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Contented Cows Still Give Better Milk, Revised and Expanded: The Plain Truth about Employee Engagement and Your Bottom Line, 2nd Edition by Richard Hadden, Bill Catlette

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CHAPTER 11

Enabled Employees Are Incredibly Well Trained

To try to build an organization against weakness frustrates the purpose of organization.

—Peter Drucker

Take a look inside the cockpit, er, flight deck, of a modern jetliner and marvel for a moment at what you see—the gauges, computers, screens, levers, dials, and everything that makes up the mind-boggling array of gizmos, every one of which serves an importance purpose. But then notice what you don’t see: namely, a supervisor or manager. Instead, there are two people who, due to the vagaries of crew scheduling, probably don’t know each other very well. But they do know exactly what their job is and how to do it.

For those who need a numbers fix about now, consider this. In terms of the ratio of worker bees per manager, commercial airline pilots are among the most productive employees you’ll find anywhere. For the major commercial carriers, the number of crew members per manager is greater than 100:1. Compare that with the span of control ratio in your (or most any other) business!

So how did they reach such high efficiency? Besides having a well-defined mission and crystal clear goals, they do what they do because they have a commitment to training that is unmatched by just about any other profession.

Mind you, it’s not that the airlines necessarily want to spend exorbitant amounts of time and money to train their aircrews to this degree of proficiency. They know they have to, because nobody in their right mind would get ...

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