Wayne Cox says:
"I have embraced a more fundamental approach towards pay in a LO
environment - that pay and recognition embrace learning and
development itself. "
Several years ago I went on a field trip with a grad school class to the
brand new Jefferson Ave. Jeep factory in Detroit. The atmosphere in its
predecesor - on the same site since 1906 - was compared to the scene in
Apocalypse Now, in which reluctant young troops are forced to take a hill,
amindst fire, explosions, death and suffering. Supervisors often wore
The new plant was a bit different. The workforce was the same as
before, with an average tenure of over 20 years. There were 3 job
descriptions: people who build cars, people who inspect cars, and a
few people who sit in offices and do other things. All work was done in
self-managed teams which elected their team leaders. Employees
rushed up to tour groups to brag about their accomplishments!
Here's the relevant part:
Each team was given an outcome; for example, one team of about 12 was
responsible for installing the front seats. The team was trained in the
steps needed to install the seats, but then took responsibility for how it
would be done. They developed a list of 15 or so skills and abilities the
team needed, and divided those up so that everyone had a couple, and made
sure each skill and ability was covered by a couple of team members.
Employees received base pay for knowing their team-determined skills.
Pay raises came from learning new skills! For each 3 new skills you
learned, you got a raise. If you learned all of the skills on your team,
you could learn skills on the team before or after you on the line. There
was no limit to how many skills you could learn, or how much money you
could make! Everyone we spoke with said that it was a phenomenally
Some basic skills, interestingly enough, which everyone had included basic
statistical process control! Almost noone on tfe floor had more than a hs
degree, but all could talk intelligently about the performance data,
customer satisfaction data, and so on they pulled up on their team
I understand that several other Chrysler plants around the country were
moving towards similar structures. If anyone gets a chance to go, do it!
-- Barak Rosenbloom, Troublemaker U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration (206) 553-4543 x8030 firstname.lastname@example.org