Working at Lockheed Martin for the past four years, I became familiar with the methodologies they used to increase profitability. Only in the last two years did they begin to realize that they needed to incorporate new methodologies in order to increase profitability. The biggest factor Lockheed needed to improve on was employee empowerment. “The basic premise of ownership and empowerment is that sharing company ownership and meaningful involvement with employees is a fair and effective means of motivating the work force and achieving many business objectives.” (Cappels) Unless Lockheed Martin continues to incorporate new methodologies, profitability will not improve within the company.
“Empowerment is closely aligned with the concept of ownership, because when you create a working climate comprised of trained people whose supervisors mentor, coach and facilitate rather then only control and direct, then you can have ownership.” (Cappels) Lockheed Martin fails to empower its’ employees and in doing so they can not achieve profitability within the company. In every meeting that I attended they failed to actually listen to the employees and take action on employee suggestions. Meetings were always filled with false promises and lies. Lockheed would take employee surveys, provide feedback in the meetings say they were going to implement the suggestions, then fail to follow through with the implementation. Year after year the employees would see no improvement within the company on employee empowerment. “Employees who feel their ideas merely have been given lip service will often withdraw from these programs, and their participation will be difficult to encourage in the future.” (Cappels) That is exactly what was happening at Lockheed Martin. Employees began to answer the surveys less and less each year knowing nothing would ever become accomplished by them. Lockheed also began losing employees at a drastic rate. Myself being one of them. Lockheed has proven that if you do not empower the employees you will lose profitability.
I believe the biggest problem Lockheed has is that they still continue with the top-down management system of having the managers know all and the employees know nothing. Lockheed still works with a very archaic approach, Management does not listen to the employees, making the employee morale very stressful and depressing. If Lockheed put more value in the bottom-up approach, communication and team building would improve employee empowerment.
As discussed in the book Financially Focused Quality by Thomas M. Cappels, task force, natural and process improvement teams would greatly improve Lockheed Martins employee empowerment. By providing the employees with the necessary tools to incorporate and establish these teams they could greatly improve the morale. The teams would focus on the problems Lockheed is facing and incorporate new processes in developing and maintaining employee empowerment.
In conclusion I have found that Lockheed Martin will continue its’ decline unless drastic measures are taken to improve employee empowerment. They need to grow out of their archaic thinking by incorporating new methodologies into their workforce. Once they have incorporated new methodologies they must continue to build and maintain employee motivation in order to be successful. In the last two years they have slowly began to change their old ways, but for me it was too little too late.