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Dan Craig
09-14-2006, 01:13 PM
Those of you who have employees - where do you go to find good ones?

We've got a small family manufacturing business which employees 3 others beside the 3 of us in the family. We recently lost a very good employee to illness and have in the past had a hard time finding good ones, and are currently having a hard time.

We really need someone, probably a little older, in a stable point in their life, who has some machine shop experience, who wants out of a stressful position and wants to 'join the family' (so to speak). I'm pretty sure these people aren't on Monster or other online sites.

I know they are out there - I just don't know where to find them.

Any ideas or experience is appreciated.

John Stevenson
09-14-2006, 01:19 PM
Me -- me........

Send air fare.

.

ERBenoit
09-14-2006, 02:57 PM
While I have no experience as an employer, a couple of friends of mine do own small businesses, in the building trades. In discussions, they have the same problems, finding and keeping GOOD help. You mean "I have to be on time", "You want me to get my hands dirty".

The good help that they do have treasures their jobs as much as he treasures their dedication to his business.

To them, it seems that the youger generation does not want to actually "work" to get paid.

speedsport
09-14-2006, 02:59 PM
Post ads everywhere. Wanted, experienced machinist, great benefits and the best pay scale anywhere in the world. Paid holidays, paid vacations, annual sick leave, company truck, profit sharing, pension plan. You will have your pick in a long, long line.

John Stevenson
09-14-2006, 03:31 PM
What sort of truck ?

.

Timleech
09-14-2006, 03:54 PM
What sort of truck ?

.

Banned in the UK many years ago by the Truck Acts
:rolleyes:

Tim

speedsport
09-14-2006, 04:42 PM
Ford F350 superduty crewcab longbed dually with powerstroke diesel, full leather interior, premium sound system. Fuel credit card included.

John Stevenson
09-14-2006, 04:48 PM
Just your basic pickup then ?
.

topct
09-14-2006, 04:57 PM
"Ford F350 superduty crewcab longbed dually with powerstroke diesel, full leather interior, premium sound system. Fuel credit card included."

Most often seen driven empty. By the owners trophy wife. :D

Cecil Walker
09-14-2006, 05:35 PM
Dan, this is a sore subject with me also. I'm having the same problems finding diesel/farm equip mechanics that are able (or trainable) to do laptop diagnostics then get their hands dirty to do the repairs. We have tried state employment commission, newspapers, trade mags, HS guidance counselors, radio, etc., to no avail. We provide a good wage, commission, uniforms, paid holidays, sick time, vacations, 401K, overtime for anything over 8 hrs, and paid training. Each Dept Manager (parts, service, sales) is provided a company vehicle. But yes, sometimes the hours are long, hot (or cold) if its a field service call, and can be dirty work. Most of the work is done in a clean, well lit shop, heated in the winter but fans only in the summer. Employee must furnish hand tools only, we buy all diagnostic and special tools. Most of our people are 50+, lost 2 to retirement last year and will loose another Dec 31, and i'm having a REAL PROBLEM replacing them.

I can only speak for what i see locally, but it seems that the parents and schools all push for the college level education, the term "Trade School" is a dirty word, much worse than "unemployed". We seem to have created two levels of High School graduates, the college level and the unemployable. I hired 2 High School grads last year, neither was interested in learning, just wanted to watch someone else work, complain, or attempt to fake an injury. One (i will call John) actually reported an injury while unloading some equipment, when i interviewed the 3 men clocked in on the job, i found out that (John) was not even helping, he was in another location. Needless to say they are not with us anymore.

If you find an answer to your question please let me in on it, i would be forever grateful.

Rant mode off now.

Ries
09-14-2006, 07:13 PM
Over the years I have hired a lot of kids- I cant afford the wages for a mature, experienced guy like you describe.
Around here, in my type of fab shop, an older guy who is stable would want $20 to $30 per hour, plus full benefits.

I pay more like $15.
So I hire young guys, and train em.

I have had really good luck with trade schools.
You dont say where you are, but for instance when I was in LA, I hired guys from LA Trade Tech. They have a great machine shop course, or used to- I went there myself for a while in the late 80's, and at that time they had 3 complete machine shops, along with a huge welding program, and the most respected motorcycle repair program on the west coast.
Nowadays I work with a couple of different Community College/Trade schools around here.
I get to know the teachers, and ask them to recommend a student. Sometimes we start out part time while they are still in school. Sometimes I hire em after they graduate.
I find that someone who has decided to take 2 years of their life to get an AA degree, and either pay for it themselves, or find a way to hustle up the money, is usually a lot more devoted to whatever trade it is, than somebody who answers a want ad.
I have had guys off the street who say "sure, I can weld". And then they cant. But when somebody has spent 2 years, 9 am to 1 pm, welding, and more welding- well, they can weld.
Then, of course, I have to train em how to do everything else.

I have had several employees last as long as 5 years I hired this way.

Tim125
09-14-2006, 09:08 PM
So you continuously go through new people, is that what you're saying? Did it ever occur to you that hiring and training that young kid cost you more than finding an older and more stable employee and paying him the 20 -30 dollars an hr plus full benefits that he's worth? I come from the new car service field, Ford to be specific, I can diagnose, teardown and rebuild a powerchoke, 7.3/6.0 take your pick, a tranny or any other system on a vehicle in my sleep. All the while the new kid fresh out of tech school is scratchin' his balls still trying to figure out which way is up. I've trained alot of new techs, some have alot on the ball and some shouldn't be allowed under the hood of a car without supervision but all of them have cost more money in the long run than hiring an experienced tech because once they are experienced...they want more money. In my experience business owners/managers are very shortsighted in that respect.

pntrbl
09-14-2006, 10:09 PM
I'm a painting contractor by trade and I'm with Ries on this one. I hire kids with NO experience and teach 'em to do it my way. Sooner or later most of 'em move on, but I've got one that's been with me 10 years now.

wierdscience
09-14-2006, 10:49 PM
At work I am currently the youngest person there.The owner is 70,one helper is 78,another is 55 and our counter help is pushing 60.Everybody we have hired who was younger than 40 was a total POS.Sorry,but that is the truth.We had one girl,super smart 18/yo that swept the floors and did inventory and waited the counter,she was good help.Only problem was she had too much ambition and went into biomedical technology and is now making a lot more than we could pay:D

Pay is dependant on skill and attitude.We have been finding folks with no skill and lots of attitude,or ones that aren't worth shooting.

The hamburger joints are paying $10.35/hr to start,and they can't keep help,so that tells you what skilled trades are like.In the construction trades a Mexican that speaks some English,has a work visa and a drivers licence brings in $12-14/hr as a helper.If he is legal,speaks good english and can run a crew,he gets $18 and up.

Problem is un-employment really is at 4-1/2%,that means everyone who is employable is employed.

Dan Craig
09-15-2006, 02:11 AM
Thanks for the responses.

I knew this wasn't a rare occurrence. I've seen the trends just in this forum alone, but elsewhere as well. Too many 'young punks' (of course I'm young, but I've been in the trades since I was strong enough to use a paint brush and roller) have no desire to work for their money, and many people who are worth their salt are working already.

I guess it's mostly a matter of preference and doing whatever works for you and the company, even though what's working today may not be the best for the bottom line overall, or may not be the most efficient or desirable way.

This is basically a million dollar question, and the answer, of course, isn't very black and white - but it never hurts to ask it and to get others opinions.

Thanks again to everyone.

madman
09-15-2006, 08:59 AM
Dan this is a sore subject with myself. I was layed off last week from the tool and die shop. Ive been there three years. Previously i had my own business for two years and did OK but the customers were driving me Kooky. Previously twenty years in the aerospace machining industry. I felt I was a good employee and had creative ideas on problems encountered in the shop and so on. Im ready to relocate and move and work where maybe i could stay at one place for another 17 years till i hit 65. Im a big boy six foot four 240 pounds and am not scare of getting dirty or working either. I live in Ontario Canada. Hows that foir a resume?/ Mike

Your Old Dog
09-15-2006, 10:51 AM
Not trying to be flip here but call up the damn school boards and ask them. Many of them are busy with there lofty ideas of teaching all kids to be computer whizes. My take on the computer industry is that only about 10-15 percent make really good money at it. The other 85 - 90 percent are just getting by, some working 2 jobs to get by. You don't suppose computers are more Politically Correct in todays culture and machinery is passe in the minds of the enlightened?

Millman
09-15-2006, 11:38 AM
About Cecil's problem--You're gonna' have a tough time when you try to mix the laptop crowd with the worker crowd. The laptops don't want to turn a wrench, the wrenchturners don't want anything to do with computers...so, I would keep them in separate categories and separate wage levels. After 2 days on the job...you can tell who is qualified and who slacks off. Promote the ones who work as instructed. Seems to me the young ones don't want to get down and dirty.

Millman
09-15-2006, 11:43 AM
[[Im a big boy six foot four 240 pounds and am not scare of getting dirty or working either.]] Now THAT"S an employee. Damn, Madman, wish I had enough work to keep you busy!! I would hire that ATTITUDE in a heartbeat! You're a dying breed ,my man. Best of luck!

Ries
09-15-2006, 11:53 AM
Mixing the laptop crowd- well I cant agree with that one- one of the smartest guys who ever worked for me was a combo- he was amazing on a computer, I had him doing Photoshop and drafting program stuff, and he was a natural machinist. He had a few years of experience running mills, and was bored with it, so he was getting his degree in Industrial Design. So he was able to do most anything.

If what you do is the same thing, all the time, and predictable, then maybe you would want a stable, older guy- fixing cars or trucks, that makes sense.
But in my shop, we work on a job by job basis, where every one is different- old, entrenched ideas of how it is to be done would not go over well. I find most old welders are grumpy and set in their ways, but dont actually know that much beyond burning rod. And they are spoiled by doing refinery turnarounds, where you can make 10 grand a month without thinking much.
When I hire a young kid, and he works for me for a couple of years, I dont feel like I have wasted my time with training- it is usually a satisfying process for both of us.
Many of the kids who have worked for me over the years have gone out and done great stuff on their own, starting businesses, becoming artists or musicians, or working at other companies in positions of responsibility.

I dont hire machinists- I dont have enough production machine work to justify it, so I do that myself. I hire welder/fabricator types, and I would much rather hire a young guy who has spent two years in trade school, and is a very good tig welder, and train him to do all the other stuff the way I want it done.
With older guys, and I have had a few, I find often times the "way I always do it" or "good enough" are the attitudes.
Not in my shop. We make things right, or we dont do it at all.

I guess part of it is also who you want to spend your time around- I am enough of a grumpy old guy for one shop, dont need another one.
Plus, with young kids, if you slow down, and lay off, its not the end of the world. And my biz is unpredictable- we may be busy for 9 months, then dead for 2. So I like the flexiblity of young guys. And girls- one of the best tig welders I ever employed was female.

Cecil Walker
09-15-2006, 01:33 PM
YOD: you are correct, very few want their kid to be a service tech, not the most politically correct occupation.

Millman: correct also, I can keep them in seperate categories at the in-house (shop) work level. But, its a different story on a field service call. The customer does not want to see 2 people in that service truck, one sitting while the other does his work (diagnostic or physical repair). The customer is paying a labor rate of $55.00-60.00 per hour/per mechanic plus mileage on the truck. That starts when the mechanic punches on the work order and departs the shop. I can't afford many non-revenue generating people either.

Weird: Yep, skill and attitude is a major problem. Had a very skilled guy apply for a job about a month ago. Had worked 3 places in the past 6 months. So, i just had to ask "what was the problem?' answer: "I will not work any place where the people use foul language". Damn, i got one girl in the parts dept that swears like a drunk sailor (She is a GOOD parts person too), and my 2 best service techs are not far behind her in their language skills. So much for that application, we prefer long term employees.

john hobdeclipe
09-15-2006, 02:59 PM
"I will not work any place where the people use foul language".

Unless he can find a job as a full time church janitor, he's going to find himself hungry most of his life.

TECHSHOP
09-16-2006, 05:46 PM
Never hire a good employee cause he'll take off and compete against you. Never hire a bad employee cause he'll screw up more than he gets right.

Evan
09-16-2006, 06:13 PM
It's a major problem for my son. He has his own drywall taping business and could easily expand it almost indefinitely if he could find anybody willing to work while they learn. Trouble is, in Alberta there is a huge shortage of workers, especially in the trades. Right now in Western Canada the trades are where the money is. It's only going to get worse for the foreseeable future as many tradespeople will be retiring over the next 10 years.

My wife also has a big problem finding qualified office staff for the business she runs. She needs sombody that can answer the phone and speak to a sawfiler or millwright and understand what they are talking about when they order industrial abrasives. She will train them but they need to have some mechanical aptitude. They also need to be able to learn what the heck a grinding wheel does and looks like so they can tell one from another. On top of that they need some computer skills as well as customer skills for the occasional walk in customer.

The most difficult requirement they must also pass is our beardog also must approve of them. :D She's a shop dog and has an uncanny knack of figuring out what people have some little nasty streak or are up to no good.

wierdscience
09-16-2006, 08:24 PM
My buddy that died this past summer had a similar scale for finding women,here is his for finding employees

Population by percentage

20% won't show up for the interview
25% will be on drugs or booze
20% will be lazy
20% only want a workmans komp suit,or piece of paper saying they applied
10% will be thieves
3% will be good employees,but won't stay long
1-1/2% will be good employees,but will need training,and last,but not least-


.5% will be excellent,well trained compitent folks who are a pleasure to work with,pay them WHATEVER IT TAKES TO KEEP THEM,ANYTHING LESS WILL COST YOU MORE!

Rich Carlstedt
09-16-2006, 10:51 PM
Well I was trained to interview and have handled thousands of such in my early years. I could say that interviewing is an Art, but I won't.
What I found was that I came full circle in my beleifs and resolutions after extensive experience
Rather than spell out the issues, i will give you some of my beliefs.
First, this past Sunday, I went to a party at my nephews (has a business 30 years) and at the party was his first employee..still working. And he said to me" how did you find her?, without her, I could not have made the business hang in there." In other words...she fit, and I hired her when helping him outwhen he was starting.....so here goes..SO why did this work ?
Easy....but this is not in the books, trust me
Forget the degrees, forget the training, forget the journeyman status. forget most all that you are told to look for...review your own beliefs and most of all, understand them ! this is important..very important. This borders on prejudice..be aware.. I am NOT talking racial / ethnic predjudice, I am talking about predjudice for good employees. When something tells you in the back of your head to "back off this guy" DO IT and dump the interview.do not forsake your own intuition. Am I saying to resort to "intuition? NO I am saying to look for the drive, the motivation.

Here is the great secret in my opinon.
....look into their eyes for the hunger.
No floor looking, no distractions..eye to eye.. and listen..
I am not talking food..I am talking about the hunger to work and do well.
Give me a man who wants to work.......and then allow me to train him, and nuture him and I will show you a guy who goes to the end of the earth for you. He will beat the heck out of any "Journeyman" you can get and he is good because he "wants to be good"
Now here is the hard part..especially for you, the owners.. do you know why the last 'good' guy quit? if you said 'wages' you have your head full of crap, and thats why he left.. in plain words.. You don't know! Well you better get with it pal.
The reason I mentioned the above..the hunger.. is that's what drives people to excel .......is that not true for you ?
So how do you keep these exceptional performers?
Easy..you feed the hunger.. you develop their skills (when you stop, they GO)
You train them, send them to school ...and talk to them
I know , you think I am nuts, but i am telling you how to hold on to these guys. When you talk..don't BS about baseball and other crap! Talk about "their" problems and asperations and "Goals"
you will be amazed..I promise you.
When they can grow with you and the business and feel like they are part of the business and are taught to help make business level decisions.. they BECOME part of the operation and do not leave..You have to
trust them, pay them a living wage, and be concerned about them. If this is all above you, go fight the fight the rest of your competators have.. finding good employees

Notice i did not say how to find good employees.. Thats easy.
The hard part is learning how to keep them.
After all, if you can't do that, then the first part is worthless
Rich

Too_Many_Tools
09-17-2006, 01:15 AM
So you continuously go through new people, is that what you're saying? Did it ever occur to you that hiring and training that young kid cost you more than finding an older and more stable employee and paying him the 20 -30 dollars an hr plus full benefits that he's worth? I come from the new car service field, Ford to be specific, I can diagnose, teardown and rebuild a powerchoke, 7.3/6.0 take your pick, a tranny or any other system on a vehicle in my sleep. All the while the new kid fresh out of tech school is scratchin' his balls still trying to figure out which way is up. I've trained alot of new techs, some have alot on the ball and some shouldn't be allowed under the hood of a car without supervision but all of them have cost more money in the long run than hiring an experienced tech because once they are experienced...they want more money. In my experience business owners/managers are very shortsighted in that respect.

LOL...yeah...that's what he is saying.

Happens all the time.

Penny wise and pound foolish.

In my experience, when the employer laments about employee turnover the problem is with the employer.

Good employers don't have any significant employee turnover.

Good employees stay put when the workplace and compensation is good...they vote with their feet when it isn't.

Now let's all sit back and listen to the excuses from management saying it is the employee's fault that the company can't keep people.

TMT

Mike W
09-17-2006, 02:29 AM
I have quit jobs mainly because of petty micro managers that act like you should be greatful to even be working there. I knew what it was like to work in a more enlightened workplace and wouldn't put up with it. I felt kind of sorry for the people still there that thought it was just the way things are. People don't go to work to do a bad job. The screening process would have to be awful poor to let some real losers start work. One job I got entailed 3 interviews with different people on different days. If you keep losing people, maybe the pay or the working conditions leave something to be desired.

Millman
09-17-2006, 05:58 AM
Well, you've all brought up good points and I agree with most. I spent over 40 yrs. at this trade and am damn proud of it! Never had a Journeymans card and never trusted anyone who did. They would strut their stuff, till they got in a bind. Who ya gonna call? A ****in Machinist/Millwright to bail their toy boy ass out. Saw them whimper when the supervisor came around. Bull****, that just wasn't my style. I made money for the owners and they owed ME. If more machinists would grab that reality.....maybe things would get better. Feel bad for you guys that are still employable, and not appreciated.

HTRN
09-17-2006, 11:50 AM
Here, here!

I can't get over all the complaints about "We can't find good people!" that companies use.

Well, let's see, I'm an experienced CNC machinist, with a AAS in computer aided manufacturing, maintanance certified on Citizen Swiss machines, I can program, setup, operate, and inspect with Haas VMC's. I'm familiar with Brown and Sharp CMM's, and most manual machining practices. I can make jigs and fixtures with ease, I can probably improve your process. I'm even enthusiastic about working overtime.

Yet I can't find a job in the shops at a living wage. I get offered $12/hr to get filthy, and drive an hour each way - why bother when I can work at home depot at those wages, and commute less than 10 minutes? I get outrage when I "demand" $18-20/hr, from the interviewers, yet I see the owner driving a jag, her son driving a corvette, and living in a $5m house(actually happened at one place).

This subject is occasionally covered in the likes of SME, and MMC. Basically, if you can't find decent employee's, you're not paying enough. They're as mercenary as you are, and will leave at the first chance for a better paycheck.


HTRN

Dawai
09-17-2006, 01:09 PM
Start by checking his/her credit.. if they don't have enough self respect to pay thier child support or for the car on time.. They don't have enough respect for you to work.

Good pay does not make a good employee, it is something deeper.

I'd start the interview with laying $100 or so in small bills on the table before hand and leaving the room several times. It will cost you lots more if you find out later. That $100 can save you thousands.

Fasttrack
09-17-2006, 01:55 PM
:) Shoot - anyone near chicago need teenager to help out in the summers and/or weekends? I'm happy getting 6 bucks an hour just sweeping floors if i was in a machine shop! I'm looking forward to college because the university i'm interested in has an on-site machinist to make all of the physics appartus and they encourage kids to get to know him and help out. Even if i'm cleaning chips from the lathe i'd love a chance to be in that environment. I think even just cleaning stuff i could learn alot by listening and watching. I'm not too horrible at welding either - i'm not AWS certified but i welded farm equipment and trailers for two different companies over the summers. (lucky me i was paid in cash ... not too much liability to worry about) :D

Tim125
09-17-2006, 08:32 PM
"Good pay does not make a good employee, it is something deeper."

Bull's eye.....employers, when you see the drive, the determination, the hunger in their eyes, that is an employee that is worth his/her weight in gold and should be treated accordingly, wether they are a wet behind the ears green horn or a seasoned veteran. Forget the credit scores, certifications or whatever. Follow your instincts, you'll know when this person comes along, treat and pay them as though your business depended on it, because it does.
I am paid well above average for the proffession in my area, during a busy year I'll pull six figures, in an average year I'll hit between 80-90k. I am an excellent tech but there are quite a few excellent techs around. What sets me apart is my attitude, drive, hunger, whatever you call it. I take care of the shop and the shop takes care of me, the better things are for my boss, the better they are for me. Alot of people I've met over the years think something is owed to them, needless to say, they are not great employee's

Mcgyver
09-17-2006, 08:52 PM
"Good pay does not make a good employee, it is something deeper."


so true.

looking at employees one at a time you get annectdotes; you may get the odd dud or brilliant exception, but statistically, how the good employee is is determined by the environment not the employee. The idea is that each of us has a wide band of potential behaviours, and the surroundings mostly determine where on the scale our needle sits. Does the environment, culture, management, companies attitude and values etc etc bring out the best or the worst.

Image two co's, A & B, each with 500 employees. A is the top of its industry and has exception productivity, low absenteeism, theft and turnover. B is the opposite, its at the bottom. Salaries are the same. Now its not reasonable to assume A hired aces and B hired duds, take 500 people and their average abilities; intellect, talent, skills etc, will be close. btw, since people are what makes any business successful, the A's tend to have much high profit.

what's different and what matters is the environment between the two; culture, social norms, values & are actions congruent with values, etc etc.

This is referred to as organizational behavior and there are lots of examples of cases the above and probably more companies haven't figure it out than have. To the original point, the objective of OB is to get the best employee performance without having to pay more.

Too_Many_Tools
09-17-2006, 09:23 PM
so true.

looking at employees one at a time you get annectdotes; you may get the odd dud or brilliant exception, but statistically, how the good employee is is determined by the environment not the employee. The idea is that each of us has a wide band of potential behaviours, and the surroundings mostly determine where on the scale our needle sits. Does the environment, culture, management, companies attitude and values etc etc bring out the best or the worst.

Image two co's, A & B, each with 500 employees. A is the top of its industry and has exception productivity, low absenteeism, theft and turnover. B is the opposite, its at the bottom. Salaries are the same. Now its not reasonable to assume A hired aces and B hired duds, take 500 people and their average abilities; intellect, talent, skills etc, will be close. btw, since people are what makes any business successful, the A's tend to have much high profit.

what's different and what matters is the environment between the two; culture, social norms, values & are actions congruent with values, etc etc.

This is referred to as organizational behavior and there are lots of examples of cases the above and probably more companies haven't figure it out than have. To the original point, the objective of OB is to get the best employee performance without having to pay more.

LOL...it just cracks me up when I see the management trying to get quality employees without paying for them.

If pay is not important, then why do CEOs get so much?

Hypocrites.

"Good pay does not make a good employee, it is something deeper."

It may not take good pay to make a good employee but it DOES take good pay to keep them.

If you have employee attrition, you have a compensation problem....people will work in Hell if paid enough.

TMT

Tim125
09-17-2006, 10:07 PM
LOL...it just cracks me up when I see the management trying to get quality employees without paying for them.

If pay is not important, then why do CEOs get so much?

Hypocrites.

"Good pay does not make a good employee, it is something deeper."

It may not take good pay to make a good employee but it DOES take good pay to keep them.

If you have employee attrition, you have a compensation problem....people will work in Hell if paid enough.

TMT
True to a point but I would rather be paid a bit less and treated with the respect and appreciation I believe I deserve then be treated like a mere liability to be discarded on a whim. I have worked for more money in a poor work enviroment. I would much rather be in the situation I am in now. I do not whore myself out to the highest bidder and you couldn't write a check big enough for me to work in hell, been there, done that. Maybe that's another benefit to hiring a seasoned person.

Mcgyver
09-17-2006, 10:30 PM
TMT, of course you have to pay for them and everyone would love more, no one but mother Teresa goes to work in the morning for the goodness of their hearts. The CEO is in it for the dough as much as any one.

But whatever you pay people, the point is once that's determined, environmental factors determine what, at that pay rate, you'll get from people. A persons performance is not some vital stat immune from the attitudes, norms, influences around them and frankly how they are treated and see others treated.

Do you dispute that there is a lot more to it than pay in having people put forth their best? why then do not all companies with the same pay achieve the same results as per metrics i listed? I agree seeing silly superficial efforts is sadly amusing, a company can't post some mission statements and have a BBQ and expect results...... especially when at the same time they are treating people like crap or tolerate behavior in conflict with the values. Actions speak louder words, so what the company does over time to reinforces the values and culture they have, for better or worse.

However, given any particular person, and a pay scale, what happens after can vary widely or is even determined by the workplace environment, culture, values etc.

speedsport
09-17-2006, 10:42 PM
It's always about the money, if it wasn't then why do employers always want to pay as little as possible. It's not hard to get good help, it's just hard to get good help cheap.

Too_Many_Tools
09-18-2006, 10:13 AM
It's always about the money, if it wasn't then why do employers always want to pay as little as possible. It's not hard to get good help, it's just hard to get good help cheap.


That is my point...when you see these discussions of "having trouble finding good help" what the real problem is "keeping good help".

In my experience, most employers are extremely short sighted in terms of understanding how important their employees are to the bottom line. I have yet to see an employer account for the true cost of employee attrition...which should be kept as low as possible. True employees age and retire but when any employee leaves, their experience leaves with them. Any company that tolerates attrition in the name of lower wages deserves the parasitic drain on their resources that it causes.

Follow the role model of the CEO and their philosophy..."Show me the money".

TMT

Too_Many_Tools
09-18-2006, 10:40 AM
TMT, of course you have to pay for them and everyone would love more, no one but mother Teresa goes to work in the morning for the goodness of their hearts. The CEO is in it for the dough as much as any one.

But whatever you pay people, the point is once that's determined, environmental factors determine what, at that pay rate, you'll get from people. A persons performance is not some vital stat immune from the attitudes, norms, influences around them and frankly how they are treated and see others treated.

Do you dispute that there is a lot more to it than pay in having people put forth their best? why then do not all companies with the same pay achieve the same results as per metrics i listed? I agree seeing silly superficial efforts is sadly amusing, a company can't post some mission statements and have a BBQ and expect results...... especially when at the same time they are treating people like crap or tolerate behavior in conflict with the values. Actions speak louder words, so what the company does over time to reinforces the values and culture they have, for better or worse.

However, given any particular person, and a pay scale, what happens after can vary widely or is even determined by the workplace environment, culture, values etc.

Come from a Human Resources background, don't you? ;<)

If there is one piece of advice any employee should remember it is "HR is not your friend". They are there to support management, not the employee.

"But whatever you pay people, the point is once that's determined, environmental factors determine what, at that pay rate, you'll get from people. A persons performance is not some vital stat immune from the attitudes, norms, influences around them and frankly how they are treated and see others treated. "

This is the chicken and the egg question....that I have heard so often. The Company attitude is what will the employee take based on the environment we provide....well my response, what is this environment that you provide worth in terms of dollars and cents?

When you pay someone, it is in exact dollars and cents....then please quantify the exact economic worth of this "environment" that you discuss that the company offers in exchange of increased compensation. The behavior of the management in this country indicates that the employee is vastly underpaid. Otherwise why would their own compensation have significantly increased while the remainder of the workforce's compensation has decreased since they both work in the same "environment"...."the attitudes, norms, influences around them and how they are treated and see others treated"....that you mention.

The real issue is that environment only comes into play for retention of employees, not the acquision of them and if your company has any attrition other than due to retirement/pregancies/forced family moves, it is too much. Even with those, adequate compensation will cause people to remain at the company in a part time role with their full time experience that will benefit your bottom line.

Meanwhile we have companies expecting decades of experience while paying burger flipping wages...because they want something for nothing...and they are getting exactly what they deserve.

TMT

Mcgyver
09-18-2006, 03:54 PM
that's funny me coming off as an HR person, I'll take it as a compliment that i can see from many perspectives :D .... actually I'm the antithesis of HR, corporate finance.

You refer to the 'companies' attitude, there is no homogeneous corporate view on how to treat employees. A lot of your points sound like you've worked with some companies that do poorly in this area. That many companies do poorly at creating a good work environment is not relevant to what i said - I don't claim that many/most companies do well in this area....but those that do are usually the best performers in their sectors.

You really believe its only dollars and cents that determines performance, attitude, job satisfaction etc? If so, then every organization paying the same amount would show exactly the same results. This is absurd, as clearly they don't get the same results - there is variance. What then causes the variance if they are at the same pay structure? Why do two identical payrolls not generate identical productivity, turnover, job satisfaction scores etc?

We'll never agree in this discussion if you disagree with or don't acknowledge that 1) people are influenced by values, culture and social norms around them (whether at work, home, friends, etc) 2) company to company there is variance in how positive or negative a work environment is, and 3) better results come out of a better environment, then its a short discussion and we'll just have to agree to disagree, no harm in that.

menace
09-18-2006, 05:58 PM
This topic is like perpetual motion! When I was younger,(yesterday) I was always hot headed at work and was constantly reminded I was there to run the machine, and not my mouth, which got me laid off a few times, but I took it in stride and always stood my ground. Most of my issues were safety related, I worked heavy construction, so they arose often and were always being cornered! Also, the owners were "always" trying to beat us out of 20 min here, 10 min there, so at the end of the week it would total a few hours time, enough to piss us off, especially watching them drive by in the big SUVs knowing we were paying for it!!
I was taught to do my job to the best I could by my family, but not to get Fffd over!! I'm very proud of the work I've done over the years and I've also feel I've gotton even by not working overtime when the crumby owners wanted me to! I was good at what I did, and if I had an issue about getting nickled and dimed I'd wait until the nite they needed me to stay late, then at the quitting time, head for the car. [Where you goin?] Home! [We need you!] Too bad, put your boy wonder in the machine! [He's not as good,will take alot longer!!!] You should have thought about this before Fffn my pay last week! [We'll make it up in this weeks check!] BS, I don't believe you, we'll talk about this tomorrow, good nite! Always do your regular job the best you can, I'm sure alot of you don't agree to my way of thinking. Don't hurt the product, hurt the gravy the boss gets at "your expense", fair is fair.

Steve

Too_Many_Tools
09-18-2006, 11:42 PM
that's funny me coming off as an HR person, I'll take it as a compliment that i can see from many perspectives :D .... actually I'm the antithesis of HR, corporate finance.

You refer to the 'companies' attitude, there is no homogeneous corporate view on how to treat employees. A lot of your points sound like you've worked with some companies that do poorly in this area. That many companies do poorly at creating a good work environment is not relevant to what i said - I don't claim that many/most companies do well in this area....but those that do are usually the best performers in their sectors.

You really believe its only dollars and cents that determines performance, attitude, job satisfaction etc? If so, then every organization paying the same amount would show exactly the same results. This is absurd, as clearly they don't get the same results - there is variance. What then causes the variance if they are at the same pay structure? Why do two identical payrolls not generate identical productivity, turnover, job satisfaction scores etc?

We'll never agree in this discussion if you disagree with or don't acknowledge that 1) people are influenced by values, culture and social norms around them (whether at work, home, friends, etc) 2) company to company there is variance in how positive or negative a work environment is, and 3) better results come out of a better environment, then its a short discussion and we'll just have to agree to disagree, no harm in that.

No problem with disagreeing....I respect anyone who has an opinion that they can support...it shows intelligence and logic at work.

I do agree that people are influenced by their environment, that companies vary as to work environment and better results can come out of a better environment PROVIDING it comes with greater compensation. Companies like to play the environment card because they think they can throw an occassional bone to the employees in the form of a dinner, an award, a title, a BBQ, etc. so they don't have to pay the employees more money. Now when was the last time your banker would take a pat on the back to pay this month's mortgage bill.

Finallly the most telling indicator is "actions speak louder than words"....when was the last time the boss was happier with a title than a million dollar bonus?

When I see the CEO being paid the same as the janitor, then I will believe your argument.

TMT

speedsport
09-19-2006, 05:59 AM
In the past I used to do projects out of town, I had a guy that worked for me on these projects, the projects usually required about 6 weeks of intense work, 7 days a week as many hours as you could stand. I always just ask him how much he wanted me to pay him and thats what he got. I really didn't care how much he wanted, the more I paid him the more money he made me. If I got sick or something progress continued, I had to bust my butt to keep up with him. Best help I ever had.