I’ve been reading with interest the information presented at www.worldmanagementsurvey.org where you can find benchmarking data from an international, multi-year survey. The WMS is an international research institute and their reports highlight the key management practices that differentiate the star performers from the also-rans. There are sector-specific summaries for Manufacturing, Healthcare, Education and Retail.
One of the UK Reports highlights effective UK management practices in areas such as Lean Operations, Performance and Target Management, and Talent Management.
Some examples of effective practices include:
- Top firms have a formal process of problem solving to encourage continuous improvement
- Top firms provide regular visual performance information to all managers and employees
- Well-managed organisations have daily updated visual display boards at each stage of production
- Employee problems such as under-performance are dealt with rapidly, by training, then rotation, or exit/termination if this fails
- Good performance is rewarded and top firms work hard to keep their best people
Some of the data comes from face-to-face interviews and there are some amusing, if not unsurprising results. For example: The “average” managers think that their organisation’s performance is above average!
In industries where there is lots of competition there are better management practices. That might explain quite a lot about the public sector!
Better managed firms have significantly more educated employees (including managers and staff with degree-level qualifications).
There’s lots to read and learn from, and you can download copies of their survey tools as well as a range of presentations and training materials.
A few quotes to end with:
Plant Manager: “Modern manufacturing? Yes, I have heard about it, but it doesn’t make any sense at all, does it?”
Interviewer: “How do you keep your star performers?”; Manager: “I am a star performer and I want to leave”
Production Manager: “Workers’ individual goals? They just want to go home”