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I probably do have a similar story (or stories) to tell, but regrettably very few of them end with, And . . . everyone lived happily ever after.

This was a great topic on the occasional (perhaps better characterized as 'frequent') instances when management is convinced they know what are the "interests" and therefore the motivation of their employees - when they may not really understand them very well (or at all). Good one Jacque.

Thanks Chris. BTW he was an American expat ---- what can I say!!!

I should qualify my comment. Some expats integrate themselves very well in their local operation ---- they listen, learn and adapt. Many, however, in my experience (and I have been one) do not take the time to know the operation much less the employees. Of course, that being said, they are the ones that likely do the same when in the U.S. So . . .

Most of us probably have many similar stories. Some cases are unavoidable conflicts, however. Maybe I'll share an interesting one where the US domestic workforce was split between those who were admittedly money-motivated and those preferring social rewards.

Pat Zingheim and I were working to develop a 'gainsharing' plan for a 'safety razor company' in a very small town in China. The company had been purchased by the China 'arm' of a large US company. The Plant Manager had a problem he wanted fixed before we implemented the new compensation plan. He had a serious problem . . . male workers were absent on odd number days and females were gone on even number days. He did not know how to "fix' the problem.

One of the benefits of the plant was a shower every second day. We noticed that females took showers on odd number days and males on even number days. We suggested splitting the showers so both males and females could shower every day. That fixed the problem and all were happy.

Perhaps that is the source of 'work-life' benefits???

That just proves that workers everywhere are ingenious. There's more than one way to skin a "rat"! (I can't bring myself to say "cat)

Great story, Jacque, and a great point made that I hope more managers take to heart. Too many managers think of employees as either impersonal cells in a spreadsheet, or as automotons having the same opinions as the manager. If you don't know your employees, and don't watch and listen to them, then you're going to step in cow dung (so to speak) over and over again.

Thanks Chuck.

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