BMW culture

With over 90 years in the industry the culture at BMW is an anomaly in the car manufacturing business. BMW teaches their employees the history of the company and their mission from day one. Problem times from years past are also told to the new employees. For example when the company was on the verge of bankruptcy in 1959 and was saved by a local business man, these mishaps are used as learning tools to stop history from repeating itself. Regardless of your job title all levels work together to create ideas to better the brand and product.

The regular hierarchy that you see within a company is not an obstacle when voicing your thoughts and ideas. Team brainstorming is done on a regular basis and everyone’s input is valued. BMW was one of the first companies to offer profit sharing in Germany to its employees. The leadership at BMW is one the values the employees and listens to their ideas. The type of open door leadership BMW allows for employees to feel as if they have value to the company and its achievements. Informal powwows are used to brainstorm for ideas with all levels of employees. It is sometimes referred to as a freewheeling idea factory.

Employees from all different departments are known to get together and work on a single project. This culture allows for employees to feel as if they are valued and that their ideas are appreciated. No one is looked down upon when they present an idea even if they are not as “high up” as the other people in the room. This allows for great ideas to be given and fostered. The work environment at BMW is so highly sought after that over 200,000 applications are received annually. The job characteristics model involves increasing the amount of skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy, and feedback in a job.

Three critical psychological states:

  1. Experienced meaningfulness of the tasks performed,
  2. Experience personal responsibility for tasks outcomes,
  3. Knowledge of the tasks performed.

Managers at BMW seldom have formalized training to learn their jobs. This forces them to work closely with other managers and their teams to figure out ways to improve the business. This is another example of how employees are tightly knight and feel as if their opinions matter. The line between management and subordinates is very thin.

They work so closely together that the hierarchy is not as pronounced as in most companies. The heavy involvement of all employees increases productivity and job satisfaction. Organizational creativity is fostered at BMW in many ways. BMW looks to its workers to come up with ways to save the company money. Individuals whose ideas save the plant money receive bonuses. The more ideas you present the more money you earn. This pushes employees to come up with solid ideas that will benefit the company. This is a win win situation for both BMW and the employees. Satisfied and motivated employees are a vital part of BMW.

Interdepartmental brainstorming is very common and they work closely to come up with ideas. People aren’t criticized for their ideas no matter how off the wall they might be. They are encouraged to think outside the box. The culture and work environment at BMW greatly influences the performance and production of its workers. Workers are so happy with their employment they are willing to work extra hours on heavy productions days and not get paid overtime. This practice is unheard of in most companies. Very rarely are employees willing to work extra hour and not be compensated with hour time pay.

This is offset by the accrual of days off instead. Workers are also willing to move away from home for extended periods of time and work long hours. All of these things create job stability for the employees and help reduce layoffs. BMW is the leader in car customization. They are able to complete over 170,000 changes a month in their orders. This is unheard of in the car manufacturing industry. Such changes would set other manufacture back months but BMW is able to make the changes and stay on schedule due to the dedication of its employees.

Other manufactures are looking to BMW to try to duplicate this process but have yet to reach this level. BMW is the leader of the pact when it comes to innovation and employees moral. More companies regardless of their industry need to follow this awesome example of teamwork. They would be able to produce more and spend less which is always the goal when running a business. After reading this case I see why over 200,000 people apply for a position there yearly. It seems like a great place to work and grow.

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