Guide to Evaluate Quality in Human Treatment
Factory workers during their workday
Treating workers poorly, as in the case of sweatshops, is considered "inhuman." What treatment might we call the opposite: "human"?
In his article "Human Quality Treatment": Five Organizational Levels, published in the Journal of Business Ethics, IESE's Domènec Melé presents a framework for "human quality treatment" (HQT) based on a recognition and respect for our shared human characteristics as well as our uniqueness.
Melé builds on the fundamental idea that ethics is an intrinsic aspect of good management, not merely an add-on.
While some theories of management suggest that people should be treated well because this will boost economic performance, HQT incorporates the idea that striving to succeed as a human being is valuable in itself, although more than likely this could lead to better performance. The author suggests that the notion of HQT and the five-level framework open horizons to further research on the outcomes of HQT.
Five Levels of HQT
Melé ranks the quality of treatment in an organization according to five levels: Maltreatment, Indifference, Justice, Care and Development.
For each of the five levels of HQT, Melé elaborates on its features and the behavior that should characterize people management and interactions.
Managers should aim for Level 5, acting as role models to encourage a corporate culture where development becomes the norm. Just as corrupt actions can create corrupt cultures, actions that promote flourishing can create environments where people flourish.