A.R.M.S. the plan. The Four Responses.

A.R.M.S. the plan. The Four Responses.

We ended last time with this statement.

“The purpose of using the four elements of an improvement suggestion is to give the decision- maker the information he or she needs.”

The following are the four types of response a decision-maker might make after reviewing the response form.

The decision –maker “ARMS” the plan by choosing one of the following.

A – Accepted. The written request is accepted. The decision-maker might specify the actual implementation date and the person responsible for carrying it out.

R – Rejected. The request is denied and it will not be implemented during this period. The request might be addressed later. It is important that the decision-maker provides a clear reason or more for each rejection. We suggest that there be a minimum of three “Becauses”  “I have decided that we will not implement this suggestion Because….Because…Because.” The “Becauses” provide the opportunity for continued dialogue. The improvement team may attempt to defeat the becauses and resurrect the suggestion for improvement.

M – Modify. Some modification of the request is necessary. Note changes on the response form.

S – See me. I need a meeting so that you can explain a confusing part of the action plan.

The ARMS portion of the Response Form encourages management to listen and respond to employees input in a timely manner. One benefit is that employees feel appreciated that management listens to their input. Another benefit is that employees begin to realize the complexity of many elements involved with decision-making. These are two of the leading factors affecting employee performance.

Finally there is this reality. Nobody cares more about a business than its owners. Owners look at things differently and certainly with more intensity.

A frequent result of a well-run employee input program is when employees “own” the finding of solutions to problems they have identified as a team; they also begin to have psychological ownership of the company.

Remember, nobody cares more about a business than the owners. Owners treat their business with great interest and care. It makes little difference if stock or attitude represents the ownership.

Years ago I worked with Yeomans Distributing Company in Peoria, IL.

I knew the people who worked there, and they were an extraordinary group of people. Everyone seemed to have a deep concern about the company and customers. So when Murray Yeomans decided to sell the distributorship some years ago, he sold it to the employees!

Psychological ownership became ‘real’ ownership.

Next: A summary to Holding A successful “Reverse – Flow” meeting


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