It’s easy to see how some people might get upset at the thought of Ford’s approach to his workforce. Without doubt he was an industry tyrant who famously crushed his son Edsel’s masterpiece after Edsel had defiantly worked on a new engine project behing his fathers back! With that said he understood two important factors: what customers want and the importance of people retention. He knew that making cars for the masses was the way to go and set out with the sole purpose of getting people off their horses, literally, and into an automobile. By doing so he had created a reliance on the car for everyday use that has continued ever since. My main point isnt so much about the customers but about how he viewed his workers. He had understood very early on that hiring and training costs money and essentially introduces risk to delivering high quality products on time. By meeting the wage needs - perhaps even surpassing them, he had created a dependence that serves well to this day. When people are well rewarded for their labour they will remain loyal and focused on meeting the business needs. Was this his original thinking? Perhaps but at this time in the mass production era there were many intellectuals/consultants feeding their theories into industry - Abraham Maslow and Frederick Taylor, two of the most prominent figures. Regardless of who you credit Ford’s success to we should remember that our staff are real people with real needs and assets in their own right. Treat them as liabilities and you will probably pay the price!
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