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He suggested that I learn to pace myself. Running sounded like a good idea. At noon Sherry came into my office and said that she wanted to show me something. She put on her coat and walked out. I prayed for the phone not to ring. Mary called first. Of course, I had no idea how to do that and hung up on her. Nor was I of any help to a client who called to schedule an assessment for one of his employees. As I sat there, I had to consider the very real possibil- ity that I had made a very bad decision.
Six years in graduate school at Yale and here I was answering phones. I had walked away from a tenure-track position at one of the best schools in the country and was now sharpening pencils. I felt a wave of nausea rush over me and considered simply walking out and leaving a note. The time from to passed more slowly than any pre- vious four hours of my life. As I sat at my desk, I thought of the Seinfeld episode where George had gotten a job but had been given nothing to do and spent the day sharpening pencils and throwing them like darts into the fiberboard ceiling.
I seriously doubted anyone would notice. I glanced over at the dying plants and realized that this was not an environment in which plants or people could thrive. The plants seemed livelier than the day before. I could not say the same of my colleagues. I had brought in my laptop and replied to e-mails and read the news. He greeted me enthusiastically and congratulated me on finding my desk.
I twitched as I realized that the bar was even lower than I had imagined. He told me that he had a great idea; he was taking me shopping to get office supplies for my desk. I assured him that I had plenty of well-sharpened pencils. We retuned an hour later with several bags of supplies— almost all of which I knew to be well organized in the stock room. John suggested that I get my desk outfitted and then come in to see him. I was so anxious to actually get to work that I left most of the supplies in their bags and shoved them into the desk drawers.
I sat and waited, and waited. I picked up a book on his coffee table and started reading. My first and most important responsibility was to validate the assessment instru- ment that served as the core business product of the business. The instrument was marketed as a personality and behavioral assessment that could predict employee performance and was being used by several Fortune companies to make hiring, promotion, and placement decisions.
I took the test, read the computer-generated report, and sensed immediately that it was a bad instrument. With the raw data of several thousand completed reports, it did not take me long to confirm my suspicion. The instrument failed even the most basic tests of reliability and validity. In fact, some of the scales and the manner in which they were scored made no sense at all.
Had I still been teaching statistics and survey development, this would have served as an ideal example of what not to do. I explained my findings to Mary and John as straightfor- wardly as possible and let them know that they needed to immediately stop using the instrument. Put simply, they were committing fraud. John and Mary listened without comment and then asked me to step outside the door. Mary asked if I could revise it—she liked this idea because they could then market it as a new and improved version.
I told her that it might be possible to create a similar-looking instrument but that the majority of existing items would have to be thrown out. I also told her that the development and validation process would take several months. I spent the next six weeks creating, testing, editing, and retesting items. After a dozen different versions I met with John and Mary to let them know that we were ready to begin the pilot study.
As part of the research plan, four hundred employees from their largest client were to be surveyed. Mary praised me for a job well done and told me that plans had changed: there would be no pilot study. Speechless, I walked out. I e-mailed John and Mary from home and apologized for my sudden departure. I reminded them of the importance of follow- ing the research plan and asked them to reconsider their deci- sion.
No response. The next morning I arrived at work early and typed my resignation letter. As soon as John arrived, I asked if he and Mary had reconsidered. He said that they really appreci- ated my hard work and were happy with the instrument as it was. I knew a lot about motivation—it had been the topic of my doctoral dissertation. My initial plan was to review in detail fifteen different theories of motivation. Fortunately, I realized that not only would I put my audience to sleep but, more important, my talk was strictly academic and would be of little practical value.
My goal became to deliver a message that would make a difference. I decided to start by identifying the most common factors among the models. After three months of drawing arrows and combining and recombining words on a giant whiteboard, only one factor remained: respect. I had lost respect for the leaders of the organization and felt completely disrespected by their treat- ment of me and my work.
I then began to think about all the jobs that I had held and realized that the more I felt respected and respected the organization, its leaders, my team members, and the work that I did, the more motivated I was. It was clear to me that respect was the lynchpin of employee motivation.
During this time, a friend introduced me to the concept of employee engagement. As I began to read about engagement, it became clear to me that successful organizations did not moti- vate employees; they engaged them.
What mattered was having committed employees who exhibited high levels of discretionary effort in support of the mission and vision of the organization. Motivating employees and engaging them were very distinct concepts. I also realized that it was not so much that I had become unmotivated in my story but that I had become disengaged.
I had gone from caring greatly to not caring at all, and I realized that it was still all about respect. In my life when I had been most dedicated to my work it was because I respected the work, the organization, and its people and felt respected in return. When I felt disrespected or lost respect for the organization and people, I disengaged, not only in my professional life but also in my per- sonal life.
The more I respected someone, the more I was drawn to him or her; the less I respected someone, the further removed I became physically and psychologically. Trust, the last driver discussed, serves as a building block for all other drivers. If you already know that trust is an issue for you personally or in your organization, it is recommended that you read about this driver before the others.
The last chapter provides useful suggestions on implementing the model and addresses the general decline of respect in soci- ety and its impact on the next generation of employees. My inten- tion is for you to bring the words on these pages to life so that you may foster a culture of RESPECT and engage the hearts and minds of your employees. This is not a book to be read—it is a book to be lived.
This system is based on the principles of operant conditioning. These incentives range from coffee mugs to lucrative financial bonuses and everything in between. Operant Conditioning Operant conditioning refers to specific behavioral strategies developed by B. Skinner to change behavior. Unfortunately, these terms have become widely misunderstood and misused. Reinforcement—both positive and negative—refers to con- sequences that increase the likelihood of a behavior occurring in the future.
Common forms of positive reinforcement include praise, privileges, money, and various rewards. Negative rein- forcement refers to the removal of an aversive stimulus. For example, when a mother picks up a crying baby and the baby stops crying, the mother is negatively reinforced and thus more likely to pick up the baby when it cries in the future. Although it is possible to use negative reinforcement as a motivational strat- egy in the workplace, it is highly uncommon. Punishment refers to adverse consequences that decrease the likelihood of the behavior occurring again in the future.
Common forms of punishment include ignoring, penalties, fines, and taking away privileges. In the workplace, suspending an employee without pay is an example of using punishment to change behavior. If the consequence does not increase or decrease the likelihood of the behavior, then it does not meet the criteria as reinforcement or punishment. This distinction is important because it suggests that whether a consequence is reinforcing or punishing depends on the indi- vidual and may differ further depending on the situation and source of the consequence i.
In contrast, if your wife yells at you for coming home late from work and your behavior does not change, then her yelling is not punishment— it is nagging. It would be highly inaccurate and irresponsible of me to suggest that the principles of operant conditioning are inef- fective. Thousands of empirical studies have demonstrated the power of operant conditioning to motivate animals, children, and adults to engage in specific behaviors in an effort to attain rewards.
While in graduate school, I spent several years learn- ing, researching, applying, and teaching these principles to help change the behavior of children diagnosed with conduct disor- der. In fact, whether you realize it or not, we all use reinforce- ment and punishment every day in our personal lives. Whether you are feeding your cat because she is meowing for food, thank- ing your child for making his bed, or withholding affection from your significant other because he forgot your anniversary, you are using the techniques of operant conditioning to shape the behavior of those around you—as your behavior is being shaped in kind.
The question is whether reward and recognition programs based on the principles of oper- ant conditioning are effective and should be used in organizations. The answer is a resounding no. There is nothing wrong with the principles of operant condi- tioning. People are complex beings filled with thoughts, feelings, attitudes, personalities, skills, experiences, and goals whose work is typically complex and requires higher-order cog- nitive skills including problem solving and decision making.
Moreover, we work with other complex human beings in com- plex organizations. Although it may feel like it at times, we are not hamsters running on a wheel. It was not until the Industrial Revolution and the building of factories that there was a need to employ large numbers of free citizens. Pharaohs did not have to worry about the principles of operant conditioning! In fact, it has been in only the past one hundred years that researchers, scientists, and business leaders have systematically approached the study of employee motivation and productivity.
Frederick Taylor—Father of Scientific Management As factories and assembly lines grew, a new discipline emerged: scientific management. Often considered the father of this move- ment, Frederick Taylor published The Principles of Scientific Management in Taylor had worked for Bethlehem Steel and was interested in maximizing productivity.
He undertook careful study of the tools, processes, and methods used in the manufacturing process. Coupled with the pioneering work of psychologists Frank and Lillian Gilbreth, time and motion stud- ies became, and still are, a cornerstone of efficient manufactur- ing processes. In fact, referring to his studies with steel workers, Taylor wrote: This work is so crude and elementary in its nature that the writer firmly believes that it would be possible to train an intelligent gorilla so as to become a more efficient pig-iron handler than any man can be.
Yet it will be shown that the science of handling pig iron is so great and amounts to so much that it is impossible for the man who is best suited to this type of work to understand the principles of this science, or even to work in accordance with these principles without the aid of a man better educated than he is. Thus, the prevailing thinking was that thinking was not required. The Hawthorne Studies Harvard Business School professor Elton Mayo was also con- cerned with the study and measurement of processes and envi- ronmental variables to increase employee productivity.
Mayo and his colleagues worked with female employees who assem- bled telephone relays at Western Electric Hawthorne Works near Chicago from to During this time the researchers manipulated various factors such as light levels, work schedules, rest breaks, and refreshments.
The women baffled the research- ers by continuing to increase their productivity even under extremely unfavorable conditions, for example, very low levels of light. Although there has been con- siderable controversy over this research and the conclusions drawn at the time, there is no question that it shed light on the importance of psychological factors affecting employee motiva- tion and productivity, including worker autonomy, consulting with employees about their work, and paying attention to social factors in the workplace, including group cohesiveness and rela- tions between supervisors and employees.
Skinner and his principles of operant condi- tioning introduced in The Behavior of Organisms Skin- ner used reinforcement and punishment techniques to motivate the behavior of lab animals such as mice and pigeons. These same principles and techniques proved to be highly effective in motivating human behavior and dovetailed perfectly with the field of scientific management and its focus on behavior.
Murray recognized the importance of thoughts, feelings, and emotions as relevant to the study of human motivation. The tug-of-war continued. At the lowest level were physiological needs such as food and water. At the second level were needs around safety and security. At level three, Maslow suggested that we seek to fulfill a sense of belonging and affiliation such as having friends and family and being part of a work group.
Next, he hypothe- sized that we were driven by esteem issues such as achievement and respect. Finally, at level five, Maslow theorized that we seek personal growth and fulfillment. In fact, his model readily predicts and explains human behavior during difficult economic times.
As people become more concerned about keeping their job, they are naturally going to be less focused on teamwork. Because in teamwork one risks making others look good and not When people begin to feel as though their jobs may be threatened and hence their security, they are much less concerned about their need for achievement or affiliation.
That is why, in a down economy, team functioning breaks down. People are less likely to share information, cooperate, or display discretionary effort unless doing so directly increases their perceived value to the organization. If you want people to function more cohesively as a team, they must feel secure in their jobs. Each of these has con- tributed significantly to our understanding of employee motiva- tion and productivity in the workplace.
Skinner lost the empirical tug-of-war. Given all this, it is difficult to understand why our primary approach to motivating employees continues to be reward and recognition programs based on the principles of operant conditioning. Motivation in the Workplace Today The workplace and its employees are very different today than they were prior to the second half of the twentieth century.
The question of whether a person enjoyed his or her work is a recent and primarily Western phenomenon. While people undoubtedly developed friendships at work and may even have enjoyed their work depending on their profession and position, such issues were not viewed as particularly relevant to making a living.
Over the past few decades, employees have placed more and more importance on deriving a certain level of satisfaction and mean- ing from their work. This is particularly true once employees reach a certain monetary threshold that comfortably provides for their quality of life.
Show Me the Money! Money can motivate individual performance; however, the impact on performance is typically short-lived. Money falls under what Frederick Herzberg called a Hygiene factor, in other words, a factor that has more to do with decreasing motivation than increasing it. Money matters a lot under two conditions.
First, it matters at the very low end of the pay scale where an additional dollar an hour can make a significant difference to an individual. A classic example occurs when a new employee is hired at a higher salary than an existing employee doing the same job.
Under these conditions, the exist- ing employee, who may have been perfectly satisfied with his pay, naturally becomes upset and feels unappreciated. Typically, the employee will quit, demand more money, or perform mark- edly worse. But I Know Motivation Works! However, motivation is rarely enough to sustain behavior change over time. I can tell you with certainty that nearly everyone who begins a diet or exercise program does so with great motivation, but if that initial inspiration is not sup- plemented with factors such as social support, education, and a sound exercise and nutrition program, most people will find themselves back where they started in just a few weeks.
Simi- larly, many programs that try to motivate employees begin with a bang and fizzle out quickly. Behaviors that change quickly also change back quickly. Perhaps you wanted to get into great shape for a special occasion, such as getting married or going to a twenty-fifth high school reunion— both of which I did while writing this book.
Maybe you had a physical and your doctor told you that you needed to stop smok- ing and lose weight. Notice first that it usually takes something really big in our lives to get us motivated to change our behav- ior. Second, it requires making a conscious choice to change our behavior and the habits that run our lives.
Third, notice how even powerful events and conscious choices rarely lead to sus- tained changes in behavior. How many people do you know who have said they really want to stop drinking or smoking, start exercising, study a foreign language, learn to play an instrument, go back to school, get out of a bad relationship, or find a better job and have actually done so?
If it were, there would be a lot more people at reunions. Motivation may get you started down a path, but car- rots alone are simply insufficient to develop sustainable changes in behavior. The old model involved employees sacrificing family time for work because such a sacrifice was viewed as supporting the family. Today, people are sacrificing their work for more family and per- sonal time.
Why the change? Third, people are more concerned about their physical and mental well-being and are making conscious decisions to work less and take better care of themselves. All in all, it is not simply about working hard and making money. By The Deal I mean the idea that companies are loyal to their employees, and in return, employees are loyal to them. This is no longer the case.
Corporate scandals, greedy executives, out- sourcing, downsizing, and cuts in employee benefits have all fostered a sense of cynicism and distrust among workers who no longer feel a sense of loyalty to their organization.
In truth, why should they? Of course, this has resulted in great costs to organi- zations. In sum, our understanding of motivation and the factors that motivate employees have changed over time. Moreover, employees are more willing than ever to work and earn less if it means being able to spend more time with their families and lead a more balanced life. In fact, most programs intended to motivate employees actually end up creating an overall deficit in employee motivation.
While a handful of employees may be rein- forced, many are left feeling punished. My intention in this chapter is to put together such a comprehensive and com- pelling list of reasons against the use of traditional reward and recognition programs that their use can no longer be justified. Tube Socks for Everyone Several years ago I was hired by a large manufacturing company to help with its employee recognition and rewards program. During my first visit I met with Tim, a senior member of the human resources department and the individual responsible for this initiative.
While giving me a tour of the facility, he pointed out numerous employees violating safety procedures. Everything included providing extensive safety training, holding team meetings, hanging signs, making announcements over the loud- speaker, and offering various incentives for months with no lost- time accidents. The company had also tried a number of different rewards. He told me that these were very much appreci- ated given how hot the summer months got in their part of the country.
Fortunately, no one was hurt. Tim said that employees did not seem very excited by these prizes. No kidding. However, in the past few months, they had come upon a reward that was receiv- ing a very favorable response—a three-pack of tube socks. The previous month, employees had lined up to get their socks. Tim was concerned, however, that the incentive program was work- ing too well. There were rumors that employees and supervi- sors were covering up minor accidents so as not to ruin it for everyone in the plant.
For example, one employee was mysteri- ously sent home early only to return the next day with several stitches on his forearm supposedly from changing a tire on his car. Another fellow spent most of the shift in the break room with a bag of ice on his head for a sudden headache while others covered for him. You see this kind of team support for guys with headaches all the time, right? On the one hand, Tim was pleased by the power of the tube sock program and by the apparent uptick in employee camarade- rie.
Certainly, three months with zero lost-time accidents made him and the human resources department look good. The plant manager was happy. Corporate was happy. He asked if I had any thoughts on how they might tweak the program.
Where should I begin? We want every employee to return safely to his or her family at the end of every day. In an effort to make sure that happens, we have specific policies and procedures that you have chosen to ignore. I am sending you home for the rest of the day and giving you two more days off without pay. I would request that you use this time to think about whether you can work for a company that cares about your well-being and comply with the safety guidelines.
This was one of those times. Of course, if I did start bleeding, I was pretty sure that Tim would be willing to look the other way. At the beginning of every month, put a big barrel of socks outside your office and let whoever would like some come by and pick them up. It is not my intention to insult or embarrass them or any- one else using such programs. My only goal is to educate and help you understand why recognition programs fail.
Reason 1: Programs Fail Because They Are Programs Reward and recognition programs fail for the same reason that diets fail—because they are programs! Programs are nearly always designed to accomplish a specific goal in a rela- tively short time period, for example, losing weight for a college reunion. My friend Mary tries every new diet that comes out, and she is constantly losing and gaining the same fifty pounds.
Recently, I saw her and she looked great. Programs fail because people view them as something to be done for a period of time and not as something that needs to be incorporated into their lifestyle. Yes, but is that what you want? No, what you want are employees who work hard all the time and not just when they are chasing carrots. If an organization is not careful, it will condi- tion its employees to do just that—the way retail stores have conditioned people to shop only during sales.
It should not be about temporary bursts of energy; it should be about continuous improvement based on the belief that getting better or working hard matters for its own sake and not for some external reward. I grew up on a farm with horses and donkeys. This may surprise you, but not all don- keys like carrots. Organizations always assume they know what employees will find desirable.
For example, a company might offer an extra vacation day as an incentive; in some companies many employees do not use all their vacation—especially in the United States. A friend works at a company where they give gas cards to the employee of the month. In some cases the supposed reward can actually result in employees Even those rewards that might appear to be most obviously desir- able do not necessarily work for everybody. This commonly occurs in monthly programs where the same person wins each month and ends up becoming embarrassed.
In fact, programs that focus on a single target goal can actually be deleterious. When production is the goal, safety and quality often suffer. As an analogy, imagine going to the gym and for one month exclusively working your biceps. In terms of overall health, is that really as smart as spending your time in a more balanced workout routine?
Reason 4: Programs Focus on the Wrong Dependent Variable Programs nearly always focus on a single outcome measure instead of focusing on the processes that would result in accom- plishing the goal. Reason 5: Goals Can Limit Performance Although setting goals is an important part of any performance management system, they should be viewed as stepping-stones and opportunities to celebrate improvement and successes, not as finish lines.
It should be required reading for every leader in your organi- zation. It would just tend to limit our potential. The focus should be on working hard in all aspects of the game—if that is the approach, you win games as a natural consequence. Reason 6: Inconsistent and Unfair Administration If you want to spark a passionate conversation at your organiza- tion, tell supervisors that you are beginning an employee reward and recognition program.
Some supervisors refuse to play at all and mock the program. Perceptions of inequity among employees are impossible to prevent. Even when program guidelines are clear and supervi- sors willingly adhere to them, employees will complain of favor- itism within and across teams. In reality, supervisors simply cannot help but have biased perceptions of employees that result in conscious or unconscious favoritism.
These tend to be the lowest-performing employees. Depending on how loud their voice grows, their com- plaints can seriously undermine the program and cause consid- erable stress for supervisors. Another fac- tor that contributes to inconsistent and unfair distribution of rewards is having a fair playing field.
Typically, more senior sales- people have advantages such as better sales territories, prod- uct lines, or even hours at their retail stores. Junior salespeople begin with such a clear disadvantage that it is unlikely they will even bother to participate. Goals have to be challenging but reachable. You may be thinking that one obvious remedy is to base the program on a percentage increase. For example, any salesper- son who increases his or her own average sales over the past three months by 10 percent will win the reward.
It will be far more difficult for your hardest-working, most productive salespeople to increase their sales by 10 percent. Do you really want to punish your best sales- people and reward your poorest performers for actually stepping up one month? Exactly what does being a good team player or dealing effec- tively with a difficult customer look like? This kind of ambiguity will result in supervisors interpreting the program criteria dif- ferently and lead to inconsistent administration, which in turn will lead to more ammunition for disgruntled employees who view the program as biased and unfair.
Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to create a program that provides an equal playing field for all employees. In sum, try as you might, you will never create a program that is and appears to be fair to everyone. Reason 7: Added Stress for Supervisors First-line supervisors who are typically responsible for the administration of reward and recognition programs are among the most stressed individuals in any organization.
The respon- sibilities associated with these programs increase their already burdensome workload. In response, many give points out to everyone regardless of performance in an effort to appear fair. Do you really want a program that adds more stress to your supervisors and takes them away from their primary job of increasing employee productivity? Unfortunately, this is a frequent issue with reward and recognition programs.
Just look at the tube socks example. Supervisors and employees violated serious safety procedures for the sake of winning socks! Cheating or deception of some form tends to occur in most programs. Pro- grams with high-value rewards and few winners are most likely to turn employees into cheaters. Pharmaceutical companies are famous for holding sales contests in which representatives can earn large bonuses and elaborate vacations.
As you probably know, the pharmaceutical industry has been heavily regulated in an effort to prevent sales representatives from more or less bribing doctors into writing prescriptions for their products. Meet Linda—a thirty-five-year-old pharmaceutical sales representative from New Jersey.
She has a personal credit card and an arrangement with an upscale restaurant in her ter- ritory. Are all sales representatives so unscrupulous? Of course not. Do reward and recognition programs cause all employees to cheat the system? However, the larger the reward, the more likely it is that people are going to look for ways to bend rules and work around the system to gain an advantage.
I recognize that these programs are created with the best of intentions in mind, but their very nature can promote unwanted, unethical, unscrupulous, and sometimes illegal behavior. This is particularly true when employ- ees are compensated largely on individual commissions.
In such circumstances, team members are often viewed as competitors. Car dealerships are well known for creating cutthroat environ- ments and monthly programs that reward the top salespeople. Invariably, such programs foster unhealthy competition and undermine teamwork, which often comes across as unprofes- sional to customers.
You may have already jumped to the solution of team-based programs. In addition to the problems raised with the tube socks examples, there are others. Within any team you are going to have employees with different skill levels, commitment to the organization, and interest in the carrot. Team members also dif- fer in their commitments and responsibilities outside of work, such as school-aged children, which limit their ability to exert additional discretionary effort outside of normal business hours.
Reason Programs Are Cover-Ups for Ineffective Supervisors We have established that reward and recognition programs are designed to motivate employees. Organizations typically create reward and recognition programs in response to incompetent supervisors unable to motivate their people.
Reason Programs Offer a Weak Reinforcement Schedule There are several factors that increase the effectiveness or power of positive reinforcement. We have already covered the most obvious—the carrot actually being desired by the donkey. Reinforcement is most powerful when it occurs immediately after the desired behav- ior.
In practice, there is often substantial lag time between behavior and reinforcer. People work harder to receive rewards that can be realized sooner rather than later. On a day-to-day basis, year- end rewards and employee-of-the-month programs do little to motivate behavior.
Nearly all reward and recognition programs follow the weak- est possible schedule of reinforcement and the one most suscep- tible to extinction extinction meaning that the behavior stops once the reward is no longer given.
In strong reinforcement schedules, the behavior continues in the absence of the reinforcer for long periods of time. Consider for a moment the difference between the reinforcement schedules of a soda machine and a slot machine. Put a dollar in the soda machine and get a soda. Now, put a dollar in the soda machine and get nothing. How many more dollars do you put in before you stop? Notice how quickly the lack of reinforcement getting your drink extinguishes the behavior of putting your dollar in the machine.
In contrast, peo- ple will put dollar after dollar in a slot machine without getting paid off. This schedule keeps people highly motivated. In contrast, soda machines and nearly all reward and recognition programs are based on a fixed schedule, which is considerably less motivating.
Here is just one exam- ple. Fred had recently become the plant manager at a company where I did some consulting, and he very much wanted every employee to know the company mission statement by heart. If you get it correct, I will present you with five envelopes. You get to pick the envelope and keep whatever is inside.
Second, and more important, memorizing a mission statement is far different from living it. Getting employees to commit words to memory is a good first step. However, to have any real meaning, it needs to be followed up by a program reinforcing employee behavior con- sistent with the mission statement. Of course, such a program would suffer from many of the problems we have identified and will continue to identify. Putting aside the mission statement example, the key takeaway is simply that most reward and rec- ognition programs are designed with the weakest possible rein- forcement schedule and the one most susceptible to extinction.
Joe, the company CEO, shared that he was concerned about company morale and asked if she had any ideas. She knew about positive reinforcement and decided to surprise the employees by hand- ing out twenty-dollar gift certificates for the movies on a Fri- day afternoon. The employees loved it—what a nice surprise! The following Monday she and the CEO could see how much more enthusiastic people appeared and decided to hand out gift cards to a chain restaurant with the paychecks that Friday. The employees were visibly appreciative, but come Monday they did not seem as motivated as the prior Monday.
Joe was a friend of mine and told me about their gift card program. I met with Sherry, who shared that she was confused and concerned because the program seemed to be losing its impact. After three weeks, employees were not noticeably more enthusiastic than when the program began. She was also quite taken aback when two employees stopped by her cubicle to ask for their gift on Thurs- day because they would not be around on Friday.
Moreover, some of the salespeople in the field who had heard about this program complained because they were being left out. I explained that she had not created a reward and recogni- tion program; she had created an entitlement program. When a reward is not contingent upon a behavior, it is a gift—not a reinforcer. Gifts are nice, but they have very little impact on behavior.
Unfortunately, many reward and recognition initia- tives have morphed into entitlement programs. Depending on how long the program has been in place and how much it costs, you may just want to leave it intact—let people have their tube socks. Reason Programs Reduce Creativity and Risk Taking When it comes to the possibility of winning a reward, most peo- ple are risk-averse. Tradi- tional reward and recognition programs reinforce doing it by the book—not experimentation.
Thus, employees go with tried and true approaches that have worked in the past. Such programs may get people to work harder but discourage innovation, cre- ativity, and risk taking—the very behaviors that actually make a long-term difference in your organization. Intrinsic motivation refers to activi- ties that people find rewarding on their own.
For most people, these are best exemplified by hobbies such as playing a musi- cal instrument, reading, writing poetry, and gardening. While some people might find pulling weeds a chore, others enjoy it immensely. Just like extrinsic motivation, intrinsic motivation depends on the individual.
Reward and recognition programs actually diminish the perceived value of the task to the employee; psychologically the employee is doing the task not because it is important but because he or she can benefit from it materially. The more an employee values the task, the more he or she will see it as personally rewarding and be internally motivated, which explains why people who work for nonprofit agencies generally report much higher levels of job sat- isfaction than those employed by for-profit organizations, even though those at the for-profits make considerably more money.
Supervisors would be wise to spend more time helping their employees see the value and importance of their work. Reason Wrong Behaviors Are Rewarded Many reward programs not only fail to reinforce the intended behavior but also inadvertently reinforce the behavior they are meant to discourage! This may well result in rewarding the individual who is the least team player. I recom- mend that you examine your reward and incentive programs to ensure that you are not accidentally reinforcing behaviors that run counter to the values of your organization.
Such programs fail to distinguish pro- ductive, hardworking employees from those who just show up, which results in reducing the morale of the best employees, who feel that the program devalues their efforts. Reason Programs Are Manipulative Some employees view motivation programs for what they are— manipulation. In fact, your best employees are those most likely to be offended by such programs.
Top performers also recognize that these programs are often intended to motivate those who are not working hard and are often frustrated that resources are being spent on their underperforming team members. If you want to motivate your top performers, hold those who are not doing their job accountable. Reason Program Architects Are Generally Not Experts Human resources managers and associates, the primary archi- tects of these programs, are, quite frankly, rarely qualified to create them.
If they mis- understand such basic terms, how can they possibly create an effective program? In fairness, especially in a smaller company, most human resources managers are generalists who are required to have knowledge in many, many areas and should not be expected to have such expertise. If you are intent on developing motivation programs, I encourage you to seek the guidance of a qualified behavioral psychologist.
Reason Programs Have No Impact on Workplace Culture Reward and recognition programs will never lead to long-term, sustainable changes in behavior because they have no impact on organizational culture. This is the fundamental reason why these programs should be dismissed. Culture drives behavior, and behavior reinforces culture. When you take a new job you either fit into the culture, acclimate to fit the culture, or leave. The behaviors of incumbent employees serve to inculcate new employees into the culture of the organization.
We are social beings extremely sensitive to fitting in and take our cues from those around us. In fact, our desire to conform is so strong that we will actually disregard what we know to be true in order to avoid being the odd man out. Whether it is your place of work or worship, a social club, or a health club, there is an associated culture that tells you how to act and even what to believe.
Think back on the last time you took a new job. Do people tend to come in early and work late? Do people eat lunch at their desks? How do people act around the boss? Do people chat much about personal issues during work? Do people check their Blackberrys during meetings? Do people bring work home at night?
Do people hang out together outside of work? How do people keep their desks? How do people dress? These and countless other questions go through our minds as we figure out how to adjust our behaviors to fit in. How do reward and recogni- tion programs influence culture? As soon as the pro- gram is over, any changes in behavior will fail to be reinforced and quite possibly will be punished by the social mores of the organi- zation.
Most agree that the purpose of reward and recognition programs is to increase the overall level of employee motivation. Answer: The top performers in the organization. Discussion: So, the most motivated and productive employees are the ones being acknowledged and reinforced by the programs. How much more motivated and productive can they be? This is like giving extra help to the student who makes a 98 percent on an exam. Question: What kind of impact do these programs have on the lowest-performing, least motivated employees?
Answer: Either none or negative. For the poor performers, such programs are simply reminders of how unappreciated they are and how disenfranchised they feel. At the absolute best, such programs will have no impact; more realistically, such employees will feel even less motivated. Question: What impact will the program have on the majority of employees who fall between the very bottom and the very top?
Answer: Negative. In the end, while you may have minimally reinforced a few of your most motivated people, your program has had no impact on your poor performers and served to decrease the motivation of the middle employees, who represent the greatest potential to increase your overall human capital. Leaving Your Reward and Recognition Programs Behind To summarize, traditional recognition and reward programs based on the principles of operant conditioning are doomed before they commence.
Under the best of circumstances, such programs are relatively benign and reinforce only those employees who are already the most engaged and productive. More likely they lead to breakdowns in team functioning, decrease creativity and risk taking, create stress for supervisors, and decrease the motivation of the very employees who present the greatest opportunity to increase your human capital.
Thus, organizations spend valuable resources creating and administering programs that, at best, pro- vide no return on their investment and are most likely to produce a negative one. How then do we cre- ate employees who make things happen? In this chapter, you will learn the important distinction between motivation and employee engagement, why you should stop trying to motivate employees altogether and focus on engaging them, the benefits of having an engaged workforce, and the factors that impact employee engagement.
In addition, we will discuss current research findings as well as the widespread misunderstanding and invalid measurement of engagement. The one that I remember best occurred a few days after I proposed to my wife, Karen. Engagement is similar to, but not synonymous with, motivation.
Engagement refers to an intrinsic, deep-rooted, and sweep- ing sense of commitment, pride, and loyalty that is not easily altered. In contrast, motivation level is strongly influenced by external factors, especially expectations that certain efforts or accomplishments will yield valued rewards, such as a financial bonus for meeting a quarterly sales objective. Critically, a high level of engagement buffers the impact of negative environmental factors on motivation.
In contrast, employees with low levels of engagement will tend to appear motivated only under favorable conditions or when attempting to reach tangi- ble, short-term goals that will yield personal reward. Motivated employees want to get through the work as quickly as possible to get to their carrots—regardless of what may be going on around them.
In contrast, engaged employees keep their eyes on the goal but also use their peripheral vision to look for opportunities that may contribute further to accomplishing the mission of the organization. To reiterate, employees who are motivated but not engaged will work hard when there is something in it for them. Engaged employees work hard for the sake of the organization and because it gives them a feeling of fulfillment. Imagine observing a team of employees frantically working to meet a deadline.
If they meet the deadline, everyone receives a bonus. As you watch, everyone appears highly motivated—they are working hard to get to the carrot. Engaged employees are hardy; motivated employees are opportunistic. While motivation can wax and wane, engagement leads to a consistent level of performance. The Profile of an Engaged Employee While doing research on employee engagement, I surveyed indi- viduals from more than one hundred organizations worldwide.
Such data is critical for developing a valid assessment instrument to measure engagement and interven- tions to increase it. As you might imagine, participants provided many different answers to the question. The following list con- tains the ten most frequent responses to the question of how you know an employee is engaged: 1.
Brings new ideas to work 2. Is passionate and enthusiastic about work 3. Takes initiative 4. Actively seeks to improve self, others, and business 5. Consistently exceeds goals and expectations 6. Is curious and interested; asks questions 7. Encourages and supports team members 8. Is optimistic and positive; smiles 9. Overcomes obstacles and stays focused on tasks; is persistent Like the small business owner, such workers do whatever needs to be done, regardless of their job title.
They come in early, leave late, and take work home if needed. If they see a piece of trash lying on the floor they pick it up—not because someone is watching but because they take great pride in their workplace. They respectfully challenge you and their team members when they disagree.
In sum, highly engaged employees do whatever they can to make the organization succeed. You cannot buy engagement, and you certainly cannot demand it. In truth, the extent to which employees are engaged has a lot less to do with them and a lot more to do with their supervisor and the organization as a whole. Not every employee is going to think and behave as a business owner would.
With that in mind, how engaged are your employees? Never or rarely engage in this behavior 0 points b. Sometimes engage in this behavior 1 point c. Regularly engage in this behavior 2 points d. Always or almost always engage in this behavior 3 points Place the point value of your answer choice on the blank line next to the statement. Employees appear passionate about their work.
Employees speak with pride about the organization. Employees demonstrate high levels of discretionary effort. Employees take the initiative to correct mistakes, even if it was outside the scope of their normal responsibilities. Employees regularly offer specific suggestions for improvement. Your employees are largely underper- forming relative to their potential. Scores this low indicate that the problem is not limited to a few employees and disengagement has actually become the cultural norm of your organization.
Overall, you may be getting only 50 percent of the discretionary effort that employees have to offer. Scores in this range are consistent with, at best, maintaining the status quo. Employees are fully in the game and using high levels of discretionary effort to reach the goals and objec- tives of your organization. Your engaged workforce gives you a competitive advantage. Regardless of your score on the quiz, the chapters that follow will help you increase and maintain high levels of engagement in your organization.
Next, we look at reasons why having an engaged workforce contributes so substantially to organizational vitality. Later in this chapter, we will exam- ine findings from selected research studies. Factors That Affect Employee Engagement and Disengagement In an effort to better understand the drivers of engagement, I went to the experts—people in the workforce.
In creating a model of employee engagement, it is equally important to understand the disen- gaged employee. How do disengaged employees act, think, and feel? Without looking at both sides of the spectrum, it would be impossible to identify the psychological factors that distinguish engaged from disengaged employees. They take no pride in their work. Their primary concern is to figure out how little they can do and still collect a paycheck. No organization ever achieved great things with people just going through the motions.
More than just apathetic, these individuals engage in activities that actively detract from the vitality of your organization. For example, they may knowingly withhold or give inaccurate information to cus- tomers and team members. They feel little, if any, sense of con- nection to their supervisor or organization. In fact, they likely speak poorly about team members, their supervisor, organiza- tional leaders, and the organization as a whole.
In fact, the Gallup Organization has sug- gested that disengaged employees around the globe cost compa- nies hundreds of billions of dollars a year. According to a study published by Gallup in , Germany is plagued by disengaged employees who are costing their country between 81 billion and billion euros per year in lost productivity.
The most disen- gaged employees are nearly impossible to rescue. Furthermore, doing so would require tremendous resources better spent on those with greater promise. Termination of extremely disen- gaged employees will have an immediate and positive impact on team vitality and productivity as others see that the offending team member was finally held accountable and let go. Employee Engagement 49 Given the costs associated with employee disengagement, being able to prevent or curb it would be extremely valuable to any organization.
These people give to the daily life of the city streets a curiously normal aspect which struck me at first as strange and inexplicable until I reflected on the resiliency of human nature, and its general adaptability to even the hardest conditions of existence. How swift, for instance, was the response to the warmth and radiance of the early summer sunshine in Petrograd and Moscow!
During the daytime people go about absorbed in their various tasks—to and from factories, stores, or offices, collecting food from the depots, gathering in the markets to sell some treasured belonging or to buy necessaries which have become luxuries. But in the magic evenings they crowd the boulevards and little parks. In tree-shaded courts or squares mothers watch their children play and half forget their troubles in the pleasure of listening to careless merry laughter.
In quiet places lovers stroll arm in arm. The Hermitage theatres in Moscow are crowded, and between the acts the leafy grounds echo the vivacious chatter of the promenaders. The politicians and the active members of trade unions live strenuous days and nights. Propaganda is carried on ceaselessly.
All the trade unions headquarters are training centres for speakers, and, the Government hopes, for future industrial administrators. In the hospitals woefully inadequate staffs and nurses, often working without soap, disinfectants, or drugs, battle heroically with disease. In one Moscow typhus hospital there are only two doctors, half-dead from overwork. While the death-toll among patients has latterly been as low as 6 per cent. Nevertheless the doctors, mobilised by the authority of the Ministry of Health, have faced their sacrifice unflinchingly, and the thousand-strong Petrograd sanitary corps, enrolled for the odious work of delousing, etc.
Faced with tremendous difficulty, significant layers of the Russian working class voluntarily participated in the reconstruction of Russia after the civil war. If it is impossible to generalise about the rich variety of human activity which is maintained under the revolution, one may at least be dogmatic about certain simple facts. I was agreeably surprised to find the streets of Petrograd, Moscow, Nijhni, Saratoff, and other towns I visited both cleaner and brighter than I had expected.
The order requiring all householders, including many refined and cultured women who bitterly resented it, to help in cleaning the pavements near their houses, was part of a great concerted and successful effort to save Moscow and Petrograd from the horrors of a cholera epidemic this summer. A further enterprise of employing labour armies to repair the sanitary pipes which burst on a wholesale scale because of lack of fuel last winter, was abruptly ended when the Polish offensive started.
The fact that normal order and security have been long restored to the streets is indisputable. Militia guards including women in Petrograd , have taken the place of the Red Army or the former police, and they carry out their duties unobtrusively. In company with an American correspondent, I was abroad till late nearly every night, and we were never challenged or required to show credentials, although conversing audibly in English. Although so much of the normal aspect at the streets is preserved, one is reminded at every turn of the stupendous change wrought by the revolution.
Gone are the fashionable restaurants and cafes. The banks, business offices, and the vast majority of the shops are closed. The whole orthodox commercial life is destroyed. On the other hand, numerous speculative traders, including many peasants and Jews, exhibit in booths or on street stalls meagre stocks of bread, fish, vegetables, milk, clothing, cotton laces, small clothing, and many miscellaneous articles.
The markets, especially the Sukharev in Moscow, and the more oriental markets of Samara and Saratoff, are crowded with similar traders. In Petrograd, where the Communist resentment against private trade burns more fiercely than elsewhere the markets are frequently raided, and the punishment of speculators goes on without intermission.
In Moscow greater tolerance has been shown, but ineffective decrees, forbidding trade except by special permits designed to control prices, have been issued from time to time. In the provincial towns to the east of Moscow the same combination of old and new aspects of life is seen on a smaller scale.
The brightest impression I carried away from Russia was that of Nizhni Novgorod, with its spires shining softly in a golden evening light. The people strolled cheerfully about the wide, clean streets and the leafy promenades of the Kremlin. Men were drilling in a field to the music of a brass band. In the theatre an audience of trade unionists endured an endless stream of political propaganda. The churches were crowded with devout congregations—chiefly women and soldiers—and the sound of deep-toned bells, so different from the harsh and furious clamour of some of the Moscow churches, floated in mellow cadences over the town.
Russian caption reads: "After 12 hours of work" Workers undertaking volunteer construction labour in a subbotnik. The spectacle of millions of human beings suffering the afflictions of famine almost transcends comprehension. The task of describing it would be difficult enough even if all bore their trials in the same spirit, but it becomes impossible when one finds an infinite variety of mental attitude, ranging from the dull stoicism of the downtrodden of the old regime to the almost hysterical complainings of those who have lost all the luxury and refinements which power, privilege, and wealth gave them in former days.
Not all the dispossessed who yet remain in Russia add mental torture to their physical afflictions. I met many who are working in various capacities, bearing their trials with cheerful fortitude, and hoping in the blackest moments for the relief which they believe will come when war ceases. While they dislike, or even hate, many features of the present administration they deplore the interplay of counter-revolution and intervention which have perpetuated repression and retarded economic recovery.
I will give three instances which are typical. A famous Tsarist general who lives in obscurity with his family, subsisting on the same fare as a workman's family, expresses the utmost contempt for the emigres. To take another type, the attitude of Peter Kropotkin is representative of that of thousands of other anarchist-communists, who desire to see the shackles of central government thrown off.
He is a stubborn critic of dictatorship of any kind, but he denounces intervention, and demands that the Russian people shall be left free to settle their own differences. Extra food was also offered to the old Man, because of his ill-health, but he proudly declined it on the ground that he would accept no privileges. Kropotkin toils bravely in the garden of their village home, forty miles from Moscow, to supplement the scanty ration with vegetables.
My next instance is that of Count Benckendorf, son of the former Ambassador in London. His estates were expropriated, but he retains a peasant's allotment, and divides his time between working on this land like any other peasant and helping in administrative duties in Moscow.
Giving a frank description of the hunger that imperialist intervention and blockade caused in Russia and the undoubted inequality that exists, Meakin describes how the Soviet regime has made every effort to limit inequality and ensure that above all, children and soldiers in the Red Army are fed first.
The continued denial of a peace which would leave the Russian people free to work out their own political and industrial future, and the Entente policy of the past two years, have been tolerated in Great Britain largely because public opinion has been influenced and inflamed by distortion of the truth about Russia, or by unreasoning criticism, based upon inadequate knowledge of the facts. Consequently, now that the immeasurable evils of this policy are taking shape in the mind of the public as the Polish gamble approaches its climax, it is more necessary than ever that every possible effort, however imperfect, should be made to probe beneath the surface and expose the salient facts about Russia in their true relationship to each other.
Russian peasants delivering corn on the Volga. Outstanding examples of this necessity are the questions arising out of the food situation, transport, production in industry, the attitude of the peasants towards the Soviet Government, and the strength and spirit of the Red Army.
It has been assumed further that the administration of the Soviet Government responsible for this state of affairs must be shockingly bad and incompetent in every department, and that its hold on the people has been maintained by half a dozen men, exercising in some unexplained mysterious and miraculous way a tyrannical power over a hundred and thirty million discontented and resentful people. Hence the persistent belief that each successive attack in the intervention campaign would overthrow the Soviet Government, and even greater disasters and disillusionment will follow continued refusal to face the facts of the present situation.
Now, the question of the famine affords a fair test of the process of suppressing more than half the truth. It seems impossible to escape from this disregard of fair and accurate statement. Mr Keeling states, quite wrongly, that this pamphlet was ready too late for the Delegation, as I was given a copy seven weeks ago. There is nothing remarkable in this piece of evidence. The facts stare one in the face wherever one goes in Russia, and no attempt whatever is made by the authorities to disguise the gravity of the position.
In their struggle against Russia they make worse the material conditions of all the population, and especially of the poorest classes. I found independently abundant evidence of the truth of these statements. Bad as the food situation is in all the cities and towns of Russia, you can find nothing quite so terrible or heartrending as the pictures of misery, especially among children, drawn by Mr Gardiner and others in their descriptions of life among the poor in Germany and Vienna.
But to get a true parallel one would have to imagine a Germany which, after the Armistice, had found itself faced by powerful assailants, with armies converging on Berlin, which to meet this menace had subordinated all civil to military needs, which had created out of the ruins of the old army a new and well-disciplined military force of three million men, and which, after crushing its three assailants, found itself compelled to wage another formidable war.
If as things are the children of the poor in German cities are but shadows of children, what would have been their state under the conditions postulated? This comparison with Central Europe constantly forces itself on the mind in Russia. My next article will deal with the kind and quantity of food available, the method of distribution, the open market and speculation, the special provision for children and the army, and the amazing energy and resourcefulness among the people which the famine has created in some of the cities, especially in Petrograd.
I will only add here that the common belief that things have gone steadily from bad to worse is unfounded, and Menshevists, Social Revolutionaries, and non-party people agreed in conversations with me that the conditions have substantially improved in recent months. Just before the first revolution, in the early part of , queues of people clamouring for bread were the commonest features of street life in Moscow and Petrograd.
The people were tired of spending most of the day shivering in a bread-line. In the winter of , and for some time after, the ration was only one-eighth of a pound of bread per person per day. With the gradual restoration of order, the reconstruction of the railways in the civil war areas, the arrest of the transport decline, and the improvement of the system of distribution, the ration now ranges from half a pound to one and a half pounds per day, according to the nature of the work performed.
But for the Polish war the situation both as regards food and fuel would have been greatly improved before next winter. The dull sensation of constant hunger is endured with astonishing stoicism by the majority of people, and one is almost deceived by merely casual observation of the crowds in the streets, tramcars, trains and theatres.
As to the children, their physical condition and quiet gaiety is due to the special care their receive, and this brings me to the point that, with two broad exceptions, the town populations are on a common level of suffering and endurance — a circumstance which, so far as I can ascertain, differentiates Russia entirely, from the other famine-stricken countries of Central Europe. Many events connected with the revolution shock and distress English people who read certain episodes in Ireland and India very lightly, but you will at any rate search in vain in Russia for examples of flaunting extravagance and riotous living while the families of workers struggle to avoid actual starvation.
Village communal store. The exceptions I mentioned are the Red Army and the children. The Soviet Government freely avow their policy. We must give of our best to the children, because we are building for the future. Therefore we call upon the nation to bear its sufferings with courage and hope. Nearly everyone agrees that the worst privations are due to the compelling need to subordinate all civil interests, except those of the children and the sick, to the supreme task of ending the war successfully, and gaining by an overwhelming manifestation of strength the peace which diplomatic overtures, regarded by the Entente as a sign of weakness, have failed to bring.
This fact also explains the amazing organisation of voluntary effort to supplement the food which is available through the Government machinery and distribution. For reasons which I shall explain when dealing with the condition of the peasantry, the Government cannot under the present abnormal conditions secure the whole of the food supplies for official distribution. Therefore one sees crowds of townspeople on the country roads or crowding the local trains with food packs of every conceivable description.
Individuals visit friends or relatives in the country, trade unions send out foraging committees to buy in bulk, and all the produce is shared in that communal spirit so characteristic of the Russian people. Allotment associations have been formed, and this movement is on an impressively large scale in Petrograd, which is far removed from the main sources of supply.
One ardent girl I met in Petrograd worked hours last summer, and shared among her friends and relatives pounds of potatoes, cabbages, and other produce. In the winter she walked to a village 20 versts distant at the weekends, and carried home in a sack one pood, or about 35lb. One could multiply these instances by one thousand. It may be taken broadly that the government ration provides for the following average dietary:.
Afternoon: Thin soup with kasha millet seed meal, which is palatable and nourishing when properly cooked , and occasionally half a dried herring or small portion of meat. This is supplemented by the yield of the village collections and by purchases according to ability, in the open market or by card in Government stores. Measures to suppress speculative trade or control these open market prices have not succeeded, and I think the authorities realise that they cannot succeed until the Government ration is greatly increased and varied.
Offenders against the decrees are arrested and imprisoned from time to time, but while people are hungry and extra food is available, openly or secretly, they will scrape roubles together to make occasional purchases.
Prices on the open market in Moscow may be indicated by these examples: bread, roubles per lb. In the Volga villages and towns prices are only one-fourth these amounts, so that the effect of improved transport and the solution of the peasant problem would be immediately beneficial.
The authorities are confident that when it is possible to divert war transport to civil supplies, the situation will rapidly improve. Even if the war goes on I believe that great efforts will be made before and after to obtain some relief from the newly restored Volga traffic. The collection and distribution of the staple foods, by the combination of local Soviets, trade unions, the reconstituted cooperative movement, and departments of the Supreme Economic Council, works not without defects, but with remarkable success considering all the difficulties which have to be faced.
Where bread queues are at all seen they are attributed to the weakening of the administrative staffs by mobilising for the front, and collection from the various stores is fostered on a cooperative system among the residents of flats and tenements. I did not find any official who pretended that the existing conditions are not very distressing, or that equality exists, or that some people suffer greater hardships than others. But I found a greater desire to remedy grievances, even if only to lessen discontent as soon as the means to do it are available.
I cannot doubt the truth of the allegation that a certain amount of corruption exists in the public service though not comparable to the graft-ridden Tsarist administration , and that some of the officials take advantage of their position to enjoy better conditions better than the average. But it is well known that, when discovered, corruption has been ruthlessly punished an anti-Bolshevist official gave me instances from his personal knowledge , and it is also admitted even by their political foes that large numbers of heads of departments and Communist officials not only live in ascetic simplicity, but work hard and fervently in their efforts to establish firmly the new social order.
After the devastation of years of war, revolution and civil war, with the Russian economy lying in ruins, all hopes for the economic reconstruction revolved around the question of restoring the transport system: repairing locomotives, laying fresh tracks and re-raising collapsed bridges. Until such works were undertaken, industry would struggle to get the fuel it needed and the cities, which were forced to compete with the Red Army for grain on account of the civil war, would struggle to be fed.
In this article dated 14 July , Meakin gives a broad description of the daunting scale of the problem, the daily hardships that it entailed, and the heroic zeal with which the workers, their unions and the Bolshevik leadership were striving to complete this vital task. Whatever economic problems one seeks to investigate in Russia, the transport question swiftly appears in the foreground.
As I have pointed out, the causes of the industrial collapse are numerous and varied. Up to a point the gradual deterioration of the transport services, the decline of productivity in the factories, and the fall in agricultural output can be traced to precisely the same causes. Then came the turning point, with the restoration of some measure of discipline and the elaboration of schemes for industrial reconstruction.
These were upset by the development of the civil war. Coal and oil supplies were cut off, thousands of engines and waggons which were on the point of breakdown at the time of the first revolution now gave out, and with the remnant the needs of four fronts had to be met.
Thus was reached a stage at which the transport problem transcended all others. Without grain from the stores of the east and south, the towns must die of starvation. Without coal from the Don basin and oil from the Caucasus, neither transport itself nor general industry could be revived. Therefore, after the final collapse of the counter-revolution reconstructive efforts were chiefly concentrated in measures to arrest the transport decline and to augment the food supply to the cities.
In the few months between the end of the civil war and the opening of the Polish offensive progress quite remarkable in view of the difficulties had been achieved. A few minutes study of a map which shows the maze of railways in Russia, will help the reader to understand the situation.
Volunteer labourers at work fixing the railways - May Day efforts. The Czechs had occupied the middle reaches of the Volga, including the great grain producing districts of Samara and Saratoff. The damage to railways and rolling stock during all these operations was enormous, and the task which faced Krassin, Soerdloff, Lomonasoff and Povlovitch all technical experts with high qualification when they set about the work of reconstruction after the various forces had been driven back would have appalled most men.
Hundreds of miles of track needed to be rebuilt, and 3, bridges, large and small, were damaged or broken down. Krassin initiated the work with extraordinary courage and energy. When he was transferred to his present duties Trotsky was appointed Commissar of Ways and Communications because of the importance of transport to the Polish front, but the actual task of organising the reconstruction is placed upon Sverdloff, the Acting Commissar, one of the exiles who flocked back from America at the beginning of the revolution.
It is impossible to find a single trace of German influence in the efforts to revive industrial activity. Many of these men, who took with them to America bitter memories of imprisonment and exile, have returned with their minds full of grandiose schemes for the establishment of vast centralised mass production industries on a Socialistic basis. Because all work will be for the community, they say, the objections that premiums and scientific management merely serve the ends of exploiting capitalists do not exist here.
Therefore these and other expedients to increase output will be employed. The enthusiasm and personal activity of this group is unbounded. They are trying to modernise with tempestuous energy a vast inert Russia as Peter the Great did at the end of the 17th century. Whether they succeed or fail the experiment, if it is carried out with full freedom from outside interference, will be intensely interesting both from a social and industrial point of view. Sverdloff looks about thirty.
He is thin and pale, but he appears to be absolutely tireless, and he frequently works half through the night after a busy day of interviews and meetings. There is a curious mixture of kindliness and implacable determination reflected in his face, and this helps one to understand his relations with the railwaymen. Apart from these measures to increase the efficiency of the transport workers the Labour armies were utilised for railway reconstruction until the Polish offensive compelled a military remobilisation.
In three months virtually the whole of the permanent way was restored and the bridges were repaired or rebuilt. One of the most notable achievements was the construction in six weeks by a section of the Labour army of a steel girder and timber bridge over the torrential Luga at Yamberg, near the new Russian—Esthonian frontier. It is impossible for the traveller to avoid a mental contrast between this solid structure and the new timber bridge over which the train crawls at snail's pace at Narva, on the Esthonian side of the frontier.
The present rail transport position in Russia is roughly this. Traffic is possible on virtually all the main lines, from Archangel to the Polish and Wrangel fronts, and from Esthonia to the Urals, to Omsk in Siberia, and to the Caspian and the Caucasus.
Passenger traffic is rigidly limited by a permit system, but a surprisingly large number of people secure permits. There are now two long trains daily each way between Moscow and Petrograd, and into these, as indeed into all other passenger trains, amazing crowds of workers of all kinds, soldiers, and officials pack themselves.
Simultaneously with the effort to reconstruct the permanent way a great program of locomotive repairing was started in the workshops, and particularly in the Putilloff, Samova, and other works where engines were chiefly built before the war. In February about 6, engines, or 70 per cent. It was argued that pending the time when new locomotives purchased from abroad would be available it would be better to repair as many as possible superficially than to rebuild a few.
This work also was checked by the Polish war, and as I myself saw in several of the largest works the best operatives and equipment had to be turned over again to the manufacture of munitions and guns. But for the war rail transport would undoubtedly have been improved sufficiently this summer to carry to the towns large stocks of food and timber for the winter, and with the renewal of traffic on the Volga a beginning might even have been made in the collection of flax, timber, and other goods which are available for export.
Judging from the demeanour of the Russian railway workers, and the keenness of their leaders to co-operate with Sverdloff and his assistants, I have no doubt that with the provision of several hundred new engines and the release of all the war transport the movement towards a restored industrial and economic life will be quickly accelerated.
In a country where the town population is only about 15 per cent. When that is accomplished there will come the real test of the ability of a Socialist Government to carry on large scale industry, and to organise a great international trade. I shall deal with the present prospects and future possibilities of export trade in my next article. Following the October Revolution in , the army of the former Tsarist Empire was in a process of dissolution and the new Soviet Republic was effectively without an army.
However, in the first months of the Civil War and the imperialist intervention, a new Red Army was constructed under the leadership of Leon Trotsky. This was a monumental undertaking, the success of which had not yet been fully grasped by the imperialists as late as Below are two articles on the state of the Red Army in Both authors express particular admiration for the brilliant general, Mikhail Tukachevsky, who played a key role in the Polish War.
In , Tukhachevsky would fall victim to the Stalinist purge trials, in which the most brilliant Red Army officers were purged by Stalin, depriving the Soviet Union of its most capable military leaders on the eve of the outbreak of World War Two. The Russian victories on the Polish front will finally dissipate many legends about the Red Army which have survived even the successive crushing defeats of Koltchak, Denikin, and Yudenitch.
For a long time the world believed that it was an army of bloodthirsty brigands, and only the other day a young British officer asked me if it was really a fact that one could walk about Moscow or Petrograd without fear of ruffians who brandished revolvers and shot people at sight. I do not doubt the claim that the army now numbers three million men.
It is in the main a young army, drawn from both the industrial and peasant classes. It is led by workmen officers and Tsarist army officers in roughly equal numbers. The Commander-in-Chief is General Kameneff, who was on the Tsar's general staff, and who greatly resembles Kitchener not only in appearance but in his reserved bearing.
His simple, close-fitting blue uniform is in keeping with the informality and absence of military trappings at the War Office. He works in co-operation with workmen staff officers and with a small military and political council, on which two non-military Communists must sit.
At the beginning of the civil war, the Soviet Union had no army. The Red Army was instituted as a popular institution formed from the best and most class-conscious elements of the working classes, who bravely fought against imperialist invasions during the civil war.
He comes of noble family, and was a sub-lieutenant in the Tsar's army. He is a Communist and a born leader. He combines exceptional organising ability with military skill, great personal courage, and the gift of inspiring the rank and file with his own ardour. Older men speak of his gifts as Napoleonic. Considering all the circumstances, the Red Army is well clothed and shod; although the variety of its uniforms testifies to strenuous improvisation.
At one parade I noted linen blouses in several colours and trousers or riding breeches in blue, brown, and green, with a few red remnants of a former day. Speaking broadly, the spirit and bearing of the rank and file do not differentiate the Red Army from any other well-trained European force. It has a preponderating element, which resembles all conscript troops, but, latterly the effect of a hurricane political and educational propaganda has become increasingly perceptible, and it is this propaganda, combined with the enthusiasm, courage and sacrifice of specially organised communist units, which gives to the Red Army its unique character and significance.
The army propaganda is a special and fruitful department of the vast organisation by which the Bolshevist leaders are seeking to consolidate the support of the people and to instil communist ideas and aspirations. Teachers, artists, singers, actors, and professors are drawn into the organisation. Sermus, the violinist who was deported from England, has become a famous propagandist at the front. The communist battalions submit themselves to the most drastic discipline.
They constitute the shock troops, and by their valour and readiness to face any danger they are expected to inspire and raise the morale of the rest of the camp. At Borisoff in June a communist battalion restored a breaking line and left four hundred dead.
Of these, 25 per cent. As recently as May many European writers on Russia still entertained the belief that the Red Army was a very slender reed on which the Soviet Government relied for support. No accurate information regarding its numbers, equipment, composition, or discipline had filtered through.
Even the name of the commander on the Polish front was unknown, and the belief was general that General Brusiloff, the old Tzarist commander, was directing the operations. Consequently, the recent victories over the Poles caused much mystification. The writer had many opportunities of discovering the salient facts about the Red Army.
The subject has not only a topical interest in so far as it concerns Poland and the rest of Europe, but it is bound up with the main problems which face Soviet Russia—transport, food, industrial reorganization, and so on. These questions can therefore be better understood in the light of the facts about the army, and the general military situation, because since the beginning of the Civil war and the intervention of the Entente Powers all other interests in Russia have been subordinated to military needs.
The Red Army had its beginning in the comparatively few units which rallied to the Bolsheviki in October , and which maintained some semblance of organization. The first task was to suppress the marauding bands into which many other units of the old army had degenerated. It may be true as has been alleged that at first old regime officers were compelled to join because their families were held as hostages, but the writer could find no evidence of this.
It is certainly not true now, and it is a fact that a very large proportion of the Tzarist officers who are now in the Red Army did not join it until comparatively recently. The strength of the army grew as the menace of the Koltchak and Denikin advance increased, and a typical example is to be found in the instance of the famous Budenny cavalry.
More and more of the peasants rallied to Budenny as his successes became known, and during the past six months he recruited immense numbers in the Caucasus, whence he reached the southern Polish front after a march of six weeks. The army is organized on a conscription basis, and after the Polish offensive started an immense remobilization was immediately ordered. Some of the corps had been disbanded and the young peasant soldiers were back in the villages.
Other corps had been transformed into labor armies, and were engaged in rebuilding the railways, in cleaning up the cities, and in other tasks where they could be employed in mass. These were at once ordered to resume military duties, and many other young men, from town and country alike, were called upon to join up. In May and the early part of June all the Russian towns presented the same scenes of marching soldiers and farewells at stations as one witnessed in Great Britain at the height of the Kitchener preparations.
In several recent speeches Nicholas Lenine, has referred to the army as a powerful organization of 3,, men. At the present time this is probably an under-statement. Notwithstanding all the difficulties of manufacture the men are fairly well equipped, clothed, and shod. Their uniforms present an interesting variety, and many wear British garments captured at Archangel and in Siberia. The guns, munitions, and general equipment from Admiral Koltchak and Generals Denikin and Judenitch have also strengthened the Red Army considerably.
The discipline is as strict as in any other army, and the communist battalions, which are specially organized for the most dangerous and difficult duties, submit themselves to the most rigid discipline imaginable. The Soviet Government relies on these battalions, in fact, to set the pace for the rest of the army, to inspire the peasant soldiers with an example of courage and a sense of duty, and to act as shock units at any critical stage of the fighting.
In this respect they undoubtedly have a remarkable record, and in one action in June, when the line before Borisoff was in great danger, it was saved by a Communist battalion which lost heavily. Apart from these special units, the rank and file of the army presents the usual characteristics of a conscript force. The control of the Red Army is exercised jointly by representatives of the political and military organizations.
Skliansky, his deputy, and Mr. Smilga, the president of the Military Revolutionary Tribunal, are the outstanding men on the political side. Smilga was formerly a journalist in the Caucasus. On the military side are General Kameneff, the commander-in-chief of the whole army, General Lebidiev, his chief of staff, and General Touchachevsky, the commander-in-chief at the Polish front.
Kameneff, who is a tall, sallow-complexioned, middle-aged man, pleasant in manner but quiet and reserved, was on the general staff of the Tzarist army. He works on apparently the best of terms with his fellow officers, and he claims that the army is now so completely amenable to discipline that it is under absolute control in occupied territory. General Touchachevsky is described by some of the older officers as a new Napoleon without the imperialist ambitions of the French Conqueror.
He is only 27 years of age. He was a sub-lieutenant in the Tzarist Army, and avows himself a convinced communist, although he comes of noble family. He is credited with remarkable powers of arousing the enthusiasm and devotion of the soldiers, and older officers give unqualified praise to his strategy and organizing ability. This pledge is in keeping with the remarkable propaganda which is carried on unceasingly in the Red Army.
The most able men and women of the Communist Party, schoolmasters, administrators, lecturers, actors, singers, writers, are called upon to take their part in this organization. A session of propaganda literature reading during a break in the army supply caravans. Over schools, libraries, theaters, and cinemas have been established in the camps and depots. Half a million leaflets and pamphlets a day are circulated, and political propaganda designed to influence the young, peasant soldiers and through them the life of the villages after the war is combined with educational work with the object of eliminating illiteracy.
Lectures in local administration are also given, in the belief that by this means interest in the local Soviet institutions will be quickened when the army is disbanded. In fact, except for the encouragement given to dramatic art the discipline of the army is remarkably Puritan. The Little Palace in the Moscow Kremlin is now an officers' club, and when the writer paid it an unexpected visit he found the young officers quietly reading, or playing draughts and chess.
The destruction and disruption of the civil war, on top of the destruction of the First World War, had devastated Russian industry. As part of the Labour delegation, Meakin was able to see this for himself when visiting various works in Moscow, Petrograd and elsewhere. As the Whites cut off raw material producing regions; the blockade strangled the economy; foreign experts were withdrawn from the country; and workers returned to the countryside to escape the hunger stalking the cities, the government was forced to take strict measures to reverse the decline of industry in the besieged Soviet republic.
Although, broadly speaking, it may be said that industry throughout Russia is in a very sick condition, this generalisation does not cover all the facts. In many of the works a slow but real recovery from the worst conditions is being made and in a few a much higher standard of efficiency and output has been reached than I expected to find. Nevertheless, enormous leeway has to be made up before full productivity can be restored, and it remains to be proved whether large-scale manufacture can be organised successfully on a nationalised basis.
Ambitious and far-reaching schemes have been promulgated, and it is impossible to say that the creators of the schemes have failed to put them into practice, because they have never had a chance. With the Don basin mines partially wrecked and the coal supply from that region absolutely cut off, with the oilfields of the Caucasus likewise isolated, with the whole of the workers underfed, and with the withdrawal of all the foreign technical experts who were mainly responsible for the direction of the Russian factories, it is not surprising that every effort to restore production for civil needs has been heavily handicapped.
I thought it significant that the most efficient workshops, apart from a large flour mill at Samara, were those devoted to the manufacture of munitions, and quite the busiest and most cheerful was a large aeroplane factory in Moscow. The fact is that for over two year, the energies of the native experts and of the best craftsmen have been turned almost entirely to production for war. Adaptations of plant have had to be made everywhere, so that wood fuel could be substituted for coal and oil, and any engineer will appreciate what this means in huge establishments like the Putiloff works at Petrograd, or the Samova works at Nijni-Novgorod.
The outstanding needs are transport, fuel, food for the workers, and raw materials in the industries which depend upon imports. I went over the greater part of the immense Putiloff works. No attempt was made to hide the fact that important departments, such as the magnificent equipment for the manufacture of marine machinery, are standing idle.
Instead of the 40, persons who laboured here at one time, there are now only 7,, many thousands having gone to the country when Petrograd was partially evacuated. In the locomotive-building department only repair work is now done, and I watched the activities of men on about 30 engines.
The pick of the workers were in the gun and munitions sections. At the Samova works about 5, men are retained, and here also locomotive building has given place to repairing. The steel plant for which Samova was famous, is partially paralysed for lack of fuel, and in the foundry pathetic efforts were made to keep running on wood.
At the time of my visit the first supply of oil from Baku was approaching, and it was hoped therefore that a threatened suspension of work in all except the munitions department would be averted. Woollen mills in Petrograd were running at about one-third their capacity, but the standing machinery was kept in good condition. The great cotton mills at Moscow are virtually idle, because of lack of raw material, but some of the smaller mills are running well, and many machines have been adapted for the use of flax.
These factories and mills are fairly typical of the general industries, but there is a brighter side to the picture. Great efforts have recently been made to restore the activity of the metal works of the Urals. Clothing factories at Petrograd, where several thousand girls and women are employed, are working at high pressure, and it is worthy of note that when Judenitch was just outside the city these women increased their output by one-third to clothe the volunteers who rallied to the support of the Red Army.
Work in the various communal bakeries has steadily improved and in the Samara and Saratoff districts the production of flour has been concentrated in half the mills, to facilitate the transfer to wood fuel. I visited first a large mill, equipped with the most modern machinery. It was entirely idle, waiting for a supply of oil fuel, but a small staff was keeping the machinery in running order. At the Moscow aeroplane works, on the other hand, direction is still retained by a committee of three—two workmen and one technical expert.
Here men and women were working hard on the premium system at all the processes of woodcraft, accessory industries, and assembling. At Shatura, some miles from Moscow: a successful experiment on a small scale has been made in generating electricity by burning peat in adapted marine engines and boilers, and a scheme for building large generating stations in the peat districts has now been prepared.
Its workshops, housing scheme, school creches, and subsidiary industries have aroused great interest and strong desire to copy the enterprise. These are examples of spirited endeavour which stand out against the general industrial depression. It would be absurd to suggest that these workers are happy under existing conditions. How long will it be before the British workers stop the war and compel their Government to lift the blockade? At the same time I found some of the non-Bolshevik workers very sore on account of political grievances, and charges of petty tyranny, favouritism towards Communists, and so on, were not infrequently made.
Under any industrial system aggrieved workers will be found, but obviously if Bolshevik control under more normal and peaceful conditions were of such a character that it created centres of unrest and disaffection in the workshops the stability of the Government would sooner or later be undermined. Present conditions enable it to justify rigid and even harsh measures, which are accepted without resistance by the majority of the workers because they believe that the safety of the country and the revolution is endangered.
The October Revolution in was only possible because of an alliance between the proletariat and the peasantry. The peasants supported the seizure of power principally because soviet power alone would give them possession of the land. With the revolution isolated, and industry in a state of dilapidation, the Soviets could offer the peasants little in exchange for grain to feed the towns and the Red Army.
As such, it was necessary to introduce grain requisitioning. This increased tension with the peasantry, which Meakin describes in this article dated 23 July This tension became increasingly threatening to the Soviets. Peasant uprisings in late culminated in a rebellion at Kronstadt in Spring On the back of these events, the Soviet regime was compelled to conduct a retreat, reintroducing a free market in grain with the New Economic Policy NEP in There were wild scenes in many Russian villages after the first revolution.
Disappointment because the big private states were not expropriated and divided among the peasants welled up into explosive discontent, which was fostered by the start of lawless bands from the dissolving army. Landowners were killed, and some of their houses were burned. Scenes of violence were renewed after the Bolshevik upheaval, and the terror spread far and wide in the country, as well as in the cities.
Since then, wherever they have been freed from the troubles of the civil war the peasants have settled down to something more nearly approaching their normal life than has been possible for any townsmen. Except in the districts where the grain produced is insufficient for the rural population, the peasants and their families have, on the average, enjoyed more food than ever before.
I found them always ready to pour out a torrent of grievances, but these usually boiled down to the simple fact that, in place of the old Tsarist taxmasters they had a Government which deprived, or attempted to deprive, them of their surplus produce without offering them other commodities in return.
The average Russian peasant is far from being a Communist in the Bolshevik sense of the word. The old so-called Communal land system which has been abolished was simply an allocation of strips agreed upon by all the members of the commune, and when that process was accomplished each peasant worked his own fields. He was, and still is, strongly individualistic, with pacifist-anarchist tendencies. Hence the older peasant makes little attempt to understand the position of the townsman in the difficult circumstances of the present.
He needs clothes, boots, implements, tools, nails, and so on, and he is very ready to assume that the Government which cannot supply him with these things is not a good one. Consequently he tries to hoard his corn, and he expresses deep resentment when troops are used as they frequently are to dispossess him. The attitude of the Government is, of course, that the peasant owes his new freedom and his land to the Bolsheviks, that until industrial production and the import trade are restored be must share the misfortunes of his country, and that he ought to be thankful that at least he has enough to eat.
The severance of ordinary exchange relations between town and country dates back to the Kerensky period, and Government officials express the firm conviction that when they can supply the peasant with the goods he needs his chief grievances will disappear. I was frequently told in the villages that if an adequate exchange was possible there would be no difficulty whatever in obtaining produce from the peasants.
The young men from the villages who mainly constitute the new Red Army have naturally been influenced by the intensive propaganda of the Government, and I think it probable that when they return to rural work their new thought and outlook and the elementary education they have acquired will greatly influence village life.
The agit-trains or propaganda trains traveled around Russia, Siberia, and Ukraine spreading propaganda material to the peasantry. The country population, roughly 85 per cent of millions, has in fact been transformed into a nation of peasant proprietors. When the large estates were expropriated some hundreds were retained by the Government to serve as demonstration farms, to show the peasants the advantages to be derived from real communal cultivation, with the use of up-to-date machinery.
The rest were divided, as part of a process of general redistribution. The landless peasants shared in this, and the old commune system was abolished. Early attempts to induce the peasants to cultivate on communal lines failed entirely, but many groups of Communists from the towns are working together with fair success.
I visited one of these large communal farms about 15 miles from Saratoff. It is directed by a former chief steward of a neighbouring estate. The land was well cultivated, and the crops—chiefly wheat, rye, potatoes, and orchard fruit—were in excellent condition. Lenin fully realises the difficulties created by this new land system.
Every instance of the sale of bread in the open market, every sack of flour or other food carried from place to place by private traders Means the restitution of commodity production, and therefore the restitution of capitalism. Part of the plan is to offer, as soon as general commodities are available, more attractive conditions and advantages to groups of peasants who will agree to work their land in common, on a large scale farming system, and to exchange their products with the industrial workers on a basis of barter.
Meanwhile, many of the peasants who live near the cities have grown comparatively wealthy by speculative trade, not withstanding the embargo and penalties. They hoard up immense quantities of paper roubles, or develop new tastes and desires by buying the fine furniture, pianos, clothes, and jewellery of the former well-to-do townspeople. Some of the Communists consider that this will operate in their favour when they are able to satisfy the newly-acquired tastes, providing the peasant is willing to produce the corn and other food which will enable him to barter.
In some villages the peasants have grown dubious about the value of paper money. In one village we visited we tried in vain to buy eggs. The village educational work of the soviet Government has not made much progress because of the lack of school materials, but I visited several newly established schools, and talked with the teachers, who are keen and enthusiastic, especially the young women.
In some villages many of the elder peasants attend the adult classes started in the fight against illiteracy. In others these classes are neglected. Village industries suffer from shortages of material and the general stoppage of trade, but weaving, lace-making, and woodwork are still carried on, and I saw several ancient dames spinning wool with the distaff.
The traditional hospitality of the peasant has not abated, and on Whit Sunday, when all the cottages were decorated with birch branches, and the churches were filled with brightly dressed women and girls, I shared with other visitors what seemed a rich feast of wheaten bread and butter, eggs, cold bacon, and real tea.
Some reference was made to custom. The following article, dated 26 July , gives a brief snapshot of the conditions children in education face. What is immediately clear is the contrast between the aspirations of the new Soviet government to introduce quality education for all children, and the material limits that the civil war, embargo and famine placed on realising those aspirations. The ambitious educational schemes of the Soviet Government, as elaborated by Lunacharsky, and also the conditions in the Moscow schools, have been described by several visitors to Russia in recent months.
I was, therefore, glad of the opportunity afforded by my longer sojourn in Petrograd to see what is being done in the city under exceptionally difficult circumstances. Roughly, it has been possible so far to organise schools for only half the children in the city.
About 20, are in residential colonies, and I visited several of these. It was obvious that the children were not fully nourished, but they showed plenty of vigour, and with few exceptions they were bright and happy. In the gardens after class-work they cultivated vegetable plots or played games with the teachers. It was a pleasant and cheerful scene in the early summer sunshine, but the teachers told me a pathetic story of the hardships of the winter, when the rooms were icy cold and the children were half frozen because the Judenitch attack made impossible the usual woodcutting for winter fuel.
The curriculum both in the colonies and the city schools includes domestic subjects, the study of simple science, and woodwork and other crafts. Over two-thirds of the teachers are women. Some are ardent Communists, but the majority are drawn from the dispossessed classes. All appeared to be anxious to save the children from the worst hardships. I talked with some who found their new conditions terribly hard to bear, but they tried to forget their troubles in truly heroic devotion to their work.
The children, they said, were happy and responsive to all the care given to them. I found in one of the city schools a group of enthusiastic young women teachers, who seemed to have a pretty free hand in arranging their work. Much time was given to decorative needlework, modelling, various crafts, dramatic training, and music, in addition to the ordinary classwork of the school. They were certainly among the merriest children I saw in Russia. These schools were admittedly the best. In others, the rooms are small and not very attractive, and the shortage of equipment and materials necessarily makes the whole work difficult.
Nevertheless the feeding of the children is fairly uniform. Children drawing in a Moscow school.
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