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Thread: glad i dont run an office full of workers....

  1. #21
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    have you really worked where you could tell the boss im all done and now im playing angry birds
    No one is suggesting that. Work is never done in retail. We get that. But understand if you allow people their momentary diversions here and there they'll get more work done. You're not going to get less out of an employee who after working for an hour takes a minute to check the status of their Facebook wall. If that person spends an hour checking their status then sure there's a problem.

    if an owner hires someone for 3 hours i think they think there is 3 hours of work to do
    No. They hire people to get specific tasks done. If you want to think of it in terms of time you're hiring people to get the most done in a specific time frame. Most people get more done in an overall time frame not by working ever single minute over the time frame, but rather by working for bursts of time with a break in between bursts.

    If you have 2 employees and one works exactly 180 minutes and gets 'X' amount of work done and the second employee works 170 minutes and checks their Facebook page for 10 minutes and gets '2X' done, are you saying the first employee is the better one because they were worked more minutes? I'll choose employee 2 who got twice as much done.
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    It's not the new norm. People like VG and Dan, and others with this view, don't employ lots of people. But I think there is some miscontruction going on here.

    As stated, in most work environments, the work is never done. One cannot go to the boss and say, "My work is done, so now I'll play some games, now." Nor is it a valid argument to say, "I'm taking a break visiting Facebook, and I'll have my work done by finishing time." That is a factory mentality. Factory work is done, these days, by robots. Employees are paid more and expected to use more brain power - and in that fashion, their job is never done.

    As to working 8 hours straight, I wonder where there are jobs today in metropolitan countries where employees work 8 hours straight. They don't and haven't for decades. When I started my first job, some fifty years ago, we had a tea-break mid-mornng and a tea-break mid-afternoon, in addition to the lunch hour - so we worked 2 hours straight, max. The same or similar applies today in most places of employment, with many having a more flexible pattern than a fixed time for coffee break. There is plenty of break time in today's work-a-day world.

    The problem not being addressed is that an office with two people is not a suitable comparison. If you have 20 employees and one spends time on Facebook and others don't, and there are no repercussions, everyone will want to check Facebook, Twitter, do their e-mail, play games, and now you run into huge problems with decreased productivity.

    In today's business world, businesses do not hire people to do specific tasks (again, the factory mentality.) People are hired for general tasks, like - service the store (meaning serve customers, stock the shelves, pick up after customers and restack, answer questions and do anything else that needs to be done to keep this business running.)

    Once I stumbled upon an impromptu shop floor staff meeting. The clearly irate manager was lacing into the employees. (Something had clearly gone wrong.) He said, "The next time I hear anyone say, 'That's not my job!' you can be damned certain you are right, because you won't have a job!"

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    thanks for putting it so well spider...i sure think most businesses have a lot of work on the back burner and hope and expect the staff to see that and try and get it done if time permits.........thats part of the job with most places i know who have employees...
    if i hire a contractor for something i dont care how many hours they work or what they take breaks for..
    ..but in the store i have to be as efficient as i can manage.... workers are expensive!!! this is a big challenge for me , especiallly on days where there arent many customers and i still have 4 people working.... we work hard then too...its hard out there!!! and lots of folks want your job if you have one.. ...and lots of other stores want my cusrtomers.....
    ann at greenoak www.greenoakantiques.com

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    I've transitioned into a very unique position at the restaurant since this topic was last active.

    Part of my job is being on FB - though I do most of it from my home office and not at the restaurant and not when I'm in my other roles. I have three looks at work...and that sort of tips off the other staff to what role I'm "playing"...there's the kitchen uniform for dish, prep and line, the casually dressed up for bus, and the quasi-professional look for marketing/promotions. I am much more like Van Gogh's second example than the first. And that's earned me a 30% increase in wages within my 12 months there.

    Though the first doesn't really exist. There is no one who works for 180 minutes straight in any industry that I've been a part of. Even in construction, you stop, stretch, get a drink of water, go to the washroom, maybe grab a snack within any 3 hour period.

    There is a cell phone ban on all employees on duty, except four. The owner, the restaurant and lounge managers and me.

    There is a phone call policy for the landline...but I get some leeway in that I do get more incoming calls than anyone else on staff (especially lately with the media calls)

    We have a staff that is like family though...we take breaks together (including the owner at times) when the moments are available and work like demons as a team to get things done when the place erupts.

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    People like VG and Dan, and others with this view, don't employ lots of people.
    Whether you intended it or not when you make a statement like this it suggests you're saying Dan and I don't know what we're talking about because we don't employ a lot of people. I'm assuming you didn't intend it that way, but I wanted to let you know how it comes across.

    Now I may not employ a lot of people, but I have been an employee so I think I'm quite familiar with how employees work and how to increase their productivity. I've also managed people at many jobs so I do understand how to get more from employees.

    Business should be concerned with productivity. It's not about how many minutes you can squeeze out of an employee. There's a ton of evidence that says squeezing those extra minutes out of people leads to less overall production and not more. Human beings need to be able to clear their minds at times in order to continue being productive.

    There's also a huge difference between people spending hours checking their Facebook page than there is people checking it for a minute or two a few times a day, even if they aren't on an officially company break at the time. You can ban Facebook from the workplace, but it's not going to stop people from taking those one or two minute diversion breaks throughout the day. Block Facebook and among other things people will

    1. Talk to a co-worker
    2. Grab another cup of coffee or tea
    3. Spend an extra minute in the bathroom
    4. Daydream

    I could go on.

    Blocking Facebook will do nothing to increase productivity. If you have employees who are wasting a significant amount of time each day then yes, there is a problem, but it's with that employee. The problem isn't with the specific way they chose to waste their time. There are an infinite number of ways to waste time and you can't possibly block all of them.

    People are hired for general tasks, like- service the store (meaning serve customers, stock the shelves, pick up after customers and restack, answer questions and do anything else that needs to be done to keep this business running.
    True. Those are still all tasks. Again if you have 2 employees both stocking shelves. One spends every minute of their time stocking and gets 'x' amount of stocking done and the 2nd employee spends that same time less 10 minutes for whatever diversion and gets '2x' amount of stocking done, are you suggesting employee one is the better employee because more of that employees minutes could be checked off as work?

    Are you suggesting that if you micromanage employee #2 so he or she is now working every minute, but only getting 'x' stocking done that you've done a good thing for your business?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spider View Post

    In today's business world, businesses do not hire people to do specific tasks (again, the factory mentality.) People are hired for general tasks, like - service the store (meaning serve customers, stock the shelves, pick up after customers and restack, answer questions and do anything else that needs to be done to keep this business running.)
    I think you misunderstand me. I'm not advocating hiring for tasks, I'm advocating hiring for results. The result is the store runs efficiently and profitably. I am not advocating facebooking while the floor obviously needs sweeping. I *am* saying the "gee, the store looks fine, the customers are happy, and things are well, but wow, I saw you standing around for five minutes... couldn't you be doing something?" is a very old school attitude that probably isn't helpful.

    Yes, I don't have any employees, but I've run two large retail operations and have managed enough people to know that the constantly on top / micromanaging attitude generally gets you nothing.

    I advocate this from both ends, too - I think workers should be aware of the business and what needs to be done, and then do it.
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    I'm not advocating hiring for tasks, I'm advocating hiring for results. The result is the store runs efficiently and profitably.
    Yep. Much better way to put it. My bad for putting it on the task instead of the results.
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    Quote Originally Posted by vangogh View Post
    Yep. Much better way to put it. My bad for putting it on the task instead of the results.
    while we're complimenting each other , what you said here basically boils it down nicely:

    Again if you have 2 employees both stocking shelves. One spends every minute of their time stocking and gets 'x' amount of stocking done and the 2nd employee spends that same time less 10 minutes for whatever diversion and gets '2x' amount of stocking done, are you suggesting employee one is the better employee because more of that employees minutes could be checked off as work?
    I do truly doubt that (I think she'd be able to know the difference), but yea, the way it's coming across in this thread, it seems like employee 1 would be her kind of employee.
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    i just call it setting the standards ...not micro managing..... our place sounds about like where patrysha works.... friendly and close and working hard as a team....but no phones or devices allowed ....except for the web worker......
    im a hard worker and i expect that from everybody......
    sorry vg....just meant i dont see that you h ave a lot of e xperience as an owner deciding how to manage 5 or 6 workers in the best way for you and them...and you dont have the pressure of meeting a payroll and not laying anyone off and getting everything done well, etc etc.... your experience is a lot different than mine...not better or worse...you always seem to be an expert on my world and see me as micromanaging which always hits me wrong...... when you dont have to deal with all the issues i deal with and im dealing with them pretty easily ...... your business connections are probably a lot different t oo....
    Last edited by greenoak; 07-15-2011 at 06:50 PM.
    ann at greenoak www.greenoakantiques.com

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    Ann I've never claimed to be an expert in the world of antiques, but please don't tell me I don't have experience. I've spent at least 15 years working retail across a wider range of industries than a single store. At several places I managed teams of people and was responsible for getting the most production out of those people. Just because I'm a web designer now doesn't mean I've never done anything else. In fact at the moment I still have more experience in retail than I do on the web.

    I've also been an employee and I understand people. None one works every minute of the time they're working.

    We're not talking about setting standards. You should standards. No one is saying you should just let your employees do whatever they want whenever they want. No one is saying hand your employees laptops and let them all spend the day on Facebook. I wouldn't think any of your employees have access to computers (other than a smart phone) at your store.

    I'll ask the question again.

    If you have 2 employees both stocking shelves. One spends every minute of their time stocking and gets 'x' amount of stocking done and the 2nd employee spends that same time less 10 minutes for whatever diversion and gets '2x' amount of stocking done, are you suggesting employee one is the better employee because more of that employees minutes could be checked off as work?

    All I've been saying in this thread is I'd rather have employee #2 even if that means letting employee #2 spend a few minutes a day doing things that seem like little more than wasting time. If employee #2 is getting more done I'm not going to worry about a few minutes here or there.
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