Term Paper: Aristotle and a Great Workplace

Pages: 7 (2386 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 7  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Careers  ·  Buy This Paper

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] In a recent European study on the subject, it was found that a trend in many businesses is the building of personal relationships with the employees. While this may be the right thing to do in terms of friendliness, "many businesses also realize such interaction is key to their success." (Levering and Erb, 2011, p.30)

One specific business that has employed the concepts to create a great workplace is the California-based Scripps Health. This community healthcare system operated four acute care hospitals, and twenty three clinics in the San Diego area. Unfortunately, Scripps was not operating in a manner that was economically feasible and incurred losses equaling almost $20 million a year, did not have sufficient cash-on-hand reserves, and did not encouraged employee trust by creating an adversarial relationship with its employees. There was a high rate of employee turnover which created a constant shortage of labor and put the company at risk of not complying with California's nursing-patient mandated ratio. This not only put patient safety at risk, but is also risked the closing several of its clinics. Scripps had a problem, it needed to attract and retain the staff necessary to operate the business.

In order to do this the company performed a system wide survey to gather the views of employees, analyze the results, and make the necessary changes in order to create a more personable environment in the workplace. In effect, they changed the employee-management relationship to a more personable one and had a number of successes as a result. Firstly the yearly employee turnover rate decreased from 30% to just 11.8%, meaning that more employees were staying with the company. (Buzachero, 2013, p.4) As more employees stayed, their performance increase accordingly and with better employee performance, the company drastically improved its financial state, as well as its bond ratings and tripled their cash-on-hand reserves. By creating better relationships with its employees, the Scripps company was able, in just over ten years, to realize "over $70 million in cost savings and increased its annual profits by over 1200%." (Lewis-Kulin)

The success of the Scripps company is an example of how a more amicable employee-employer relationship can benefit everyone involved. The secret of their success was their concentration on the improvement of relationships involved in the workplace. In a way, a civic friendship was formed between the employees and their managers that increased the company's economic performance. This economic performance became the shared conception of "good" for those working for Scripps, and a shared conception of good, and the recognition of this by all involved, is the basis of a civic friendship. And since the company took the time to really treat its employees with respect and had a genuine interesting what they had to say, the company acted in a virtuous manner. They did not simply impose their views on their employees but instead created a real partnership between the two sides based on mutual respect and the desire to improve the business' performance. Input form the employees was taken seriously and implemented into the company's business plan. In the end the Scripps company acted in accordance with what Aristotle described as necessary for the creation of civic relationships, and as a result profited greatly from it.

But Scripps also brought benefits to the community at large and numerous individuals that they had no prior connection to whatsoever: their patients. Although the company's intent was to create an advantage friendship in order that both employer and employee could benefit, by using Aristotle's plan for building civic relationships the company also performed a virtuous deed by providing health care to the many people who need it. If not for their changes, many of their clinics would have been closed, shutting off access to the only local health care provider for many individuals. But by creating better relationships in the workplace, Scripps was able to give to the community something that it desperately needed, health care for its citizens. Aristotle's views may be seen as outdated or simply an intellectual exercise, but for real companies like Scripps, who hire real employees, and provide health care to real people, Aristotle can be a means to creating a great workplace and the success that can come from it.

References

Aristotle. (n.d.) The Nichomachean Ethics. Retrieved from http://www.constitution.org/ari/ethic_00.htm

Buzachero, Vic. (2013). "Transforming into a Great Workplace." Great Place to Work

Institute. Retrieved from http://www.greatplacetowork.com/storage/documents/Publications_Documents/

Scripps_Business_Case.pdf

Cooper, J. (1991), "Friendship." Encyclopedia Of Ethics Vol. 1. Pp. 388-391. New

York and London: Garland Publishing Company. Print.

Healy, Mary. (2005). "Civic Friendship." Institute of Education, University of London.

Retrieved from http://www.philosophy-of-education.org/pdfs/Saturday/Healy.pdf

Honohan, Iseult. (2002). Civic Republicanism. USA: Routledge. Print.

Lewis-Kulin, Sarah. (n.d.). "Transforming into a Great Workplace: Scripps Health

Case Study." Great Place to Work Institute. Retrieved from http://www.greatplacetowork.com/publications-and-events/publications/223-case-study-scripps-health

Levering, Robert, and Marcus Erb. (2011). "Emerging Trends in People Management."

Swiss Business. Retrieved from http://www.greatplacetowork.com/storage/documents/Publications_Documents/

2010_-_Emerging_Trends_In_People_Management.pdf

Lynch, Sandra. (2005). Philosophy and Friendship. Edinburgh, Edinburgh UP. Print.

"What is a Great Workplace." Great Place to Work. Retrieved from http://www.greatplacetowork.com/our-approach/what-is-a-great-workplace [END OF PREVIEW]

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