adopted ROWE have on average experienced increased engagement, a 35% increase in productivity and a 90% decrease in voluntary turnover. Here is a trailer that sums up what this book is all about:
Last year my blog posts on ROWE attracted the attention of Ressler and Thompson and I was asked to guest post on the Culture RX blog. Roll on a year and I am excited to have been asked to be a part of the book launch team for “Why Managing Sucks and How to Fix It!” Check out the first chapter today and consider purchasing the book to readjust your thinking on work.
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Last month I did a blog post entitled The Benefits of a Results-Only Work Environment on consulting group CultureRx’s innovative concept: ROWE. Today I am honored that CultureRx chose to republish this post as a guest post entitled 8 Organizational Benefits of a Results-Only Work Environment over at their blog. Check it out.
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In my last post I gave an overview of a revolutionary work environment concept called the Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE) pioneered by consulting group Culture RX. Today I wanted to finish my 2-part ROWE mini series by summing up the organizational benefits of ROWE:
- Leaders are forced to clearly define expectations: So often in the workplace employees are unclear about their manager’s expectations. ROWE requires competent, strong leaders who can clearly communicate their expectations to their employees.
- Improved communication: ROWE resulted in employees at the Best Buy headquarters learning to communicate more effectively, working together in new ways, in order to plan around one another’s schedules.
- Greater cross training: Employees working in organizations where ROWE is in place, are more willing and able to learn additional skills, in order to fill in for coworkers when needed.
- Greater engagement and productivity: With ROWE employees are more engaged, less distracted and more productive.
- Healthier employees: With ROWE employees no longer have to race to get to the office at 8. Employees can attend doctors’ appointments without feeling guilty, take care of their health and catch up on sleep when they need to. ROWE provides enough flexibility to eliminate situations such as the example of an employee faking a sick day shown in the video below:
- Elimination of under performers: ROWE weeds out poor performers, resulting in an increase in involuntary turnover during the transition stage. Mediocre, incompetent, time-wasting employees will not be able to survive in this kind of environment. However, why would your organization want to keep these employees anyway?
- Empowerment: ROWE creates an environment of trust where employees are treated as adults accountable for getting work done on their own schedule. Employees in ROWE environments are also empowered from knowing that their superiors trust them to get the job done.
- Greater talent retention and acquisition: After migrating to ROWE Best Buy’s strategic sourcing and procurement team boosted employee retention by 27%. The work-life balance that ROWE offers can greater help organizations to attract and retain the best talent.
The video below adds to the reasons I’ve listed above by enabling you to see organizations’ experiences and results achieved with ROWE:
For more information on ROWE visit Culture RX’s website, blog and read Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson’s book: ‘Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It: The Results-Only Revolution.’
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Back in February I wrote a blog post about companies that offer their employees unlimited paid vacation time. The unlimited paid vacation time concept is a part of a greater concept called Results-Only Work Environment, which I intend to explore further in this post and in a follow-up post tomorrow.
Many of us have experienced working with individuals who while they may seldom leave their desks and may even be the first to arrive and last to leave, don’t seem to accomplish much work. While most organizations pay great rhetoric to the importance of employee results, many traditional organizations fall into the trap of rewarding face time over results. As this video mocks:
Pioneered by consulting group Culture RX and in practice at Best Buy’s Minneapolis headquarters, a Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE) is a management philosophy focused on employee results over presence. With ROWE employees are free to come and go as they please and do whatever they want, so long as work gets done and deadlines are met. As the authors of the book ‘Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It: The Results-Only Revolution’ Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson explain:
For a ROWE to be achieved there should be unlimited paid vacation time, no mandatory meetings, no schedules and employees should have the freedom to come and go as they please without judgment from their coworkers and managers on how their day is spent.
ROWE enables organizations to create an environment of trust, which quickly helps to differentiate the employees that are getting work done from those that aren’t. This concept is most suited to knowledge work environments, which are task and project focused. It is unlikely to work in a service environment.
Here are a couple of examples of how employees can use ROWE:
Example 1: Jane works from 8-12 in the morning before spending the afternoon enjoying the nice weather at the park, before logging back in to her computer to work from home in the evening.
Example 2: Joe completes an entire month of work in 2 weeks and apart from checking in with work by e-mail or cell phone, enjoys the rest of the month with his kids who are on break from school.
So what do you think of this concept? Share your thoughts in the comments section below and look out for my next blog post on the benefits of ROWE tomorrow.
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