How can you as a Manager/Supervisor get the most out of what you have? First you need to understand your employees.
There are basically four types of employees:
1.Great employees, who do everything asked, take initiative, work well with others, get it done under costs, write analysis reports of how they did it and with recommendations on how they can get it done faster next time, and have a big S on their blue leotard underneath their clothing. As rare as the sighting of the elusive purple bald eagle.
2.Good employees who can do just about everything you ask, can get along with others, but need their egos stroked before, during and after its done, and that’s about all they do.
3.Helper Employee, who tell you that they will do it and how grateful you should be that they can take time out of their busy busy schedule to do this favor for you and take one for the team, and just how great an employee they are for doing this, but then do just what they need to and take forever to do it, so you begin to believe that they are really earning their money and they continue their illusion of job security by making everything believe they are the REAL TEAM PLAYER.
4.The Lazy Employee who is good but not ambitious, they hide in the back of the meetings, and are never in line to volunteer, but when given an assignment seem to get it done to the required specs and rather quickly.
So who do you ask to do something when you want to find out how to streamline, cut costs, time, and eliminate unnecessary ways of doing something? Because we all know that the biggest waste of money in many projects is time.
Are too many other people waiting around while employee #3 is taking their sweet time on their part? It’s been my experience and in many documented studies that employees who fit in the #3 category are not maliciously wasting time, but they are creating a false sense of Job Security by creating the illusion that what they are doing takes so long and that they are only capable of doing it. To identify this type of employee, look for the person who refuses to mentor others. Refuses to work with others and goes out of their way to be secretive about their procedures.
I said this person is not doing it maliciously and the reason is due to the fact that over the past twenty years, business’s are constantly looking to “streamline” and by doing so the bean counters want to cut everyone by downsizing. (Which in my opinion, your company can save money by eliminating a few bean counters and spend some of that money on investing in better managers and employees who mentor others?)
If you want to try and experiment, put#4 in charge of a project where you want to see how to do it faster and more efficient. If you can, but #4 with a #2 or even a #1. Remember, #1 and #2 will get the job done, but they will do it the way it’s been set up to be done. #4, being the lazy person is going to show you ways to cut unnecessary steps and procedures out of the way.
I DID NOT SAY and I repeat, DID NOT SAY #4 was the type of employee who cuts necessary corners or ignores safety or regulated procedures.
Here is an example of a procedure; I had a #4 maintenance person that worked for me and we sat down to figure out a way he could be more efficient in conducting his duties more efficient and cut costs. He was responsible for cleaning a seven story parking garage; he asked “why can’t I have a golf cart.” When my superiors heard this, their immediate response was “he is lazy, walking is good for him.”
I know what you’re saying and it crossed my mind, fire him and hire a track star. But was this track star going to be as good at the cleaning portions, as my #4 was. So he and I sat down and crunched some numbers. We timed how long it took him to walk down to the seventh floor, approximately 30 minute round trip. He was called down there several times a day, so that equated out to almost half of his eight hour shift was spent running down to the seventh floor. Yes, there were elevators, but he had a cleaning cart with all his gear that the building owners did not want him in the same elevators as the patrons.
We concluded that we were wasting approximately $300 a week on him just moving from point A to point B. A golf cart was going to cost us $3500. So in approximately 12 weeks, we could pay it off. We bought the cart and a round trip was now less than 6 minutes and he was able to be more efficient and productive throughout the garage because of his new and faster mobility.
The added benefits from the cart that we discovered were being able to use it to help people find their vehicles, the flashing lights on top of the cart gave the illusion of security patrols, and it also made vehicles slow down in the garage, thus making it safer and fewer fender benders happen.
Or yet, with the changing economy, business looking to “DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT” or “Turn around” their operations towards more efficient and productive way of doing things, how can companies accomplish this effectively and without having to spend millions doing it?