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Henry Ford: putting people first

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Henry Ford is credited as an innovator in manufacturing but he also led American industry toward modern employee-satisfaction techniques.

In 1910, for example, Ford created a sociology department that conducted research on employees’ social attitudes and what affected their loyalty. As a result of the studies, Ford improved the layout of his plant and built playgrounds and sports fields for his employees and their families. He also offered them bonuses and free medical treatment.

Lesson: Put time and effort into determining what people consider valuable.

— Adapted from The People’s Tycoon: Henry Ford and the American Century, Steven Watts, Vintage.

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