Letters to the editor (03/09/13)
Managers need to be more considerate
Given America’s apparent penchant for violence, I have lately been alarmed by the number of people that have complained to me about behavior exhibited by their supervisors, as well as human resource specialists — behavior that they feel lacks fairness, respect and compassion.
Some of these individuals are long-time employees of the organization and some aren’t. Some are very close to retirement and some have a long way to go before they can consider retirement.
Until then, all they are asking for is a workplace environment that permits them to enjoy their job, to adequately provide for their families and, live happy and tranquil lives free of unnecessary stress.
I would venture to say that most employees are good and understand their responsibilities. By the same token, I believe most supervisors, less “Peter Principle” subjects, and human resource staffs are humane and understanding.
The handful of bad apples, administrators and employees, are the ones that give organizations a bad rap and, thus, the reason for my concern.
Permit me to focus on management for it is my belief that, generally speaking, this is the point in the organizational scheme where the problems incubate.
What is it that causes people in power to act in such negative and destructive ways? Do they forget that there was a time when the shoe was on the other foot?
Most of them, I’m sure, were at one time rank and file employees and, surely, they learned something about organizations and human behavior from that experience and, how it feels when a thoughtless person deliberately abuses his/her power.
Surely they have heard of numerous incidents where a disgruntled employee returned to his work place and killed or seriously injured his supervisor and others in an attempt to get even for the hurt that had, sometimes, been wrongfully inflicted.
By coincidence, as I write, the news media is reporting that California law enforcement officials are looking for an individual who shot and killed three people, including a policeman, after he was, in his eyes, wrongfully dismissed from his job as a police officer.
This is what really bothers me about destructive behavior exhibited by people in authority who never, for a moment, think something like this could happen.
The Center for Prosperity, headquartered in Montreal, Canada, seeks to improve communities by working on attracting highly skilled people that can contribute to the economic and, concomitantly, the social well being of the inhabitants. The center subscribes to John Maynard Keynes belief that demand for products and services is key in order for the stimulation to occur. This is, indeed, a very basic assumption that should be easily understood and accepted.
By the same token, Keynes tells us that those who deliver the services/products must be taken care of to include humane treatment in addition to equitable wages. It is only with the completion of the circle, that organizations can be successful and, in turn, bring prosperity to the community.
Keynes’ tenets are not rocket science. They are important ingredients of basic human organizational behavior and are a common thread that runs through hundreds of books on the subject. Review the literature.
My own personal bias leans toward Professor Charles R. Milton who was at the University of South Carolina when I was first introduced to him.
Leaders of organizations cannot forget they have a mission and that it can only be carried out if the workers are taken care of. If the organization is successful, the leadership will receive appropriate recognition, making it a win-win situation for all.
It won’t work, however, if managers lack the “wisdom” to manage with methods that emphasize trust and respect for all from the line manager, foreman, lead person to the individual at the very bottom and, very importantly, that are fair and consistent!
Wisdom, which is acquired through experience and an understanding of organizations and human behavior, will, when applied judiciously, propel employees and, concomitantly, organizations to unimaginable levels.
Wake up leaders, administrators, managers, directors, whatever your title is! The title is meaningless if you forget that you and the organization will only soar with the eagles if you work together and practice a wise, respectful, humane, fair and compassionate leadership style!
It is only in this way that your organization’s mission, goals and objectives can be carried out efficiently and effectively. Should you choose not to accept this basic principle, you will surely fail and the losers will be you, the organization and humanity in general.
We should be able to chose who we want
On Dec. 19, the prior county commissioners signed a $24 million contract with Waste Management for trash service over the next eight years.
Waste Management does not have an office nor is it local to Valencia County. Valencia County will lose thousands of dollars in gross receipts. More importantly, leaving the local trash pickup companies who reside in Valencia County, with local offices who pay taxes to struggle keeping their employees and their businesses open.
At the county commission meeting in January, concerned residents went to voice concern and oppose this travesty of a contract. I spoke with a local company of 30 years, which bid to put three transfer stations above the only one we currently have, a trash and recycle bin with every household, and employ 50 Valencia County residences for only .22 cents higher than Waste Management. Not to mention, Waste Management offered none of what they offered.
I would encourage families from Rio Communities and other incorporated communities to transfer their trash service to one of the local pickup companies. They need our support and we need the revenue of gross receipts we are now losing. I have always been satisfied with the level of service I receive from my resident, taxpaying hard working trash service person and am sure anyone who transfers will as well.