Help Wanted

diametrically opposite. To thaw out the employee the “boss” must hold out hishand first; he must go more than half way. Let the employer talk with...
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How keep up the scientists’ enthusiasm? There is one simple way. Create an atmosphere of good understanding and of mutual helpfulness. Let the employee feel that good work is appreciated-and paid for. Let the employer encourage the worker to feel a personal interest in the business. .Give him an interest in the business! Any advances looking towards better relations must come from the employer, for he is in the position of power, and the employee may hesitate through misunderstanding or diffidence, or possibly through fear for his job, a fear which strikes many a strong man cold. But cold and enthusiasm for one’s job are diametrically opposite. To thaw out the employee the “boss” must hold out his hand first; he must go more than half way. Let the employer talk with his assistants. Get them together. Explain his plans and business problems to a considerable extent. Above all, tell them that he is always looking for good timber for positions of responsibility. This sentiment may appear surprising to some plant managers-but it is true, though strange, that the employee often does not understand such axioms of business progress. Let the manager speak out loud and often. I t does not take much effort to warm up a feeling of cordiality and to stir the old fires of enthusiasm in the employee. Even a casual word of thanks for a job well done or a word of encouragement works wonders. Why are the simplest remedies so easily forgotten? But that “thank you” will sometime appear insincere unless followed by more substantial rewards. If the employee through special service directly produces a profit for the company, why should he not enjoy some of the fruits? If he has invented and patented a money-making scheme, why not share a bit with him? He will not expect a large share. For example, there was an employee always prone to harsh criticism of the capitalists He submitted an idea under a suggestion system, and to his surprise received, not only a small check but a personal letter of appreciation from the president. What was his reaction? He returned the check, not with an insulting reply that the reward was too small, but with a cordial note that he was glad to give the company his best service, and that he felt it to be his duty to give freely what inventions and suggestions he might make for improving the company methods as well. BONUSSYSTEM Suggestion systems work with noninventing employees. Why should inventors be excepted from them? It is peculiar, when one stops to think about it, that many employers should be so short-sighted as to fall back on their employee contracts and expect inventors to produce the maximum effort for a fixed salary. That is contrary to human nature. Extra incentive always pays. Some fair bonus system should be devised, something which depends, not on length of service, but .on individual results. Of course, jealousies and complaints of unfairness may creep in. They are always a part of a corporation’s problems. But that is no reason why sincere effort cannot make a success of some fair plan. It is not feasible to detail a specific plan which will apply to all types of corporations. There are many remedies, but each must be cut to fit the cloth. One simple scheme is to establish the rule that twenty-five dollars, or even one hundred dollars, shall be paid to the inventor when a patent application is signed. It should be clearly understood that this sum is not the sales value of the invention, but is merely a substantial “thank you,” a bonus for good work. Under such a scheme a prolific inventor could materially improve his salary. Others would have incentive to try. Since the expense to the corporation employer would be negligible, this plan has no serious drawback. If some

Vol. 16, No. 1

employer is skeptical, let him try it even on a small scale and as a temporary measure; he will be surprised a t the results. Loyalty? Let there first be cordiality, mutual respect, reciprocity. Loyalty will follow. Give the brain-working employee incentive, a direct monetary interest in good work. Make him feel that i t pays to give the best he has. It will pay both employer and employee!



N CONNECTION with the compilation of a list of research problems which is a t present being assembled by the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Technology of the National Research Council, the following problem was submitted by one of our larger manufacturers of dyes : T h e determination of the physical constants of dye intermediates, particularly those of the benzene series. The freezing points and vapor pressure curves of the pure compounds are particularly desirable. In many cases, the published data give only the melting points, which were frequently not determined upon the pure material, and, even in cases where the purity of the substance is beyond question, the melting point was usually taken by the capillary tube method, so t4at the exact melting or freezing point is still to a large extent undetermined or unavailable. The vapor pressure curves of the volatile compounds are also largely unavailable or of questionable accuracy. We are all, of course, proud of our dye industry and willing to aid in its development, and many indeed are the investigations being carried out in our educational laboratories which daily contribute to its progress; and yet such essential data as the correct physical constants of dye intermediates are sadly in need of revision or even of determination. Here is a great opportunity1 The determinations of these constants do not offer the wide outlook for original investigation that is afforded by explorations in the field of synthetic chemistry, and it is doubtful if they could be used as a subject for a Ph.D. thesis; but they would form excellent subjects for investigators who have only a limited time to give to their research, for example, those who are working for a master’s degree in chemistry. With adequate scientific training a student under proper supervision could turn out in one year, or even less, results which would have immediate value, while at the same time he would be undergoing the mental training afforded by a piece of work demanding careful manipulation and attention to details. There are between seventy and eighty commonly employed intermediates of the aromatic series. Samples of these, either in sufficiently pure form for immediate determinations or pure enough so that they can be purified for accurate determinations without too much labor, can be supplied by the concern which submitted the problem. The Division of Chemistry and Chemical Technology of the National Research Council will gladly act as a clearing house in assigning to interested investigators individual compounds for determinations either of the freezing point or vapor pressure, thus avoiding duplication of work. If those interested will write the chairman of the Division what type of investigation they wish to pursue, whether a freezing point or vapor pressure determination, compounds will be assigned to them and a record kept in this office so that duplication will not occur, so far as the office is concerned. Samples with directions for purification will be forwarded if the assignments are accepted. It is hoped that this appeal will find response in our educational laboratories and that the gap existing in this field will soon be effectively closed to the benefit of all concerned. 1

Received December 13, 1923.