By forgetting the human factor in management, we reduce human beings to machine. As a damaged product we prefer to change for a new one, companies use the human resource in the same way. Workers are used until their maximum before being “changed by another one”. Woe betide those unable to adapt to the situation.
Nowadays, entrepreneurship system favors management by goals to the detriment of one by human. If work is – in general – less difficult physically, it is more and more mentally. Anxiety, pressure, stresses, burn-out, bore-out, brown-out, depression or even: suicide.
These psychosocial factors added to a loss of meaning work turn employees into Sisyphus of modern times.
To reinforce my words, I’m leaning on the psychosocial article I read. The International Labor Office’s statistics are alarming. In one hand, the negative effects about professional stress raise 3 or 4% of industrialized countries GDP. In other hand, the yearly cost linked to this stress is about 20 billions of euros in Europe!
Labor and management: etymology.
Etymologically, “labor” and “management” words are explicit.
“Labor” comes from something done with troubles and tiredness. The French word for “Labor” is “travailler”. It takes root from the popular Latin “tripaliare” which means: “torture with the trepalium”. Trepalium being a derivative from tripalium: an instrument with three (tri) pieux (palus – stake in english). It served to attach animals but also to torture rebel slaves.
“Management” comes from the Italian word maneggiare, itself resulting from the Latin manus (main – hand in English) and agere (agir – act in English). In other words, in english: “control”. In the 15th century, “management” was also used in horse riding with the term “mesnager” wich means: “hold the reins of a horse with your hands”.
Now, we understand better that “labor” can be a trouble source and using “slow” in management would be really welcoming.
Slow Management: a solution in your company.
Slow Management concept has been developing by the professors of the Management School of Grenoble (France) Dominique Steiler, John Sadowski and Loïcke Roche. It largely comes from Management by Walking Around of the 70’s. This technique consists to manage employees by taking time to walk in the company corridors. In this way, managers meet workers, talk with them and build strong links.
Slow Management promotes: proximity and truth management, and make sense to everyone’s work again. Clearly, one of the main goal is to take time to put the human back in the management’s center. Another main goal of Slow Management is to pay attention about stress in order to delete it as most as possible.
Some ideas to implement Slow Management:
- Practice Management by Walking Around
- Coach your team humanly,
- Take time with each person,
- Develop wellness notion in your company,
- Create a trust feeling.
Personal thought about Slow Management.
When I conceive “Slow Management”, I like to think about Robert Louis Stevenson’s quote: “What is important is not the destination, it’s the journey”.
What is important is not to manage; it’s how you will be done. To me, one of the best ways to success is to put the human values back in the company center.