Nearly all associations aim primarily to develop a habit of saving among employees and secondarily, to provide a means by which any employee may borrow money with little expense.
Nearly all extend membership to every employee. In general, the officers consist of a president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, and a board of directors, chosen at the annual meeting.
The greatest diversity exists, however, in regard to shares, deposits, loans, fees, fines, investments and distribution.
When you have gone through your list of problems and conditions and analyzed each, either alone or with the assistance of a few picked men, appoint “a committee to assist in founding a cooperative savings and loan association” with every member an employee.
If your company maintains a service or welfare department, or a club for the advancement of the employees’ interests, let the club appoint this committee.
In conference with this committee, look at the whole problem from the point of view of the worker. Get his approach, his “angle,” his ideas and suggestions.
Combine the results of your preliminary study with the new ideas and proposed methods obtained in conference with the workers.
Make up a tentative committee report which will include a set of by-laws, if the association is to be a part of a larger employees’ club, or a constitution, if no organization exists. These go into the hands of every employee.
Ask for criticism and suggestions. Give him a week to think about them. Give him a loosely drawn up “ballot” to fill in and extend. Let him drop this in a conveniently placed box.
Use Employees’ Suggestions
When suggestions come in, they can, if thought advisable, be worked into the final report of the organization committee. In this way every employee gets a voice in organizing the association. It represents his work, his thought, his time. It wins his interest at the start and is likely to win his loyalty more quickly than if he first saw the plan of organization in final form.
Best of all, this kind of cooperation puts into motion a self-advertising campaign among the employees themselves.
The final step is the adoption of the revised report by the employees, and the election of others as provided in the by-laws or constitution.
When this is done, direct control of the association passes into the hands of the employees themselves. Any plan which keeps the control in the hands of the owners of the business is likely to be looked upon with some indifference, if rot suspicion by the average worker.
Management control is necessary under certain conditions, as in a factory where all the workers are young with little education, but ordinarily it seems of very doubtful value and usefulness.
These steps that have just been discussed form, in a general way, the plan usually most successfully followed when establishing an association.