Results-Oriented Work Environment
Is the concept of ROWE (a results-oriented work environment) really feasible in a global marketplace? Is it a threat to teamwork or is it the reality of a 24/7 world with guild barriers between work and private life?
The results-oriented work environment (ROWE) model has gained a significant amount of attention in recent years and many companies have tried to implement it at different levels. The primary tenet of the ROWE model focuses on the fact that employees should be paid for results as opposed to the number of hours worked. This strategy can empower employees to design their own schedules and be responsible for their own performances. This also frees the responsibilities of the management team so that they can focus more of their time on value creating activities as opposed to having to micro-manage employees' schedules and daily activities. The employees also can be highly motivated by this model and leverage their empowerment to meet organizational goals. However, this approach remains highly controversial and has been subject to much criticism. This analysis will look at some of the arguments made for and against the ROWE model.
Rowe Builds Leadership
The argument has been made that leaders can be more effective if they delegate more responsibilities to their employees. This assertion rests on the premise that employees are able to set their own schedules, prioritize their own activities, and be responsible for their own performances.
"What ROWE does is make an organization more employee driven...
A manager isn't in charge of assigning goals and making sure employees show up every day at 8 a.m. Instead, the manager is there to help a team develop results, track those results and clear barriers to performance. Each ROWE team is expected to work together to develop an agreement that lays out what results each employee in the group is expected to accomplish and what days or times each person will be in the office -- agreements are flexible and can change as employees or caseloads change (Kerrigan, 2012)."
The idea is to empower the employee which in turn also empowers the management to focus on high level organizational goals. If a manager does not have to spend time micro-managing activities but can delegate these to the employees instead, then they will have more time to focus on the important organizational needs.
However, not all people agree that delegation is the right strategy for leaders. In fact, Best Buy was one of the pioneers in the adoption of ROWE and has since abandoned this strategy. "This program was based on the premise that the right leadership style is always delegation," wrote the CEO Hubert Joly (Bhasin, 2013). "It operated on the assumption that if an employee's objectives were agreed to, the manager should always delegate to the employee how those objectives were met." In some cases the right leadership model will require that the leader takes full responsibility for their employees and focuses on coaching and motivating rather than simply delegating.
It has been argued that the ROWE method isn't as limited to what you might think in terms of its potential applications. For example, many positions require an employee to be physically present at certain times such as to open the doors to a retail operation. The employee would then have to have a schedule to know when to actually be at work. However, there is generally still some of the employee's time that could be used flexibly and the ROWE could be applied to that. Furthermore, a team could be designated to decide who would open the store and when so the individual employees would have more flexibility in scheduling their own schedules. This takes…
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