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Is This Another Industry Fad?

12/03/2014 8:48 AM

I am being sent to another useless seminar for management training and I was just wondering if it is really being put into practice everywhere.

The training boils down to this:

The government has a policy of 3 strikes and your out!

Business seems to have adapted a policy of 2 strikes and your out!

It really seems to be about intolerance, but in a legal way that makes it easy for the lawyers that run the personnel departments in most large businesses. Where can I find someone to do all of my work for free?

Is there no end to unqualified people being put in charge?

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#1

Re: Is this another industry fad?

12/03/2014 9:12 AM

I'm not quite sure what youre getting at about government and strikes outs

But, I worked at a ship yard, that sent management to a lot of management classes, but none worked because they were all over the board with management styles. As well as classes for quality, unfortunately, when you bring up deficiencies with corrective actions..... they didn't want to hear that either.

As far as unqualified people, that sounds like the shipyard, where unemploy(ed/able) (Pick one)

  1. friends
  2. drinking buddies
  3. family members

were given a management position that was way out of their skills set, and then things got FUBAR

back to your post.....

it has a number of factors.

  • it what you make of it. You have to stay focused and believe it your self that it is of value to the company
  • the type of management has to fit the company culture. Now if the company wants to change its culture because it's current culture is for a lack of a better word toxic, then good luck
  • the company has to have full backing of the practices. With out this, you're just spinning your wheels.
  • The company has to stay focused with a plan. Again, if not, then you're hosed.

either way if change is involved, good luck

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#5
In reply to #1

Re: Is this another industry fad?

12/03/2014 12:26 PM

I'll drink to that! Good answer.

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#7
In reply to #5

Re: Is this another industry fad?

12/03/2014 12:59 PM

you're hired.

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#10
In reply to #1

Re: Is this another industry fad?

12/04/2014 3:27 AM

You got it right basically, but the OP refers to the state vs private sector, whre ther is one big difference. The state is a continuously growing organisation, with no concience as to effectiveness, because it's resources are infinite.

The private sector has more clearly defined resources, and needs to perform more effectively. Therefore, "send them on a course to align the corporate thinking, so we are all singing off the same hymn sheet"...little realising that they are abusing and/ discarding the real talent in the organisation, who may have learned that hymn as children, and don't need or want the hymn sheet.

The collective corporate hymn singers do not want to be upstaged by soloists, even if they do sing better....

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#13
In reply to #10

Re: Is this another industry fad?

12/04/2014 7:22 AM

Thanks for the details,.... Sounds like George Orwell 1984

I am familiar of the inefficiencies.

Shipyard were I worked had Naval contracts. This may not be quite the same but on one contract where we had 11 of 14 hulls of the Avenger Class Minesweepers (MCM)..... to follow the requirements, somewhere in the in the inefficiencies, there could have been a 15th hull. The requirements we had to follow never could make it in the private sector, even though, we were private sector.

All the meeting and training seminars in general, NEVER addressed the actual problems.

Not going into details, at the yard we had approximately 1,000 employees

Ratio between office and yard personal, if I remember correctly was about 1 Office/management to 5 workers in the yard. at times 1/4 ratios. Disheartening to say the least.

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#24
In reply to #13

Re: Is this another industry fad?

12/04/2014 2:05 PM

I also worked in a Naval shipyard, (1968 -on) rebuilding "Wooden minesweepers", if you can believe that, The older Journeymen would laugh and thank the Congressman or whomever was responsible for sending the work our way, as they had not needed a wooden minesweeper for decades (Magnetic mines went the way of the buggy whip). The combination of Military management oversight , and Civilian sub-managment was stifling, to say the least. We had our lunch boxes checked everyday upon punching out, to make sure we weren't stealing monel and stainless fastenings or the like. Watch out, the next thing will be Sensitivity Training for Engineers!

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#26
In reply to #24

Re: Is this another industry fad?

12/04/2014 6:33 PM

When I interviewed there, they had MCM-6 or 7 (Devastator) on the dock unpainted. Looked like Noah's Ark with the wood planking. (Peterson Shipbuilders, INC in Sturgeon Bay, Wi) Google Avenger Class minesweepers. Yes, anything metal had to be nonferrous. Everything else was wood, or FRP. .

More off topic, the greatest cause of death on a minesweeper is splinters.

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#27
In reply to #26

Re: Is this another industry fad?

12/04/2014 10:42 PM

We stuffed those minesweepers with enough degaussing material , as so not to leave an electrical signal…Interesting point, a bit off topic, was that all of the machinery bulkheads, and intake and exhaust lifting pipes were totally encapsulated in an asbestos cover, totally saturated with latex paints. Rendered the asbestos neutral---It wast eh easiest fix for using the most effective material for heat resistance… Imagine the asbestos was 2 inches thick, against the firewalls, and the last barrier was a milk based binder.. Worked incredibly well (Bit off topic, sorry)

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#28
In reply to #27

Re: Is this another industry fad?

12/05/2014 7:14 AM

I saw the copper mesh inside the CCC. $$$$

Abestos???, we had to cut insulation for the stacks..... wish we had a waterjet for that. Also they had 'Fire Retardant Floor Plate". No manufacture number or of original, looked real generic with no identifying marks

I was really concerned about some of these materials, and I asked for MSDS sheets on it. (Basically long story short) They said they it didn't with any. So I had the operators and floor personal dress up in full PPE gear.

All questionable materials, I collected samples of. Just in case of problems later in life.

Milk based binder huh, early plastic were milk based with the casein polymers.

(in a 5th grade show and tell experiment I made plastic with milk I took from from our bulk milk tank (we were dairy farmers), dad was tick off when he found out, probably why I didn't ask permission first, because I knew the answer would be no)

I believe I used/needed potato starch too, (we loved and made potato dumplings ) so collecting the starch was not a problem. So that offset dad anger.

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#19
In reply to #1

Re: Is this another industry fad?

12/04/2014 10:32 AM

In order for any management style to work as an implemented program, than all the managers in the company need to attend. Not just a couple to show that the company cares. If all of management isn't on the same page and senior management fully on board and committed, then the company is just wasting time and money on one person. That manager that just learned some new skill sets is going to be wasting their time trying to implement what he's learned because he won't have the support from his higher ups. Anything new implemented will just fade away like another well intentioned FAD. Even if all attend and just one of the managers decides they aren't going go along with it, them being a loose cannon, will also cause any new program to fail.

New Management Techniques need to be handed down from the top and the bottom being empowered to make changes to the new program for any program to work.

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#20
In reply to #19

Re: Is this another industry fad?

12/04/2014 10:48 AM

Thanks,

I agree, and covered it... in fewer words.

  • the company has to have full backing of the practices. With out this, you're just spinning your wheels
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#39
In reply to #1

Re: Is this another industry fad?

12/10/2014 9:28 AM

Great answer!

This HR-based sickness is rampant in American industry and is currently on the rise regardless of the type of business.

Gone are the days of honesty and integrity in the workplace with the focus now being on "spinning" the subject at hand. (Lying)

No person is allowed to voice their opinion on any subject if their comment(s) in any way can be subjectively interpreted as "offensive".

Unfortunately everything we write or speak is subjective and therefore the person reading or hearing the content has the unrestricted privilege to interpret the message any way they desire to.

Our employment interviews of candidates are largely behavior based instead of on technical or actual experience and ability to perform the job.

Somehow American industry has completely lost focus on the fact that in order to stop inefficiency and complacency the responsible employee(s) must be confronted with their deficiencies and provided with direction to correct the issue(s).

There are way too many supervisory and management personnel that do not ever want to hear any comment or see any communication that is in disagreement with their management methods/styles or plant operation philosophy.

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#41
In reply to #39

Re: Is this another industry fad?

12/10/2014 10:00 AM

When I was at the ship yard, things were really winding down with the cold war, and it started to look like a lot of defense cuts were coming.

But the government did a project to find out a time frame if the industry can come up with a product from design board to spash. The test model was the Mark V SOC.

The attitude at the yard was, work on the fires (problems) at hand, and not work at avoiding them in the first place.

It was to a point that I was approached in the yard, that if I didn't keep my mouth shut, I'd soon be out of a job. My response was, I'm going to do my job, I don't care if it's here or somewhere else.

Turned out, I developed some manufacturing processes one of which saved the company a lot of money, over 6 figures a hull (over a (14) hull contract), to a point that the company compensated me with a huge bonus. Totally unexpected, but it did come with one condition.

But it had to happen sometime in my career that I did get left go..... (Fired) because of my integrity, I would not march lock step with clowns.

I like to add, when I look back, at the time, I never cherished the accomplishments, but more the challenges itself that I had to go through to accomplish. But I admit, it takes a lot out of you.

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#43
In reply to #39

Re: Is this another industry fad?

12/10/2014 8:50 PM

Thank you for your confirmation. This era 1999 to present at least, will go down in the history books as the Age of Intolerance. Remember that you heard it here first. Unfortunately I have way too many examples.

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#2

Re: Is this another industry fad?

12/03/2014 9:28 AM

If you love people, forget about the management, build your own business and be a good and gracious Boss. The market is good for people who is got a lot of talent and experience.

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#9
In reply to #2

Re: Is this another industry fad?

12/03/2014 11:38 PM

"people who is got a lot of talent" [sic]

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#3

Re: Is this another industry fad?

12/03/2014 9:58 AM

What is a "strike" you are talking about. Is it a technical or job performance problem? Is it an action or comment that violates a political correctness policy?

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#6
In reply to #3

Re: Is this another industry fad?

12/03/2014 12:33 PM

To be clear, "Three strikes and you're out means" three criminal convictions and you stay in jail forever.

"Two strikes and you're out" specifically refers to this training where the emphasis is focused on how to document the first offense properly. On the second offense you are fired without benefits or compensation of any kind.

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#16
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Re: Is this another industry fad?

12/04/2014 8:30 AM

Oh.

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#4

Re: Is This Another Industry Fad?

12/03/2014 12:21 PM

It began with the term "Human Resources".

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#8

Re: Is This Another Industry Fad?

12/03/2014 2:51 PM

With the internet it's too easy for someone to make a complaint to the Labor Department. With a two strike policy. Documentation of the offence what ever it is would be a major concern. Lawyers for the employee and the Labor Dept. will pick over the wording to find any reason to have the person reinstated. Management on the front line of over seeing the employee have the responsibility to provide the documentation. Any bios in the wording can cause concern.

I am sure that there are people that use the system to make their way in life. Large companies would be a big draw. As it is usually less costly to pay them off then the legal fees involved if the documentation is poor, is poorly written or shows personal bios.

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#11

Re: Is This Another Industry Fad?

12/04/2014 3:50 AM

It's the same the world over... always has been always will be.

My Dad recently died, He'd worked for a big electronics company with military connection.

He worked on a torpedo and the top brass was some Navy jobsworth. At one point my Dad said to them...

"You can have a torpedo that works, or a room full of paper telling you why it doesn't!"

He ended by saying "I thought I'd left the navy in 1945!"

Another classic... he was sent on an "accountancy course for engineers"...

When there was time for questions, he asked if the sent accountants on "Engineering for Accountants" courses? The silence was apparently deafening...!

As you can imagine, he was pushed sideways, ended up depressed , took early retirement and wasted the next 29 years.

He taught me all I know including a healthy cynicism.

The moral is don't let 'em grind you down, get out early on your own terms.

One thing that has kept me relatively sane throughout my whole career is the knowledge that I can always just stand up and walk out.

I've been on my share of moronic management and quality initiatives... run by the MD's (CEO's) pal. waste of time and money... just increased alienation between workforce and management.

Del

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#12
In reply to #11

Re: Is This Another Industry Fad?

12/04/2014 6:21 AM

I seconded.

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#14
In reply to #11

Re: Is This Another Industry Fad?

12/04/2014 7:26 AM

Excellent advice,

having learn similarly to a point that I developed a motto. "Pick and choose your battles wisely, and when you pick the battle, pick a winnable one"

Not necessary one of "my way or the highway", but one where one move on with compromises.

sorry about your loss.

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#15
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Re: Is This Another Industry Fad?

12/04/2014 7:55 AM

Sorry for your loss Dell. I was also trained in the "trades" by my dad. He was a great machinist and inventor and I like to think I learned a small amount of what he knew. He did not tolerate fools, and engaged in employment where he respected the management/owners, and they respected him. I tried to do the same but at times had to swallow my pride and follow the "corporate path" until I could break away from it, into something I was more comfortable with. That often involved going to the requisite courses etc. Finding managers that appreciate a loose cannon is not always easy! I was lucky in that the companies I worked for were very large and had many many different groups I could move between. Stay true to your own goals, but be prepared to bend a bit...not break...just bend. If they try to make you break with your goals, leave.

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#21
In reply to #11

Re: Is This Another Industry Fad?

12/04/2014 11:01 AM

My condolences and a really big thank you for your story. I have been tempted to say same the same thing about accountants needing to take engineering classes. After all, what is good for the goose is good for the gander!

I have also suffered from depression at the hand of stupid managers. Since then I have learned that frequently the reason that something upsets me is because I do not have all of the information. As it turns out, I may never be given all of the information because management uses secret incentives for their subordinates to achieve ridiculous goals. It is extremely counter productive! They are forbidden to tell the real workers why they have to do the impossible. This always results in friction that some people don't mind. Intelligent people become tired of this and leave the company as another result. The managers never seem to make the connection.

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#22
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Re: Is This Another Industry Fad?

12/04/2014 12:42 PM

"When there was time for questions, he asked if the sent accountants on "Engineering for Accountants" courses?"

Dr W. Edwards Deming would have been proud of him.

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#33
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Re: Is This Another Industry Fad?

12/05/2014 11:54 AM

The difference is that engineers do need to know accounting. I would not trust any large project to an engineer who didn't know basic accounting.

If as part of your job you were required to drive a forklift and management required you to go on forklift training, would ask if the other forklift drivers were required to go on engineering training? Of course not.

Basic accounting is integral to becoming a good engineer, not vice versa.

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#34
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Re: Is This Another Industry Fad?

12/05/2014 2:57 PM

Any engineer understands basic accounting because he must be numerate.
As an example of why an accountant should understand engineering... here's on from my Dad again.

On the torpedo project he ordered a billet of special alloy for a vital part. The next day it hadn't arrived...
It turned out the accountant had ordered it be bought from a cheaper supplier and was proudly crowing about the several hundred pounds saved. The fact that the entire project was then on hold for several days seemed to have escaped his grasp.

Del

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#35
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Re: Is This Another Industry Fad?

12/05/2014 3:09 PM

And so an engineering degree teaches you how to read a calendar??

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#36
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Re: Is This Another Industry Fad?

12/05/2014 4:59 PM

Any engineer worth his salt takes a huge number of things in consideration apart from the basics of "will it work and will it meet specification" because he is aware that it has to be built, tested, maintained, marketed, packed, shipped all in a timely and cost effective manner.

An engineer inherently understands the basics of accounting, it is the accountants who don't understand the nuances of engineering.

I can only assume that because you can't appreciate my previously cited example you either don't have the experience or aren't a real engineer.

Del
(I'm un-subscribing from this thread as I feel you are little more than a Troll. A little respect for my story is in order, but that's probably beyond your comprehension)

Del

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#37
In reply to #35

Re: Is This Another Industry Fad?

12/05/2014 5:18 PM

No, the accountant did not trust that the engineer knew what he was doing, but the took the myoptic approach of "let's see how good I can look to my boss" by saving a penny here and a penny there whilst costing the company thousands or millions or more in the long run.

They're not called 'bean counters' for no reason. I've seen this happen so many times that I've been sorely tempted to bake both them and their beans in a nice, tasty casserole and feed it to the dog.

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#44
In reply to #37

Re: Is This Another Industry Fad?

12/19/2014 11:01 AM

"They're not called 'bean counters' for no reason. I've seen this happen so many times that I've been sorely tempted to bake both them and their beans in a nice, tasty casserole and feed it to the dog."

That is cruel, inhumane, unethical, and just plain disgusting. I'm reporting you right now, you sicko!

..

To the ASPCA. That's no way to treat a dog, feeding him accountants. You want to make the dog violently ill?

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#38
In reply to #35

Re: Is This Another Industry Fad?

12/06/2014 3:17 AM

It's a vital skill if there's a DOD penalty clause for late delivery.

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#23
In reply to #11

Re: Is This Another Industry Fad?

12/04/2014 12:47 PM

Also, thanks for adding a word to my vocabulary. "Jobsworth" is not at all common in American parlance, but we sure have our fair share of examples.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jobsworth

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#25
In reply to #23

Re: Is This Another Industry Fad?

12/04/2014 5:31 PM

Thanks for pointing that out. I just skipped right over it when I read the original post.

It's a new word for me, too.

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#17

Re: Is This Another Industry Fad?

12/04/2014 9:24 AM

There is indeed no end to unqualified people, but being put in a position they cannot fulfill usually isn't their doing. Someone in (senior)management had to do the hiring/appointing to fill a position, real or perceived. Over many years in different companies, I've seen quite a few management "styles" and, yes, it does all boil down to documentation - the lawyers brad and butter. But, like most everything else, that is all there is when it comes to "strikes" against someone. I have been on enough "seminars" and "training courses" to get this point.

One hears about "corporate culture" often these days, big companies doing things that are/maybe novel thereby trying to create a better work environment. But,,, the culture of a company makes employees what they are and how well they complete their tasks. It's a lot easier in smaller companies to create a good work atmosphere, but one must always lead by example. The adage "do as I say, not as I do" is a double edged sword, and, in my opinion, really has no place in a properly managed/run company.

As for your wondering if 2 strike policy is being put into place?? I can pretty much guarantee that there are some companies doing it and more will likely adopt it, but, like most other flash in the pan ideas, it will be replaced with the next passing fad,,,, for sure, and there have been lots of them.

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#18

Re: Is This Another Industry Fad?

12/04/2014 9:46 AM

two strikes, three strikes ...whatever... it only ever applies to the workers, never the managers.

I got hauled up once because I hadn't done the appraisals of my designers (I had a small department and I knew what they were all doing and how well, didn't need a bit of paper which set daft targets just so they could be ticked).

Of course my manager (technical Director) had never ever done an appraisal on me!
He still hadn't by the time I left the company...

Del

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#40
In reply to #18

Re: Is This Another Industry Fad?

12/10/2014 9:48 AM

A little disagreement from me on the "never the managers" point.

I had the unfortunate dealing(s) with a senior manager (there was only one person above him in the organization). We rarely saw eye to eye on most things and I expressed my views and opinions openly with him. Fortunately I had a layer of middle management between us with a supervisor that knew what I was doing and was supportive of my views and opinions, however, that buffer could no last forever and I eventually was out the door. But,, what went around came around and it wasn't that long after my departure that his departure also came to be.

Alas, his departure was a little late coming for the company. The head honcho put too much trust in him and many bad decisions were made and implemented. It was a larger company with over 500 employees and they are all now out of work.

So the old adage of "better late than never" just isn't what is used to be.

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#29

Re: Is This Another Industry Fad?

12/05/2014 8:13 AM

Rules of thumb such as "two (or three) strikes and your out" rarely work. Imagine a thirty year employee who had strike one in year one and strike two in year thirty. Is he fired?

Also what constitutes a strike? Arriving to work 10 minutes late is one strike? Or stealing $50,000 from the company is that one strike?

The truth is you can fire anyone at any time. The question is what are you setting yourself up for in arbitration costs in a union environment, or wrongful dismissal lawsuits in non-union.

The key to any termination is to build your case. If you can convince a judge that this individual needed to be terminated given the evidence you have accumulated, then go ahead and terminate. It is up to your best judgement as a manager to determine if two incidences are enough.

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#30
In reply to #29

Re: Is This Another Industry Fad?

12/05/2014 11:03 AM

What I find interesting is that the whole idea seems to be a double edged sword used by the lawyers personel managers. The middle manager writes up an employee that he doesn't get along with, then the lawyer gets rid of both people.

I've seen this happen. Once again, we've let the wrong people take control of business.

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#31
In reply to #30

Re: Is This Another Industry Fad?

12/05/2014 11:25 AM

If the only reason for terminating the employee was that he couldn't get along with the manager, then I believe the manager should have been terminated as well.

Management is not a popularity contest. Somebody has to make the tough decisions and if you are pleasing every employee, all the time, you can't be doing your job properly.

The key is communication. Let the employees know what is required and what the consequences will be. As long as the manager administers the communicated rules equally, the employees may not be happy but they should understand.

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#32
In reply to #31

Re: Is This Another Industry Fad?

12/05/2014 11:40 AM

As long as the manager administers the communicated rules equally

Now there is a oxymoron if I have ever seen one!

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#42

Re: Is This Another Industry Fad?

12/10/2014 10:45 AM

From Wikipedia, for the term "Fad"

"In economics, the term is used in a similar way. Fads are mean-reverting deviations from intrinsic value caused by social or psychological forces like those that cause fashions in political beliefs or consumption goods."

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#45

Re: Is This Another Industry Fad?

12/25/2014 8:21 AM

In 15 years of working as a supervisor, I've gone through a number of those trainings. What I usually find is that us supervisors go through it and try to implement it but the bosses at the top don't. Soon, the management technique is abandoned and things go back to "the way it's always been done."

regards,

Vulcan

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#46
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Re: Is This Another Industry Fad?

12/29/2014 11:32 AM

" Soon, the management technique is abandoned and things go back to "the way it's always been done.""

So many companies seem to be taking their playbook from SissifusCo. "Pushing that same boulder up the same hill every day, even though it rolls back down every night."

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