Leaves a lot to be desired

Charleston, South Carolina area. But excluding all of its faults, my paychecks have never been late and I have yet to be laid off, which lay-offs are not uncommon in the DoD world. V. T. Malcolm – Leaves a lot to be desired I work for V. T. Malcolm, we are a Department of Defense contractor out of Charleston, SC. Our main corporate office is in Chesapeake, VA, we also have offices in CA and FL. Our main specialty is communications. There is a Joke at Malcolm, “that for a technology driven Communication Company our inter-company communication is antiquated at best. ” My so-called rise in the company

I have worked there for four years and all four years I have had “supply specialist 2” as my official title. Titles do not mean much at Malcolm. In those four years I have held the positions of; shipping and receiving clerk, warehouseman, forklift operator, forklift trainer, safety officer, tool room clerk, tool room supervisor, inventory specialist, building maintenance, warehouse supervisor, production supervisor, government tool specialist. My rate of pay has increased a dramatic seventy three cents from my starting date. There are no bonuses for non-managerial staff.

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If my valuation is up to snuff and the moon is in the right orbit I have been lucky enough to get a Cost Of Living Adjustment of twenty-five cents for my yearly raise. Other than that we receive no other improvements in pay or incentives for our work. It has been written multiple times in emails and said in meetings to “be done with your work and you will be rewarded with more work”. This has been explained that you need to do you work as soon and as good as possible and your “reward” for this hard work will be more work. Meaning if they feel that you are not up to speed or quality on your org there is a possibility you could be furloughed.

At V. T. Malcolm they do not fire workers, but they do furlough. The idea being behind this is if you are fired you can collect unemployment almost immediately, which Malcolm has to pay into, however if you are furloughed there is a six week waiting period (hoping that they call you back to work) enacted by the unemployment department before you can begin collecting unemployment. During this time Malcolm figures you cannot go that long without a paycheck, so they are hoping you will find another Job so they do not have to pay any extra towards your unemployment check. These are Just a few ways in which they feel they motivate workers to work.

A sliver of management style Now when I first started at Malcolm they would do an “all-hands” meeting approximately every six to eight week in which the general manager would basically give us a “state of the company’ update and finish it with a grilled hamburger and hotdogs lunch with a couple of sides and a drink. About a year and a half ago we had a steak lunch with baked potatoes and all the dressings. Starting a week later we had a massive layoff of approximately half of our working force. Since that point we had one lunch meeting in which we were, for lack of a better term, told that we are doing k but things are looking up.

That was over six months ago and things are not looking great. There is a large contract that is going to run dry by the end of the year if we do not get replacement contract there will be a layoff in that department. In the department that I am currently in we have approximately six contracts currently at work. However three of them are not large and do not last for more than a few months. One is in the beginning stage and is contingent on a lot of things happening t the beginning and from what I understand we are struggling to keep up to the deadlines.

One is in full swing and it is also struggling to keep up. And the last one is the one I am on, it is scheduled to end September 30th of this year. As we sit right now it is well known that we will not be able to complete it successfully by the end of contract. There is currently sitting a possibility that the contract could be extended if we can show that we can do the work and meet the deadlines, but at this point with the amount of work left to do and the amount of employees currently assigned to the contract it will be very unlikely to happen.

Individual Management Style I have given you all this information to give you an idea of what it is like where I work. Now management wise, I will begin with myself, and tell you how I work with my employees. I am the immediate supervisor for four employees currently. I recently had one move to a different project and the other left the company for a better Job. I have an employee who is degreed but is currently working at a low end laborer Job go for an interview on Friday for a position that is within her area of study.

So there is a distinct possibility soon to have only three employees which will make it interesting n ending this contract successfully. I try to be a very people orientated manager. I have an open door policy with my employees and encourage dialogue flow both ways. I want to know when something is working and when something is not working. I ask them often if they need anything from me, if there is something I could do or get for them to make their Jobs easier. If the time is available for me and the workers are at a certain point where I can step in then I get in the warehouse and work with them.

On Fridays I bring in donuts in the morning, knowing which specific ones employees prefer and try to have them available. I do what I can do to have a good working relationship with the employees. I have had personal one on one meetings with the employees to get to know them better and tell them a little about myself. I tried to find out what their fears at work are and what they feel about the work they are doing, what I can do to help them, and what motivates them.

When I get emails regarding them or that concern them in any way I make it a point to either post the email or at least go to the ones involved and let them know exactly what was said so there is complete open dialogue. Now if there is something negative happening guarding one of my employees from higher up the hierarchy and I am made aware of it, depending on the situation I may make the employee at least partially aware of what is happening (I would want to know if the roles were reversed, and try to keep that in mind). Group Management Style Unfortunately this type of interaction between supervisors and employees stops with me.

My immediate supervisor has yet to come to my warehouse and check on me and the production rate since I took over from Just being a warehouse manager to both the warehouse manager and production manager which has been a little over a onto. When I go to his office for help or guidance I receive short curse-filled answers, when he is there, or get told how busy he is and that he couldn’t possibly do (whatever it is I ask of him) now but maybe later in the week he might have a chance, he will get back to me. Which doesn’t happen I usually have to get the answer else wards or make it up myself.

This is the response I receive from the project manager as well (for him it is usually by email for he is impossible to locate in person). I recently sent an email to the project manager breaking down all the tasks we have until the end of the contract (September 30th) as per time it will take to do them in man hours and material needed and compared that to the employees I have at my disposal, their amount of man hours left till the end of the contract and asked for a specific number of more employees to be able to complete this Job successfully by the end date.

He then did not address the email I sent him but sent out a department wide email asking what resources we need to complete the tasks at hand and gave a sooner closing date. I then adjusted my numbers and sent him back an mail asking for the adjustment, Justifying the reason why and attached the previous email to the one that was sent out for all to see with the hopes that some good will come of it.

In a later email that I was cad on he briefly mentioned that he is requesting additional help in areas needed but we need to strive to complete this contract with what we have since that is the task that we were originally given and at this late stage the “Calvary’ may not arrive in time. But at the end of each email he writes “motivate your people to be done with the work that they have and they will be rewarded with more work”. I liken that to telling someone in captivity to each your slop (even though the dogs refuse to eat it) and we will give you more.

From my perspective on an upward trend this is where the management skills end and threats and intimidation begins. Then the department head always has a bad attitude and is in a hurry to be going somewhere. I have tried to have conversations with this man and it always ends with him telling me we are working on getting more contracts but right now he’s not even sure if he will have a Job come tomorrow. That is the last thing you want to tell your employees!! Next as a general manager for the Charleston division’s level this man is more concerned about the aesthetics of the place then how the place is actually running.

We may not have working toilets (true story) but he was very upset that our lawn service was a day behind on cutting the grass. When the air conditioning was out in the building besides the one he works in there was a 10 day delay in getting it fixed due to cost? But when it went out in his building and the part was going to take two days to get delivered, he paid extra to overnight it and have it installed the following day. Which by the way while waiting for the part he went home because it was Just too hot to work.

The place was 80 degrees. My warehouse hits 80 by eleven am and is usually hovering between 94 to 97 degrees by the time we go home. Of course we have no air conditioning and during the summer we have two small heaters. I had to “acquire” individual space heaters for the workers to get them close to being warm enough to do their work. Corporate Style Management Finally at the corporate level, well basically if you are not in the corporate office you are an annoying little ant that keeps getting in the way.

Once a year we have awards sent out for “outstanding” workers. It always works out the same, one award for San Diego, one award for Pensacola, one award for Charleston, and the rest for Chesapeake. All of the events and recognition on our company web site goes to VA. We have even had pictures of work that was done by workers in Charleston, at Charleston locations mislabel as VA Jobs. And even though there were corrections sent into the main office about that fact a re-print, correction, or update was never publicized acknowledging the mistake.

All of the current events are about VA, locally e have volunteered at charity events and those have been overlooked to write about how the CEO ran a marathon (not for a charity, Just for his own good). The one time the CEO came to Charleston for an “all hands meeting” it was to tell us that we were doing good and keep up the good work and that VA thanks Charleston for supporting them. Even though at that moment in time Charleston had the highest amount of revenue coming into the company including all North America entities. When you get that kind of support then you question why moral is as low as it has almost ever been?

I think you have answered your own question. V. T. Malcolm used to not be like this from what I hear from the “old-timers” even as short of a time as seven years ago Malcolm valued their employees. Bosses used to take pride in what their workers did and in reflection workers took pride in what work they put out. After being sold four times and this final one to a holding company out of England I think workers are Just too shaky in their Jobs and bosses are too concerned with their Jobs and the bottom line to care what happens to the company.

The consensus is that the company will be broken apart and sold piece by piece to the highest bidder. And that leaves everyone’s Job in a state of limbo. Management is either too self-absorbed or too nervous as what’s going to happen next that all management training (if any) has been thrown out the window and it is simply look out for one’s own good. Meanwhile we are bidding and receiving Jobs we are not even remotely qualified for, but get them because we are the lowest bidder.

Which means we have to cut costs (usually on the working man, not the overpaid administration) and thus we have multiple mistakes by workers who are making barely above minimum wage so they don’t care what kind of product they put out. So we transfer everyone around hoping to make a change but we still have low skilled, low paid workers doing Jobs that are scrutinized by government employees (usually paid a lot higher) and thus the product is rejected and our management cannot figure out why they are receiving such low quality work.

So I have a couple of theories; first you get what you paid for, meaning low paid workers gets low quality work. Second, when the only time you check the work is when it has already gone through your customers Quality Assurance program and failed miserably, that leaves a bad taste in the SQ rep and they will be expecting poor laity work from your company so things will fail even if they are within passing range. Finally issues like this start from the top down and if you want good work you have to hire good workers and support them.

Poor management breeds poor workers. I believe it is time for a shakeup at Malcolm from the top down. 1 . Set Goals, setting clear and concise goals lets you know exactly what you expect and where you expect to go. 2. Prioritize, what tasks to I need to do to achieve my goals, how does this task help me complete my goal, and what extent does this task help me achieve y goal. By choosing which one of those your tasks falls under it helps you achieve your goal quicker and easier. 3. Keep a task list and use the above guidelines to help prioritize those tasks. . Schedule tasks; this helps keep them in control and gives you a guideline to follow 5. Focus on one task at a time; trying to do too much at once gets confusing an leads to frustration, failure, and ultimately giving up. 6. Minimize distractions; we are used to multitasking today but if we can concentrate on one thing and do it to the best of our abilities we will succeed. 7. Overcome Procrastination: simply stop being lazy 8. Take breaks; Even superman took a break every now and again. 9. Say “No” – when you feel overwhelmed Just say no.

There are times where you Just can’t do it all. 10. And finally Delegate Tasks; you have people who work for you and you hired them to do more than make copies and get your coffee. Use their skill set and ease your load a bit. (William) These are all things that Malcolm supervisors need to learn. Add these in with people skills and V. T. Malcolm is set for success. We put out a good product usually. We need good people working for us. To get good people working for you, you need to have good management.

Management that trust and uses their employees to the fullest. Management at its lowest form is managing people. You don’t manage people by scare tactics and bullying them. That is something that most people learn in high school. Management is a bit like water once the flow starts downhill it usually trickles all the way to the bottom. References William, D. K. (n. D. ). Http://www. Lifelike. Org/articles/productivity/lo-proven-time- management-skills-you-should-learn-today. HTML. Retrieved from http:// www. Lifelike. Org.

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