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Thread: Ideas for improvement

  1. #46
    Senior Member shovelhead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ideas for improvement

    Quote Originally Posted by PowerSweep View Post
    So, what are some ideas for this incentive program? We have all read several times that a new one needs to be created, but no guidance for what it should be. Let's throw some ideas out there.

    Also, I would like to elaborate on how things are different. I know it was an unwritten rule back in 2005 that locators pretty much did not go to CATV drop inst. tickets. What other things have been added to locators that make the numbers of the past impossible to reach in the year 2008 and beyond?
    We need everyone to understand that what was once easy to achieve now takes a perfect day to duplicate. We need to spell out what the obsticles are. If we can't provide valid reasons, other than just saying we can't do it.... then it is just a lack of motivation.
    Sweep, for me to give a realistic incentive program proposal, I first need to see the financials. Barring that, how about going back to a program like the one we were using prior to Shively's? Worked for me then...

    Also, instead of elaborating on why things are different. I'd like to point out why they are wrong, and what can be done to fix them.

    I'm a big fan of Patrick Lencioni. He writes about the workplace in a very easy to understand way, easy enough even for the kid supervisors we use here!!

    He's got a new book out "The Three Signs of a Miserable Job".

    Buy it.

    Read it.

    Share it.

    It WILL solve this problem. If ya'll have the courage to follow it properly....

  2. #47
    Senior Member USIC1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ideas for improvement

    The only reason for kid supervisors is because the operation is broke-

    At least at the pawn level-

    Any person thats a puppet on a string (locator to first level supervisor) has to walk that grey line of -


    "Do as we say not as we know you have to do..."


    It s the only way to stay productive, manage expected ticket quotas, limit overtime, and retain your job...And do this on a pretty regular basis...

    There is alot of blind eyeing that management does and acknowledges being okay until somebody gets whacked from being cornered by the need to shortcut ... Then the holy grail (steps of a proper locate) comes out and you get admonished for doing your job negligently...

    Not to many want to supervise and dictate grey policy standards to subordinates unless there comfortable with being knaiving and manipulative themselves...


    This is nt a widget factory as much as the profiteers want to make it seem...


    Addressing the problem could be the start of the improvement....Hows bout we consider this a grey area of improvement by recognizing the cause of the problem!??!!?!?!?!

    Last edited by USIC1; July 6th, 2008 at 09:55 PM.

  3. #48
    Senior Member underground quester's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ideas for improvement

    Quote Originally Posted by sprayandpray View Post
    Well I guess I will wade into this. SM&P has a Performance Evaluation each year for it's Supervisors. We fill it out, it goes to some outside firm, and the results evidently are always positive because nothing ever changes! Every locator I talk to about this advises they were negative in their evaluations, so all of you locators up North must be praising your Supervisors to High Heaven to off-set the negative comments. My point - all this 'brainstorming' is usually just window dressing meant to give the locator a false feeling of meaningful contribution. If the company really wanted our opinions or suggestions, they would beat them out of us.

    To defend my position, all I have to do is remind everyone that the staffing problems appear every year, the problem with contractors and the one-call systems remain year after year, the turnover rate very seldom improves and our Bone-us has continued to shrink and has evidently disappeared.

    Happy 4th of July ya'll

    SPRAY:

    The concept of staff evaluating management is not a new concept nor is the perception that is is in fact "window dressing". I sometimes call this 180 degrees evaluation, it goes one way then poof seems to disappear in thin air and nothing meaningful appears to happen. This 360 degree evaluation process often occured in a large rail carrier I worked for. Outside firm did evaluations and submitted them to upper brass in H.R.
    I am sure that management involved had some of the issues addressed with the various individual managers, but like you there was zero visible evidence to me that anything constructive was occuring.
    This of course is perceived to be necessary by management to keep the zoo keepers, rather than the caged animals running the ZOO.
    Success is a journey, not a destination...

  4. #49
    Senior Member sprayandpray's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ideas for improvement

    Quote Originally Posted by underground quester View Post
    SPRAY:

    The concept of staff evaluating management is not a new concept nor is the perception that is is in fact "window dressing". I sometimes call this 180 degrees evaluation, it goes one way then poof seems to disappear in thin air and nothing meaningful appears to happen. This 360 degree evaluation process often occured in a large rail carrier I worked for. Outside firm did evaluations and submitted them to upper brass in H.R.
    I am sure that management involved had some of the issues addressed with the various individual managers, but like you there was zero visible evidence to me that anything constructive was occuring.
    This of course is perceived to be necessary by management to keep the zoo keepers, rather than the caged animals running the ZOO.
    This is what happens with the 1 chance we get as locators w/ SM&P to offer suggestions to upper management and it is basically ignored. Our management team only wants to validate their existing methods and conditions. Most, if not all, their decisions do not reflect what the actual locator knows, and sees, to be true on a daily basis, and the Field Supervisors are too scared or green to really offer strong arguments against bad decisions.

    My point is that suggestions really are ignored unless the bottom line can be improved and someone "up the Ladder" can take credit for the idea. By the way, I am trying to state fact as I see it, not just bitch.
    I might not be as good as I once was, but I'm as good once as I ever was !


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  5. #50
    Conservative Meanie ifinditunderground's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ideas for improvement

    Now that is what you call a God debate folks! It's been a while since one of these has crossed the boards at TheCableVine.
    There is a fine line between "Hobby" and "Mental Illness."
    "America isn't free, in America you are free to follow the rules." -Anthony Cumia


  6. #51
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    Default Re: Ideas for improvement

    Quote Originally Posted by sprayandpray View Post
    This is what happens with the 1 chance we get as locators w/ SM&P to offer suggestions to upper management and it is basically ignored. Our management team only wants to validate their existing methods and conditions. Most, if not all, their decisions do not reflect what the actual locator knows, and sees, to be true on a daily basis, and the Field Supervisors are too scared or green to really offer strong arguments against bad decisions.

    My point is that suggestions really are ignored unless the bottom line can be improved and someone "up the Ladder" can take credit for the idea. By the way, I am trying to state fact as I see it, not just bitch.

    How is it you get to sit in on the supervisor & management meetings? I would like to be in on all of those! That is how you know the supervisors never stand up against dumb ideas...RIGHT?

    I have seen a lot of saber rattling - in an attempt to rally the troops, but I have yet to see you throw any feasable ideas out there. A lot of generalaties & blanket statements, but no real ... here is a step by step plan to improve anything.

    You want change??????? Then spell it out! What should contract locate companies be doing that they are not?

  7. #52
    Senior Member LadyLeatherneck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ideas for improvement

    They could start by getting rid of supervisors with attitudes!!!!! That would really help with most every issue. We are all telling you that a lot of the existing problems are with current management. The way the treat employees. Locators are not in control of anything but locating. We are trying to make a difference out here every day with every locate and are getting no support in our efforts. Locator get a primary damage on a lot adjacent to the one on the ticket (in other words, dig wasn't covered by the ticket). Damage is obviously not locagtor's fault. Supervisor says, "Why didn't you mark it? I would've marked it. You're locating like an amateur. But, by the way, make sure you get your production up. You're taking too long to do your tickets. But, I'm sending you tickets in 5 counties to do today, all of which are big ticket jobs. Better get them done and make production." We cannot control who our supervisors are. "The Powers that Be" do. It's time for "The Powers That Be" to step up to the plate and do their jobs. We're doing more than our fair share out here in the field, and we need support from the brass. I don't know how to tell you to do that. I'm not privy to corporate meetings and insight. You obviously are. Tell them to take charge and get the job done.
    Obviously we all can't be gripers out here with no substantiation behind our complaints. The system is broken. You want us to fix it. I would like to help you fix it. But I can't fix it from here. They have to from there.

    Also, tell them to get rid of waste. Too much of it is happening by the same supervisors that I'm talking about. They are seen going home at 1:00 in the afternoon, while yelling at locators to get it done. Locators are wondering why they are getting tickets in areas other than the one they are supposed to cover. Too much waste! Example: passing a locator on your way into a subdivision. Why are two locators in one subdivision when they are making people jump from area to area? Talk about wasting money! Power, listen to me! You know where I'm coming from here. I'm not saying all supervisors are that way. But, get rid of the ones that are!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Good positive first step.
    "There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion."

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  8. #53
    Senior Member LadyLeatherneck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ideas for improvement

    Sorry for the venting Power. I feel better now! Thanks for listening.
    "There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion."

    - General William Thornson, U.S. Army

  9. #54
    Member PowerSweep's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ideas for improvement

    Quote Originally Posted by LocatingLarry View Post
    Sorry for the venting Power. I feel better now! Thanks for listening.
    ANYTIME

  10. #55
    Senior Member USIC1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ideas for improvement

    Does anyone need to hear anymore from me????


  11. #56
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    Default Re: Ideas for improvement

    Quote Originally Posted by LocatingLarry View Post
    I'm not privy to corporate meetings and insight. You obviously are.

    NOPE.....Just a guy trying to get everyone on a path that can make a difference.
    Hard to ignore good thought out ideas. Easy to ignore bitching and whining.

  12. #57
    Senior Member shovelhead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ideas for improvement

    Quote Originally Posted by PowerSweep View Post
    I have seen a lot of saber rattling - in an attempt to rally the troops, but I have yet to see you throw any feasable ideas out there. A lot of generalaties & blanket statements, but no real ... here is a step by step plan to improve anything.

    You want change??????? Then spell it out! What should contract locate companies be doing that they are not?
    Sabre rattling? WTF? Your late to that party pal! We started that trip on the last board, and carried into this one.

    Now you have indeed started a really interesting debate here, and this has sparked some really thought provoking posts, but if all you are going to do is poke a stick in someone's eye and call that moving the ball forward....

  13. #58
    Senior Member USIC1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ideas for improvement

    For what its worth-

    constructive venting will accomplish the same as nonconstructive venting in the long run...

    It s about what makes the input-ee feel better...

    Could you imagine a suggestion box in a squad bay in the service???

    I was in the Corp so I could imagine...

    So remember Belushi with the guy on the steps guitar at the toga party in what was it?

    Animal House???

    Thats what I picture upper management doing with a group of locators suggestions essentially...And also what they would have done in the suck....

    Im laughing just thinking about it... And the scene in the movie...

    I found it ...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9JYq-mXprw
    Last edited by USIC1; July 7th, 2008 at 06:50 PM.

  14. #59
    Senior Member yahoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ideas for improvement

    what have i been missing here?????????????i ve only been gone for 2 days....this is getting good to say the least....some good posts up there guys....

  15. #60
    Senior Member sprayandpray's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ideas for improvement

    Power, my whole point has been that IT DOES ABSOLUTELY NO GOOD TO OFFER CONCRETE SUGGESTIONS TO MANAGEMENT. They simply ignore anything they didn't think of 1st. However, here is a positive suggestion if any Management person gives a s--t: Have classes early in the year - it does us absolutely no good to have a bunch of Newbies hit the field in the middle of the busy season. No one has the time to work with them, they are immediately given unrealistic loads and end up so frustrated they leave. Hell, look at Craig Harrell's letter in another thread - His goal is 70% retention up to 1 year - WTF! How about 75% retention up to 5 years? They need to re-think they're entire work force philosophy and I don't think Steve has enough "ink" on this site for me to fix everything.

    Power, feel free to take my suggestion with a grain of salt, because I can damn near guarantee you that is about all any management person would give you for it - a grain of salt.
    I might not be as good as I once was, but I'm as good once as I ever was !


    It's better to be Pissed Off than Pissed On or Stood On and Pissed Off Of !


    The views expressed on this website/blog are mine alone and do not reflect the views of my employer. or my wife , if that matters.

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