Giving pay incentives to low-level workers and investing in their health and well-being can increase companies’ productivity and profits. Moreover, listening to the suggestions of low-level workers can go far to save companies money, reports The New York Times.

Those are among the findings of a six-year international study led by Jody Heymann, who is founding director of the Institute for Health and Social Policy at McGill University.

The overarching theme of her report is that it is good business for companies to invest in and listen to their workers — not just high-level ones, but also those on the bottom.

Her report found that after American Apparel adopted a teamwork system in which workers at a Los Angeles factory were paid based on the number of garments their team produced, productivity nearly tripled. Output jumped to 90,000 pieces a day from 30,000, aided by a 12 percent increase in the number of workers at the factory.

And once the Dancing Deer Baking Company in Boston began offering free classes in English as a second language to its bakery workers, the report found, efficiency increased because the company’s employees could communicate better with one another.

Photo by contrapart.

Originally posted by Rich Whittle on May 24, 2010 in Ideas.

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