It is the year 2014, and while many organizations are still managing work the way they did in 1980, several are breaking the mold with new ways of leading and working. At a time when Gallup is reporting that only 13 percent of workers are engaged, it is time for change. Factors such as the equalizing impact of social media, advanced technology providing access to information anywhere, rising number of digital natives in the workplace, and increasing competition from start-ups and organizations across the globe are causing the perfect storm for reinventing work and leadership.
The Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE) challenges traditional management strategies. Jody Thompson, and Cali Ressler, co-creators of the ROWE, describe it as “a management strategy where employees are evaluated on performance, not presence.” In a ROWE, workers can work wherever, whenever, and however they choose to, as long as they achieve their results.
Mabel’s Labels, an award-winning organization that creates durable labels for the household, seasonal and children’s items, became a ROWE in the spring of 2013. Mabel’s Labels was started by four moms who recognized that they could work effectively while also being able to be present for their families. They realized that their staff could work successfully with the same autonomy. Julie Cole, co-founder of Mabel’s Labels, says, “With strong leadership and clear goal setting it has been effective. Mabel’s has always been an innovative company so it made sense to have an innovative plan like ROWE.”