HR Strange But True!
November 18, 2009

Workers at Worthington Industries in Columbus, Ohio aren't reprimanded for watching the clock--in fact they're encouraged to do it. They only need to look at the new NBA-type “shot clocks” installed in their work stations to see if their productivity rate is a slam dunk.

According to the Columbus Dispatch, under the steel-processing company's new “transformation plan” to become more efficient, huge digital clock displays give workers goal times to complete a task--and let's them know how long they have been working on the task. The goal is to make each worker accountable for reaching departmental goals, which is crucial since the workforce is down 20 percent.

While the timing of employees is not new, “what is relatively new is the prominent display of the clocks, for all workers and managers to see,” explains Peter T. Ward, chairman of the Department of Management Sciences at Ohio State University, in the article. Managers now sit at long desks right in the work area, rather than in an office, and are directly linked to a central manufacturing “nerve center” so productivity and volume are monitored from all facilities.

The clocks had a successful test run at Worthington's plant in Baltimore, so the idea is being implemented companywide. No word on if workers are “benched” if they underproduce.

Source: Columbus Dispatch

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