ROWE stands for Results Oriented Work Environment. Wow, that is a lot of words, so what does that mean? ROWE is a movement where an employees' work is judged by output, not the hours spent in the office. Yeah, I know, makes sense right? Shouldn't employees be judged by their production and not the hours they work? I think if I asked most companies I work with, they would say they have a results oriented work environment. Unfortunately in practice, most companies revert back to things like hours worked, were you at the office late/early, etc. In fact, I have worked with several companies where a manager of a department told me the employees had to work a certain number of hours, even though the an increase in hours worked did not equate to an increase in productivity. Obviously this type of work environment is not suitable for all positions, I don't want my policeman clocking out because he arrested a certain number of bad guys.
What this really comes down to is trust and control. I have a friend of mine in sales and he told me his company blocks websites like ebay and other fairly harmless websites. He has a quota he has to hit to stay employed so who cares if he spends time on ebay? If he doesn't meet his quota (because he is messing around on ebay or for any other reason) he ultimately could get fired and if he does hit his quota, he achieves certain bonuses and moves up in the organization. Why does the company feel it cannot trust its employees enough to make professional decisions about their time spent? Either this company does not trust its employees that they can make mature decisions about how to best manage their work day, or they are just a bunch of control freaks. Neither really leads to high levels of employee loyalty and high employee retention rates. For more about a leader that truly trusts her employees, read my last blog.
Based on what I could find about ROWE, organizations that have installed this type of work environment see an increase in employee loyalty and productivity. Click here or here to read a couple of articles about ROWE and the impact it had on the organization. This can work for organizations if they bring in the right people, provide them with specific outcomes they are to work towards, and then get out of the way and let them work.
Well, this is my blog for the week so I am going to check out the deals on ebay.