These historical moments must be mentioned because they show us how the status of employees developed throughout history and helped us compare the past to present. It should also provide guidelines for the future of employment.
Around the same time, Elton Mayo, a Harvard professor, invited business owners and managers to act more in the interest of their employees. After running experiments on working conditions and their impact on employees, Mayo concluded that “logical factors were far less important than emotional factors in determining productive efficiency”; therefore, the 20th century also signaled a new change in management – a human relations movement, whereby employees had to be taken care of to improve production.
Mayo’s studies, along with those of other scholars, defined a new understanding of employment. Managers had to take a new role and define the tasks of employees to satisfy their emotional and social needs. This also changed the attributes of the managers and business owners from authority figures to a more involved role. The establishment of knowledge management restructured the relationship between management and employees by focusing on motivation, training and building emotional intelligence, as developed by Daniel Goleman. Business owners and managers took a coaching role, and employees began to be much more than just executants of solid orders.
After the World Wars, around the 1960s, due to the shifts in business dynamics and mentalities, several countries started to modify and improve the legislation for employment rights, such as the employment protection legislation” issued in Northern Ireland. It is crucial to pinpoint the moment at which employees received legal and protected status. Important modifications to employment laws all over the world encouraged companies to contract employees by a written document which would set out the working conditions, time schedule and payment.
Further on, legislations developed the role of managers in building relationships across all levels of employment and seeking the well-being of the members of their organizations. The employment ideology shifted to a whole new understanding. Employees were not only workers or executants of orders but were members of unions and organizations. Employees started to have rights, regular payment, mandatory holidays and a schedule set by law.
As seen throughout history, global events entertain the dynamics of the cycle discussed in this book: management influences employment status and employees influence customer services. The three pillars of the cycle are interdependent and correlate with each other. Shifts in the production trend encourage shifts in client demands, which lead to drastic changes in management restructuring; management restructuring leads to improvement of employment status. Scholars of economics have mixed psychological ideas and social practices to improve the dynamics of financial processes. Along with these financial changes, new theories emerged and declared that the well-being of employees results in improved productivity and better working performance. As a result, nowadays organizations often hear the phrase: “Happy employees, happy customers.”