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Thread: Ideas for improvement

  1. #16
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    Default Re: Ideas for improvement

    Quote Originally Posted by USIC1 View Post
    All kidding aside my suggestion is of more tag teaming (2 locators working together) more frequently if not permanently in alot of squirrely areas where hook up points are distant, long jobs, congested areas...

    As much as I m atypical antisocial type it does boost morale to work with a fellow locator on occasion...

    I guess management mentality is not only that it may lose money but they dont want to fry 2 at a time on a damage...

    I have always been more productive tag teaming jobs then not seeing the light working independently on a tough project or unfamiliar area it just seems good to have 2 personnel working to figure the chaos out...

    A heavily project inundated area should have a steady tag team approach...

    Part of the day split lot tickets other part of day work together to maintain productivity ...

    Whenever possible, in the area I work, we set it up to do just that. If a job is going to take one guy 4 hours; however, 2 guys can do it in an hour and a half....it makes sense.

    This idea could come to reality with a conversation with your supervisor. Let me warn you though, the first time a supervisor gets burnt by a couple of guys that "Hang out" on a project, I can almost gaurantee you he won't let guys do it anymore.

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    Default Re: Ideas for improvement

    LL ... you said this
    "- Watch the watchers. Make sure your leaders are doing there jobs with a positive professional attitude. They are leaders and as a leader their first responsibility is to lead by example. Their attitude has a direct effect on their subordinates."

    How do you suggest to do this? ----- Random phone calls to the team asking questions about the supervisor?

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    Default Re: Ideas for improvement

    Quote Originally Posted by USIC1 View Post
    Whats this I m hearing about probing???



    Just kidding...
    OK.... you finally managed to make me laugh!

  4. #19
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    Default Re: Ideas for improvement

    Quote Originally Posted by PowerSweep View Post
    Whenever possible, in the area I work, we set it up to do just that. If a job is going to take one guy 4 hours; however, 2 guys can do it in an hour and a half....it makes sense.

    This idea could come to reality with a conversation with your supervisor. Let me warn you though, the first time a supervisor gets burnt by a couple of guys that "Hang out" on a project, I can almost gaurantee you he won't let guys do it anymore.
    Typically ticket loads dictate "Hanging out" can only be done for so long..
    At least in my parts...

    And another thing is the elimination of what we use to call head crafts or lead locators being a drawback to common sense managing...

    These guys floated areas and got up with locators and worked with locators on projects or questionable locates if they were worth a crap...

    They could SEE and KNEW MORE EFFECTIVELY(because they still located and spent more time to know a crew) the balancing act of ticket managing and what different project needs were and realistic locate time frames because they were involved...

    Essentially a Sergeant that was on top and out on the front lines...

    Our system goes from the foot soldier to the Leutenant level which creates a more distant disadvantage in alot of cases...

    But who am I to brandish such structural evaluation???

    I ve only got a few years of experiencing the twisted formulas ....

    HA HA HA!!!!


  5. #20
    Senior Member LadyLeatherneck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ideas for improvement

    That's a good question powersweep. While random phone calls would be annonymous and probably a good way to get true scoop, it would also offer an opportunity for someone to lie on a supervisor to get even for something he may not have liked. And while meetings would offer opportunities to freely speak, most people won't because there are reprocussions. Forms that could be filled out every quarter by locators on supervisors would present the same problems. But I think overall once a quarter they should be questioned to keep things in check, and not just supervisors, but all the way up the chain of command. This would avoid any chance of too much power and bad behavior.

    The supervisors should know in advance of hire that they will be critiqued by their subordinates. The locators should be advised that intentional lieing on their supervisor would result in termination.

    I can only use what I am familiar with to draw on. Let's look at the military. Your have a group of non-rates, a group of nco's, a group of staff nco's, a group of officers. Each group monitors the group below it. When a marine (locator) gets his fitness report (appraisal), it is written by his company gunny (direct supervisor) and approved by his OIC (DM), but presented by the Commanding Officer (DM's boss). The marine (locator) is allowed rebuttals in writing as well as face to face. The DM's boss has the final say, based on what he hears from both sides. At least, that is how it worked at my duty station. Also, everyone up the chain writes their own observances of the marine (locator), without knowing what everyone else has written, and given to the person who types it up. No one but the marine and the Commanding Officer sees the final product.

    They really didn't have much of a problem with people lieing on their superiors. I guess they were afraid to. But they also built commeradory and teamwork. They built self-esteem by giving more and more authority as the marine proved himself worthy.

    Maybe a combination of all of the above is the answer.

    Another thing: all the safety meetings we waste time going to. For what? I know of some locators that drive every first Friday of the month at least 2 hours to get to the office for a one hour safety meeting to discuss the same things we have all heard for years, just to turn around and drive back 2 more hours to get to their 1st locate. Wasted 5 hours on that Friday and chanced auto accidents for all employees to go to a ridiculous safety meeting. If required, why not have the meeting go to the employees. Companies today have their meeting via conference calls. Why not?

    Too long?

  6. #21
    Senior Member yahoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ideas for improvement

    this one is easy to answer....................................real teamwork is a good answer but takes time and trust to unfold the perfect plan.....what i'm trying to say if there was an easy answer i would be the best manager in the world........this is a great question....

  7. #22
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    Default Re: Ideas for improvement

    No, not too long!

    I like some of the stuff that has been "Brainstormed" It shows that the locators in the industry aren't just bitchy, they have ideas as well.

    AND WE ALL KNOW, PEOPLE ARE READING THIS!

    I like the idea of using a military style evaluation program. I was in the Army and I liked having the guys on my squad having a say each year on how I was evaluated. It gave them the forum to let me know what I needed to improve upon the next year.

  8. #23
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    Default Re: Ideas for improvement

    Quote Originally Posted by yahoo View Post
    this one is easy to answer....................................real teamwork is a good answer but takes time and trust to unfold the perfect plan.....what i'm trying to say if there was an easy answer i would be the best manager in the world........this is a great question....

    OK.... here I go again.......

    How do we go about building teamwork?
    In the Army, a squad with a teamwork issue would be sent out to the obstacle course or some other task that they had to overcome together until they got it right.
    So....do we send our teams out to play paintball against one another... builds a relationship with one another & builds teamwork..... or what other team building ideas are out there?

  9. #24
    Senior Member LadyLeatherneck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ideas for improvement

    Let me think about this one overnight. My first thought is:

    You can't have teamwork and commoradory if you are afraid of retaliation on the job. It all has to start with management. The powers that be have to be controlled so that they are not allowed to retalliate by all the negatives that we all know happens daily. Too much power to do at will things. There are some supervisors that border on abusive behavior. That absolutely cannot be tolerated. There are also supervisors who refuse to be positive or helpful to anyone. They hire and expect to rule with a whip to get new hires (both experienced and newbies) to obey their will! We must start with these and offer them an option to change or get out! Sorry about the negativity, but the truth hurts sometimes.

    2nd thought: Positive competition on the job. Incentives to compete to do well. Always works.

    But I'll think some more tonight and see what else I can come up with.

  10. #25
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    Default Re: Ideas for improvement

    building teamwork is a time............issue!!!! as well as trust which takes time...........there can be only one leader and the rest followers....i see discipline that must be implemented by the leader and in time the followers will follow suit.......time seems to be on our side but trust..............has not worked out yet........why is our office here in la so great in our state.......as long as we try to find the answer it just seems to be out of reach only God knows.....

  11. #26
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    Default Re: Ideas for improvement

    Quote Originally Posted by yahoo View Post
    building teamwork is a time............issue!!!! as well as trust which takes time...........there can be only one leader and the rest followers....i see discipline that must be implemented by the leader and in time the followers will follow suit.......time seems to be on our side but trust..............has not worked out yet........why is our office here in la so great in our state.......as long as we try to find the answer it just seems to be out of reach only God knows.....

    OK, time.... there is an issue. How do we keep technicians around long enough to get that time with them. Retention is an issue in this industry. What do we do to keep locators around for more than a year?

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    Default Re: Ideas for improvement

    a very disciplined education in other related fields besides how to locate.......for instance........social and psychological issues would be a start....truly taking the time to understand the work force and how we relate to it ......

  13. #28
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    Default Re: Ideas for improvement

    Quote Originally Posted by yahoo View Post
    a very disciplined education in other related fields besides how to locate.......for instance........social and psychological issues would be a start....truly taking the time to understand the work force and how we relate to it ......

    OK, we are the workforce.....that is, those of us in this forum.
    Why can't we come up with what keeps us around. We are the test subjects. What is the common denominator? Is there a magic personality trait that could tell companies who to hire? I don't think so.... think back to when you first started.... did you have a clue that this was the job for you? Did you know that your traits were the ones that would help you put up with this line of work?

    I am looking for the answers. We have so many people on this forum that are "experts" --- I don't mean that in a negative way... I am just saying -- WE ARE THE WORKFORCE.... who better to come up with these answers than us?

  14. #29
    Senior Member underground quester's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ideas for improvement

    Hey powersweep!

    Let me wade in on this issue..

    Corporate America requires revamping. It is do-able because I have worked for a company that re-invented itself and the results were freekin unbelievable!!!

    First off, management must get over themselves and learn to get the he** out of their own way. Allow more decision making and idea development to come from the shop floor...not through suggestion boxes...but in real, meaningful ways. Involved employees tend to be longer term and better contributors in the long run.

    Every employee must be on some team and they must be accountable to the team and take responsibility for contributions. Set up teams of individuals to resolve various issues, for example "how to better train/mentor nubes", "how to resolve a particular contractor issue", setting safety policy, etc.
    Structure the teams so they are equipped and trained, get involvement from outside stakeholders (people who have an interest or can contribute to the team ie:involve contractors/utility if the issue involves them).

    Management must improve hiring practices AND they must know WHAT TRAITS to hire for. IMHO, here are some necessary traits...Patience, enjoy learning, problem solving, working outdoors, must be self directed, detail oriented, work well alone or in teams, basic computer literacy, communicative, empathetic but tough skinned when needed, and more. And, we have not even gotten to knowledge, skills or talents yet.

    Management for example could set up a permanent team of field personnel to come up with traits. That team could then, with guidance develop interview questions around each trait using funneling techniques to get answers needed for the interview process. The expected answers can be point rated and during the interview points are awarded based on expected responses. That way you have a less subjective interview process. It is based upon answers the Company expects to hear to make a more solid hire.

    The actual interviews might be conducted by HR or Manager, but now they are more indepth & probing to flesh out the talents required.

    The team feels involved, empowered and a REAL FUNCTIONAL PART of the company. I know this from personal experience.

    Next training. I absolutely agree with Gypsy. I have elaborated in many other threads so will not belabour the point.

    NEW HIRE AUDITS: Fair unbiased evaluations, audits, help and assistance for nubees to bring their knowledge and skill sets up to speed more quickly.

    Again teams of field personnel, with training and guidance, could set up analysis criteria, rating criteria, ideas on how to offer different personalities suggestions for improvements, forms, what to look for in terms of someone who will/will not make it, etc. Again, when needed someone with training in these areas could be seconded (loaned) temporarily to a team to guide them through the process. Ultimately though, they not the mentor must make the final decisions. Do not be afraid to rate the nube on teamwork and interpersonal skills. Or, things like "do they call for help only after they have tried several things for themselves?" That way, you are teaching them to be INdependent not dependent.

    Anyway, there are a hundred more areas we could explore, but maybe in another message.

    Powersweep, feel free to funnel if you wish.

    It's 10:50 pm and this old fart is going to bed so I will be nice and fresh to go play in the black dirt again tomorrow in +95 degree weather.
    Last edited by underground quester; July 3rd, 2008 at 01:50 AM.
    Success is a journey, not a destination...

  15. #30
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    Default Re: Ideas for improvement

    U.Q. -- Let me see if this fits into part of your thoughts and ideas.

    "Collective Innovation Teams" AKA - CIT

    A CIT would be formed each time there is a "problem" at any level within the locate company. The CIT would be comprised of at least one member from each "department". The CIT would be presented with the "problem" and together, they determine the root cause and offer possible solutions to the problem. The root cause & solution is presented to the department head that asked for the CIT to be formed.
    In order for a CIT to be successful, individuals at the lowest level of each department must be involved.

    Are we on the right track with this?

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