May 10, 2004
News & Opinion: Book Review - The Seven-Day Weekend
The entire company is set-up around an few simple ideas - "...let workers follow their interests and their instincts when choosing jobs or projects" and "...[insist] that workers seek personal challenges and satisfaction before trying to meet company goals." Semler says this solves everything. Employee are happy. Employees are doing things they like to do. If they are unhappy, let them try something else. For Auro Alves, this has meant a rise through the ranks from truck driver to sales manager. For Roberval Couto, it meant that he turning down numerous opportunities and remaining a messenger for 35 years, something he loves.
Semler says "employees that put themselves first will be motivated to peform". He says that eliminates the need to worry about when and where someone is working. It also eliminates the need to motivate (i.e. pressure) employees to do their jobs.
The book is written in a stream of consciousness fashion which leaves you wondering where Semler is going to go next. For me, it worked OK. I originally was just going to post the Table of Contents, but got sucked in after reading the first ten pages. I think it is worth the read to see all of the implications for an organization when truly "Put Employees First".
About Dylan Schleicher
Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.