In manufacturing, there is evidence that certain management practices, especially cross-training, are associated with both greater productivity for the company and higher wages for production employees. One factor: Firms can benefit if investing in workers’ training and compensation means that employees handle expensive materials more efficiently.

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Respectful stewardship of the land has always defined the Lundberg family’s vision for their organic farming business in Richvale, CA. And that meant establishing a culture of learning to instill the company's employees with a long-term view of the business and the environment. A mix of on-site training, work in cross-functional teams, and off-site education—including training in lean manufacturing for the entire production team—increased consciousness around waste and inefficiencies and resulted in improved work processes and substantial savings.

SRC Electrical, an electrical components remanufacturer, has been committed to engaging all employees in the financial management of the company from its startup in 1991. Indeed, Jack Stack, the founder of its parent company, has been one of the most visible promoters of the "open-book management" concept since the 1980s. Since employees own shares in the Springfield, MO-based business through an employee stock ownership program (ESOP), they have an authentic stake in the company’s financial success.

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