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Have You Ever ''Motivated'' (Paper-Shufflers) in Your Work-Place?

01/22/2021 8:18 PM

How would, or did, you ''motivate'' (paper-shufflers) into greater (productive and/or creative) work-related activity at any of your past, or current, technical work places?

I start with my suggestion of out-sourcing general services to try to save money by reducing overhead. From your past work experience, what are your suggestions?

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Anonymous Poster #1
#1

Re: Have you ever ''motivated'' (paper-shufflers) in your work-place?

01/22/2021 8:36 PM

If you are talking about the kind of people I think you are referring to then company productivity tends to increase if you reduce their involvement in company projects.

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Have you ever ''motivated'' (paper-shufflers) in your work-place?

01/22/2021 8:46 PM

Would you care to elaborate?

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Re: Have you ever ''motivated'' (paper-shufflers) in your work-place?

01/22/2021 8:49 PM

We assigned a specialist that walked the papers through start to finish...

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#4

Re: Have you ever ''motivated'' (paper-shufflers) in your work-place?

01/22/2021 9:06 PM

Sounds like Parkinson's Law could be applied. Give them a set time. It wont work all the time, but in general twice the time doesnt equal twice the benefit in productivity (or quality). Paper-shufflers will take every avaialble minute allowed, but 90% of useful work is done in 10% of allocated time.

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#5
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Re: Have you ever ''motivated'' (paper-shufflers) in your work-place?

01/22/2021 10:09 PM

GA

One common reason for Parkinson's Law to creep into paperwork is constant revisions. I remember a poster some production expediters had in their office at a communications company I worked for:

"There comes a point in time when it becomes necessary to SHOOT the engineers and begin production!"

Management should also review what incentives, if any, they have for the paper pushers.

I found that engineers, particularly bad or obsolete engineers promoted to management usually make lousy managers.

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Re: Have you ever ''motivated'' (paper-shufflers) in your work-place?

01/29/2021 4:32 PM

For further ''review'':

Find more on ''Parkinsons Law'' at:

en/wikipedia.org/wiki/Parkinson%27s/Parkinsons_law

Find more on the ''Peter Principle'' at:

en/wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_principle

( Here's a thanks-for-the-obscure-reference, and a GA from me )

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#11
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Re: Have you ever ''motivated'' (paper-shufflers) in your work-place?

01/29/2021 4:59 PM

Unfortunately, I worked at companies, where the time given on a project was so unrealistic short,... (the project would be budgeted for say 1,000 hours, but on the job routing 500 hour... (they do it for motivation) and would reflect to the customer...

That was driven by sales, to get the edge on the competition, where as to the current shop load with WiP’s, personnel, floor space, material, more times than not,... the companies owners nephews pet projects.

I recall a customer asked about a project, where he asked the status. When I told him 6 weeks at best, he blew up and told me he just talked to the salesman that he had (4) people working on it.

I told him that is not correct... what I didn’t tell him was that there was (4) four people on it,... sitting there, eating their lunch on it,.. because it was lunch break. (I had to tell the people to take and eat their lunch in the cafeteria).

The Customer suspected that smoke was being blown up his back side. And not only was he on his way, he was halfway there for a surprise inspection.

After my phone call I told the salesman his customer will be here in 45 minutes. And after stammering with mmm ahhh,... he turn white as a sheet and said, could you handle it,... I got an important meeting...

Since then,... this customer called me for updates.

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#12
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Re: Have you ever ''motivated'' (paper-shufflers) in your work-place?

02/01/2021 12:00 PM

... ahhh, life in the private sector ...

I once had to leave a job I really wanted to keep because the new (under-boss) wanted to bring in, and have only, people with whom he had worked with previously, staying. So, I chose to ''move-on'' before the new under-boss could manufacture a reason to (let me go...). That still hurts a little bit, even after all these years ...

Some businesses survive in spite of (management), and not because of it ...

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#13
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Re: Have you ever ''motivated'' (paper-shufflers) in your work-place?

02/01/2021 7:31 PM

Anybody with any amount of ‘road mileage’ (so to speak) with their career I’m sure has suffer similarly.

I’ve found out, like yourself, if you tough it out and stay,... it can make you really hate the work you used to love.

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Re: Have you ever ''motivated'' (paper-shufflers) in your work-place?

02/01/2021 9:00 PM

Oh, so true...

Sometimes, the challenge is to ''bend with the wind'' without ''flopping in the breeze''...

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Re: Have You Ever ''Motivated'' (Paper-Shufflers) in Your Work-Place?

01/24/2021 10:29 AM

I work for one of the largest engineering firms in the world and over the last 10-12 years we have outsourced our IT (HUGE mistake) and more recently our administrative staff in 2018 (also a bad idea). In both cases it has led to less productivity from administrative people and a larger burden on engineers.

Now, even though we have an IT person physically in the office we have to call a help center in India or Mexico before we can get help. IT is supposed to at least begin the resolution process within 48 hours from the time we create a ticket. However, I now have tickets that are several years old that have never been addressed, I don't even have the same computer anymore. The lost productivity more than offsets the savings of contracting out the IT department.

Administrative staff are mostly the same people that were with us previously but were forced to either sign-on with the new contractor or find another job. Now they just feel resentment toward the company and are less motivated to do their jobs. Since COVID they have all been laid off as far as I know because almost nobody goes into the office anymore. We have approximately 250-300 people at the office I work in and I think there are probably no more than 5 people there on any given day. I have only been to the office 2 times since March 2020. The move to save money on administrative staff has simply shifted the work to the engineers who cannot charge for the time so we just have to eat it. Again the lost productivity and aggravation for engineers is not a plus as far as I can tell.

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Re: Have You Ever ''Motivated'' (Paper-Shufflers) in Your Work-Place?

01/24/2021 5:33 PM

Let me give you an insight into out-sourcing. The large multinational I worked for recently decided to out-source everything that was determined by paper shufflers not to be core work which included everything other than digging and processing coal.

So everything non core was farmed out and by the time the mine was sold there were twice the contractors and contractor companies than the people who were displaced. The contract companies charged more paid less and had a high turnover of staff such that getting the same contractor twice was a novelty. Costs went up but then they could be claimed as business expenses so managers smiled.

The next place had a high engineer content and they generated the paper for themselves to shuffle just so they could call meetings for the shuffled paper to be reshuffled. You know they are in a circular paper world when they ask you to comply with their standards as yet unwritten and undeveloped but if you fail to comply they will want to know why.

Of course paper shuffling has been replaced with "word" shuffling, harder to track and can be easily deleted unlike the squirrel who keeps every paper copy produced and can recite chapter and verse.

Make jobs results based with timelines for decisions and make sure they are met, send the waffle makers to the circus. Always reminds me of the quote; "How do you make a big company small, put an accountant in charge!"

To a worker the glass is half full, to an engineer the glass is sized to allow for expansion, to an accountant the glass is twice the size it needs to be so we should sell the unused half to relise our unused asset!

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#8
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Re: Have You Ever ''Motivated'' (Paper-Shufflers) in Your Work-Place?

01/25/2021 4:04 PM

Interesting responses all. Thank you each.

Anything handled by us humans will be imperfect, because humans are imperfect, and that's what makes us human...

Accountability can more easily be lost in a larger organization than in smaller one. (more directions at which to point fingers-of-blame...)

In the case of an on-staff IT person, we have an on-call service-and-maintenance-agreement, with a small capable and ''hungry'' company, for our few computer-related items of equipment, and they usually come when called within a single day...

Sometimes, lack of size is better, and adding ''value'' can more than pay for itself, but finding value can be hit-or-miss...

Anybody can put on a badge that says ''Manager'' but that does not make them a real leader... It typically means they're just over-ambitious for their actual ability.

The ''Peter Principle'' lives on...

Any other examples? comments? relevant stories?

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#9
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Re: Have You Ever ''Motivated'' (Paper-Shufflers) in Your Work-Place?

01/27/2021 6:51 AM

It is more productive to get more from those that will produce than to try to motivate the slackers.

The 80/20 rules prevails.

Even in ant colonies,20 percent of the workers do the work,and 80 percent are goofing off.

In some states,employees can be fired for almost any reason, or none at all.

And if a manger is smart,he will keep trimming the staff to those that will produce.

Eventually,he will have a company of 20 per centers.

And those will be treated well,like a good team and family.

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