The New Look in Business
We were pleasantly surprised by the interest shown in the series of articles on profit sharing which appeared in our recent issues. They resulted in more than the usual amount of comment from business executives. These articles were especially written for SURPLUS RECORD by Robert S. Hartman, Executive Secretary, Council of Profit Sharing Industries, and a recognized authority in economics and political science.
Our recent travels have given us an opportunity to discuss the subject of profit sharing with a number of business men from different parts of the country. We found only one who was not open-minded on the subject. His experience with labor has been discouraging and he was adamant on the point of giving anything he was not forced to concede. The majority were of the opinion that the executive who made employee-employer relations one of the dominant factors of his business program reaped the benefit of creating better working conditions which invariably resulted in a more stable financial position for the firm.
During these years of labor unrest, management recognizes the importance of devoting more time to the study of employee-employer relations. Incentive plans and profit-sharing programs are being analyzed to find a satisfactory solution. It appears that each type of business requires a tailormade plan, although there are some parallel cases. The records show the greatest bugaboo is lack of confidence: labor thinks management is too greedy and management is sore about the shakedown tactics used by some labor groups. Business also blames the longhaired planners who gravitated to Washington under the New Deal. Labor is gunning for the Congressmen who voted for the Taft-Hartley Act and so it goes. . . .
We are not reactionary or New Dealish. We believe that the Constitution of the United States is the best document for freedom ever written. We believe in the law of supply and demand and free enterprise. We believe it is good business to be honest. An honest employer is bound to gain the confidence of his employees. Increased recognition must be given to this fact . . . that the average worker of today has had the advantage of a better education and higher living standards than his predecessors. He has the same hopes and ideals as his employer . . . security, a well-paying job, a comfortable home and better educational advantages for his children.
Management and labor will never come to a mutual understanding as long as the rabble-rousing type of labor leader and the communist keep the play away from management, and management remains aloof and inarticulate. In the latter respect the Taft-Hartley Act has removed the gag from the mouth of the employer.
We feel that stuffed shirt management is a thing of the past. The guy who- always slays us is the tycoon who thinks it is his capital and his ability that puts the bread and butter in the mouths of his employees—if this kind of egotist would quit inflating himself and do a bit of cramming on the merits of cooperation, he would discover a more pleasant world about him. Fortunately, tremendous strides have been made in the past twenty years with incentive plans—they appear to be the solution to all of this unrest.
It’s the New Look in business.