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People as the bridge to competitiveness: Benchmarking the “ABCs” of an empowered workforce

Stanley E. Fawcett (Marriott school of business, Brigham Young University, Utah, USA)
Gary K. Rhoads (Marriott school of business, Brigham Young University, Utah, USA)
Phillip Burnah (Marriott school of business, Brigham Young University, Utah, USA)

Benchmarking: An International Journal

ISSN: 1463-5771

Article publication date: 1 August 2004

Abstract

For people to be the bridge to competitiveness, they must be hired and trained not simply for the work their hands can do, but also for their ability to think and learn and make a difference. Building a learning workforce requires that managers cultivate a great working environment and a culture of empowerment. To understand how to manage people so that they become the catalyst to competitive success, a multi‐method research study was undertaken that combined both secondary and primary research techniques. The findings revealed that the characteristics of a great working environment include the following: compensation that communicates that people truly are valued, exceptional facilities, a facilitative company culture, good relations between management and employees, a flexible work place, a family‐friendly culture, and investments in employee competencies. Similarly, a culture of empowerment is built on a foundation of affirmation, belonging, and competence. Unfortunately, few companies understand that antecedents of effective people management and even fewer are willing to make the sustained investments required to harness the learning and passion of the workforce. Tremendous opportunities exist to leverage the human resource for competitive advantage.

Keywords

Citation

Fawcett, S.E., Rhoads, G.K. and Burnah, P. (2004), "People as the bridge to competitiveness: Benchmarking the “ABCs” of an empowered workforce", Benchmarking: An International Journal, Vol. 11 No. 4, pp. 346-360. https://doi.org/10.1108/14635770410546755

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited