Employee Autonomy in Aisle 5

By Ed Frauenheim

Mar. 23, 2007

Can Best Buy’s radical reorganization of work actually adapt to a retail workplace?

    The answer may become apparent soon. The principles of the Results-Only Work Environment, or ROWE, may be applied to a Best Buy retail store this year, say Jody Thompson and Cali Ressler, the architects of the program and co-founders of consulting firm CultureRx.

    Thompson and Ressler are not yet sure how ultra-high levels of worker autonomy will mesh with a retail setting, where accommodating foot traffic is key. But they are eager to explore how giving employees at all levels of the company more control over their jobs can better serve customers and the electronics retailer.

“A lot of young people are techno-savvy and highly collaborative. They can pull information together quickly and respond to concerns,” Thompson says. “They have a lot of great ideas.”

Ed Frauenheim is a former Associate Editorial Director at Human Capital Media and currently works as Senior Director of Content at Great Place to Work. He is a co-author of A Great Place to Work For All.

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