A Results Only Work Environment (ROWE) is a human resource management strategy co-created by Jody Thompson and Cali Ressler wherein employees are paid for results (output) rather than the number of hours worked. Cali and Jody , who originally proposed the strategy at Best Buy, have since started a consulting group called CultureRx. The strategy has subsequently been implemented at a second large American retailer, Gap., as well as the Girl Scouts of San Gorgino, J.A. Counter and Associates, the Fairview Health Services I.T. Department. ROWE tries to give managers the tools to define goals which can be clearly met or unmet by the results of individual contributors working for that manager. This focus on met or unmet results allows significant freedom to the organization to focus on fewer minute details of employee daily routine.
The increase in popularity of ROWE strategy can be seen in the number of companies implementing it. Recently, companies and agencies like GAP Inc., 97th Floor, Yum! Brands, SpinWeb now Mojo Media Labs, Reserve Advisors Inc., Dixie iron Works, Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio Council, Minnesota Department of Transportation and American Society of Clinical Oncology have been experimenting with ROWE. Additionally, Sweden has recently brought up the 6-hour a day work strategy in hope of increasing employee productivity. Experts suggest that this is a great step towards ROWE and also helps curb the consequences of Presenteeism.
Best Buy, once the biggest advocate of ROWE, has abandoned it. Its CEO Hubert Joly said "Depending on the skill and will of the individual, the right leadership style may be coaching, motivating or directing rather than delegating". ROWE is all about delegating to the employee and hoping that she will deliver. As Hubert Joly said "If you delegate to me the job of building a brick wall, you will be disappointed in the result!".
ROWE creators, Jody Thompson and Cali Ressler, claim that many leaders misunderstand the true meaning of a ROWE; ROWE is not a management delegation program. Instead, they claim it is pure management innovation. According to them, each person in the organization is 100% accountable and 100% autonomous meaning that each employee understands what their measurable results are. They state that managers manage the work, not the people. Performance conversations are ongoing and teams are highly collaborative. Within ROWE everyone should be focused on the customer, say ROWE creators. "Bottom line? No results, no job." Managers become Results Coaches, and evolve into highly motivated individuals who create a culture of competence, not complacency, treating everyone as adults.
there are 5 fundamentals for ROWE to be successful:
- employees must understand what their role is in the company
- employees must understand what they are responsible for
- employees must understand what the measurement for success is
- employees must understand the repercussions of failing to meet the set measurement of success
- employees must be confident that the repercussion will be metered equally among other employees (there will be no favorites)
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