This week's letters
Naked truth issue makes Michael Porter redundant
What a wonderful combination of articles in The Naked Truth issue (News and features, 22 October). If government and industry were to read - and think about - all of the items on stress, workaholism and productivity, there would be no need to spend money on Michael Porter.
On page 8 and 36 you address stress. Stress is never good for you. Pressure can be, but the condition called stress is one of serious tiredness or exhaustion. It limits your capacity to live or work effectively and creates depression, anxiety and illness. It is this confusion between pressure and stress that bedevils the argument and enables senior line management to avoid looking at the effects on productivity.
On page 44 you tackle the mantra that 'People are our greatest asset'.
I don't deny that many employers now have to regard employees as expendable, as are their other assets of buildings or machinery. The basic difference is that no sensible company would allow its plant or machinery to be worked to destruction without maintenance or care.
Then we have the article on workaholism on page 65. It concludes that workaholism is bad for productivity. If we look at gross domestic product (GDP), per hour or per capita, as a measure of productivity then at least one OECD table shows The Netherlands as working the shortest hours but generating the highest GDP.
If employers took stress seriously and set out to measure it properly in their workplace; if they took action to reduce it through changing their management practices and styles; if they then provided support services, and a variety of other training, education and services to their employees, then sickness absence would drop dramatically and commitment and productivity would climb.
How employees are managed is the key to the reducing stress and improving productivity.
Again you have it on the front page: "At Interbrew we believe there is a direct link between leadership and productivity."
Too right. And in too many organisations there is far too much management and not nearly enough leadership.
Director - strategy and planning, The Lancaster Group
Tabloid nudity elicits exasperated response
I was exasperated at your front cover image. It would seem that I receive a tabloid that fe