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Humans and profit4/13
I'm getting the impression that kumbaya and management principles are somewhat seen as binary. Warrants a thread, no?
I'll be clear--when I say take care of your humans, I don't mean throw company barbeques and hug/hang out with your staff.
I mean treating your human resources like just that--a resource. Every resource you use has particularities--there's a reason you don't machine metal like wood. It doesn't work, and it'll bring you to the poor house fast.
If you think the humans don't matter or are a side thought---I say no way. I see the impact of one single person's horrible attitude everyday. I'm not even referring to effects on morale--straight up dollar bills/company reputation/insurance rates.
One raging/angry shop foreman. He gets owner confidence in the name of talent. I get it--he is bright. But he's also completely awful.
What are the production trickle down effects of a raging maniac loose on a shop floor?
I see people that hide problems from him. I see people doing sketchy things to rush rush rush. I see the next in command being accused of being slow at his work because he is managing all the humans, in hopes of keeping the rager away.
I see problems not getting solved because everyone is afraid to talk. I see people taking sick days after fits of rage. I see the logistics manager having information with-held from her because Mister is in a mood.
But the worst is what it does to your worker pool, in terms of talent. Most smart people won't put up with that for a minute--other smart people will find ways around it but get very pessimistic with time. And we all know what pessimism does for problem-solving.
So the name of the game to survive there as a worker is to find a way to cope with one talented person's disproportionate rage.
And that poor soul of an angry man--his problem is amplified by the fact that no smart person wants to stick around, so he is in fact getting what he deserves.
I've seen this time and time again in trades. I love trades--it marries mind and body. It's fun work. But the humans ruin it a lot of the times. Too much ego/animosity/unleashed adrenaline. I think a lot of that is slowing down North America from the manufacturing revival that I'd like to see.
The same way Toyoda was dealing with a smarter work force and had to accommodate-- the same way our country and probably yours, needs to do that too.
PS-- just got my hands on a used Lexus. 1998 GS400 V8 engine with dual exhaust. Looks and drives mint, easy access to parts (interchangeable with other Toyota products). Still have a perma-grin from my last country road rip. Proof is in the pudding :)
Add on... forgot to mention the insurance rate effect. The poopy attitude has opened the doors for sketchy workmanship. Both in behavior coming from rush-under-pressure, and in worker quality.
Btw "worker quality" is polite-talk for having workers with sh!t for brains because no one else will put up with the madness.
I can't name the company, but an electrical contractor here in BC had one of those shotty employees that kept getting small claims for injuries at work. They didn't bother doing something about it, as the claims were repeated but small.
But the amount of claims raised them as a red flag with the local worker's safety board. A tragic accident happened where a large claim was involved (different worker).
But seeing as they were already red flagged, their insurance in the province went up so much that they were no longer competitive in labour.
They did manage to pick themselves up, but for a while only the formen were left, and they had to bend pipe and ruff it, working in neighboring provinces.
Not fun for anyone. Sketchy work is a money in the pocket problem, and it does need attention.
Seeing as you have posted your
FWIW, we have an extended lunch barbecue and early out on the Friday before Memorial Day and Labor Day. Wiffle ball in the parking lot, trash talking,etc. Everyone enjoys it and the lost few hours is more than made up by employee morale.
Surely Canada must have a holiday that you could fit one in.
My "two cents" is that yelling at people is almost always non-productive and often down right destructive. I go back to the old adage that "You can't make anyone do anything against their will".
Sure you can "make" them take on a task, but you can't force them to do it well. And further, I find that many "new" supervisors really don't know the difference. They haven't been exposed to those jobs first-hand, and have no real idea whether the person is doing a good job or just "looking busy". I find that many new supervisors don't even know how to interact with people on the shop floor. Some are intimidated by their employees, others have the "I'm the boss" mentality and still others just don't care.
To me, being a shop floor supervisor is the most difficult and important job there is to learn. If you can become a successful supervisor: motivate people, help them be successful and keep product flowing through a mill, you will develop all the skills necessary to be successful at almost any job. It has nothing to do with being "smart", it has everything to do with building respect and confidence. You've probably heard the adage, "you have to respect the position, but you don't have to respect the person." Well, sorry, but in my book, to be successful, those two things have to go hand in hand.
People simply do not respect others that try to get things done by yelling. If that's your only option, then you need to find another job that you can handle in a professional manner.
The only time I have ever yelled at anyone, ever, was when they were about to get run over by a forklift. In every other occasion there is always a better way.
"You can't make anyone do anything against their will."
Don't tell that to the US military.
There are 3 ways to control someone.
1 To make less of them, E.G. Peer Pressure or Prejudiced
The latter is the ONLY successful way to control someone. People associate control with something bad but it is also something good. E.G. the gymnast exhibits excellent body control or the speaker had excellent control of his audience or the drive had excellent control of the car.
Bad control results in anger, and hostility and quitting or a firing.
Good control results in production, high morale, and willingness.
It's all about control boys and girls...
Mel - I wonder what you would write about my company if you worked for me, because you make the company you work for sound like an absolute hell hole. What are you doing there? Or is it not really as bad as you say?
As for the raging foreman, I would instantly fire an employee who yelled at his subordinates for any reason. A person with no control of their emotions should never manage others. You've already told us what effect this is having. My question: do you place so little value on your own efforts that you would continue to work for a boss who puts up with the foreman? Who apparently makes no distinction between him and you?
"Shotty"? Good one. I am going to assume that is to get past the censor, not a typo.
The last time my boss yelled at me was the last time he saw me. I walked off the job and never returned.
I am divorced and my parents are dead - there is no one left on this planet who can yell at me.
Pseudonyms from regulars often mean that they expressed something in a way that might be embarassing to their name... no need. I'm pretty open, even if it's from a critical point of view. I never thought that I could display my thoughts openly in a public forum, unless I was ready for a public dose of "wtf?"
1. You post a lot and a lot of it is negative about your workplace.
Yes, I do post a lot. It's because we are making monster strides since the month or two that I've been posting here. It's hugely beneficial. They've been stagnant for years, and now the whole place is shaking with energy. Earned myself the nickname "young bull". On top of that--it's a whole ton of fun.
Also: you other frequent posters, in the business section, are perhaps doing better then a chunk of folks out there, still kicking hard, trying to improve. Those are the folks that private message me about having the same problems too (owners, managers, and employees).
2. Some of you know the difference between control-through-cooperation, and surface-control-through-aggression.
Nice to see! Having been a roadie, I've seen a lot of different management styles (a different one every gig). When it was my turn to manage tours, I tried a few variants of my favorites.
Turns out paying attention to motivation was the strongest lead.
3. Is the place you work at a hell-hole or are you overly critical?
It was a hell-hole when I started, hands down. Now every single issue that I have ever posted here is being addressed. Little do you folks know--I'm listening intently.
This big one (aggression) is the last one on my list. Can you blame me for asking you? If a system works, you tend to stick to it, till it doesn't anymore.
PS--I don't get yelled at personally, but seeing other more shy people get it sucks as much.
"Eh?"-- I'm still chuckling at your post... Btw--"shotty" works in both ways it seems. Frenchy made a funny ;)
"Shotty" is just the French Canadian way to spell the English word "Shoddy"....
No different than when they spell "eh" for "a".....
hahahaha wait a sec--I actually tought "shoddy" was spelled "shotty"...
My goodness. Why is your language so complicated? ;)