Best Buy Rethinks the Time Clock

Best Buy Rethinks the Time Clock [the broken link was removed]:

With a classic flextime structure, workers arrange their schedules with their boss in advance. But under a program called Rowe, for “results-only work environment,” the boss has no say in scheduling and can judge employees only on tasks successfully completed – even if none were done in the office. The five-year-old plan now covers 60 percent of the employees at Best Buy’s corporate headquarters near Minneapolis.

And by all accounts, it’s working. Employee productivity has increased an average of 35 percent in departments covered by the program. Rowe “has forced managers and employees to be really clear about what needs to be accomplished,” says spokes-woman Dawn Bryant.

In defense of bosses from hell

Flush with the success of Rowe in its white-collar world, Best Buy is about to start testing the program in select retail stores. The company won’t release any details on this pilot project, and skeptics abound. “It’s pretty tough to ‘phone it in’ or work on your own independent schedule in retail,” says Susan Seitel, president of Minnesota-based Work Life & Human Capital Solutions.

Quite a contrast to: Wal-Mart Scheduling and Respect for People – One More Reason Not to Shop at Wal-Mart [the broken link was removed]. I can see some challenges trying to make this work, in fact it seems like the wrong way to do it to me but I support trying creative ideas even when I am skeptical (just pilot it on a small scale and assess the results). Why can’t you trust your managers to be sensible when they approve a schedule?

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