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  1. #61
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    One place I visit has a refrigerator with soft drinks, water, and snacks. Coffee pot always full.

    Free donuts and bagels every friday.

    Keeps everyone happy.

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  3. #62
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    I read through most of this thread and will tell you my opinion. Biggest thing is finding what motivates your people, individually. I always hated "being part of a team" because I showed up early, worked hard, put in extra care, thought, and effort, while many of the other guys barely showed up, did the bare minimum, and then expected a big reward.

    I have an odd view of being an employee. My job is to WORK. The purpose of my work is to make you as much money as I am able. Problem is, this would get me in trouble when one of the engineers would spec something stupid, that cost the company a lot of money. Or it would get me in trouble when I took extra care and effort in setting up a particularly expensive piece. When the other guys would scrap several, but get it done in half the time.

    My last job I was completely self sufficient. That was an enormous reward. Engineering would deliver a stack of prints. I would spec the steel I wanted ordered. I would order my tooling. I would schedule my work. I would coordinate with other departments to accommodate their needs. I would work in rush jobs according to my schedule. If I was ahead of schedule and it was a beautiful day out, I would leave early.

    One of my FAVORITE rewards was when the owners wife would bring in a home cooked meal for our 10:00am break and the owner didn't stand looking at his phone or tapping his feet by the shop door when we went over 10 minutes for break.

    One of the BEST rewards when I was working at that shop was knowing the owners genuinely cared about me as an individual. The company was late on a job, engineering burned up design and machining time just trying to get the product designed. I was working 14-16 hr days with a new born at home. I was so sick I was delirious, a dose of dayquil every 4 hrs barely kept me going, but the parts had to get done, and everything hinged on me getting the work done. I had my machine up and running, tooling prepped, parts programmed, and I was passed out at my desk when I woke up hearing the owners arguing. The wife was chewing out the husband that I was even at work. He knew I was sick, he knew I was doing my best to get the machining done, but he expected me to quit when I couldn't take it anymore. His wife disagreed. He had no idea how sick I was. She had apparently tried to wake me up to check on me. I was white and cold to the touch. He promptly walked over and told me to go home. Opened his wallet and handed me a $50 and told me to stop on the way home and get a bottle of whiskey to put in a hot drink before I went to sleep. I went home and slept for 14 hrs straight. Even now remembering that tugs at my chest.

    I work to earn money, but money really, in my opinion, is a poor motivator. Most of the guys I worked with at big shops who always milked over time and all they talked about were bonus's really were not the best of employees. They were usually just greedy, or enormously in debt.

    It really is the little things in life that make a big difference. A random 10 minute break with a few cold cokes to discuss how the day is going can have a big effect. Every shop has those little irritations that if fixed, can be a huge reward. Sometimes it is difficult to find those irritations from the top down. A lot of shops I have worked at had little things that if done would make the employee's day better.

  4. #63
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    I'm not in the management position but from my point of view, simple acknowledgement of good work would go a long way.

    Example: We run a family of eight parts, four of one configuration four of another, with four OD variants of each part. So thirty-two possibilities. When I arrived each part had its own program and setup. Run time for these parts varies from 33-47 minutes and some features can only be measured if everything else is there, so at the end if a tool gives or you miss a dimension by .0005" or you forgot to change one parameter from the previous program and that drill you spent 40 minutes installing and indicating to +/-.0001" breaks, it can easily eat a day or two. We got a new batch of drills in and I realized I could improve everything. In two weeks of free time while jobs ran I put together a master setup and program so that two number changes in the same program could run ANY of the parts in any variation. It has been running since Sept 1 2017, is running as I type this and I just finished the same setup on another machine so we can pump them out faster. Setup times are reduced to as long as it takes to run the three parts needed for a first article. I haven't heard a peep from the owner or shop manager. Guess what that does to my motivation to optimize other jobs? They either didn't notice (doubtful), don't care (doubtful), or simply expect that to be the norm (unsure). Regardless, what I did is well above and beyond my job description and while profit sharing or a bonus or a little raise would be good, simply knowing that the work is appreciated would go a LONG way for me.

    Another thing along the same lines would be acknowledgement of a job well done. If I fuck something up, I can expect to hear about it 2-5x from as many people, depending on the severity. The several thousand piece order I improved the cycle time on by 30 seconds while removing burrs on-machine? Not a word. One particular job had another family of parts being made at 7min each with another probably 5min deburring per part. After 2 days of testing, a co-worker and I had the cycle time down to just over 4m and significantly fewer burrs in addition to being able to automatically switch part numbers (same part, different lengths). Maybe 2 days is a long time, but we make thousands and thousands of these per year. Shop manager came out and when we told him what we did his answer was, "OK. Now can you make it 10% faster? Then we'd *really* be printing money." Co-worker and I just looked at each other in disbelief.

    I guess this is a verbose way of saying acknowledgement of good work and letting employees know you appreciate them could help. I realize it's an employee's literal job to make money for the company, but it's nice when one knows they're looked at as more than a group of numbers.

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  6. #64
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    I guess this is a verbose way of saying acknowledgement of good work and letting employees know you appreciate them could help.
    From experience on both ends.. A simple Thank You at the end of the day, or a 'good job' can go a long ways.

    Its a lot easier to get up in the morning and do a good job and/or bust your ass when you know that somebody actually
    gives a shit...

    Many moons ago when I first started seeing my better half, we had some fun without leaving the house and afterwards
    she went into her school bag and pulled out a sticker she would put on kids papers.. "Good Job".. Its on the side
    of my tool box and I smile every time I see it.

    Positive reinforcement costs ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!! and it pays big.. People WANT to know they are appreciated.

    The strange thing is that on the days you want to choke 'em and they totally screwed up.. Those are the days
    the positive words mean the most.. THOSE are the days that can take an average employee and turn them sour, or
    depending on what you say, that average employee can quickly become one of your best assets..

    "Joe you asshole monkey fuck.. You fuckin' retard!!! How Can you be so F'n STUPID!!!!!!!"

    Joe already knows he f'd up, but now he's feeling bad plus pissed at you for being an asshole..

    Option 2) "Joe, go home, have a good evening, and don't worry about it (Joe WILL be WORRYING about it),
    WE'll figure out what went wrong in the morning, and then WE will figure out what WE can do
    to fix the problem."

    Again, Joe knows he F'd up.. He feels bad enough about that (if he doesn't, you can fire him later).. He's
    going home being thankful you didn't chew him a new one, even though he knows you should have.. Now he's not
    thinking about what a dick you are, he's thinking about how he can do his job better (and make you MORE MONEY)..
    This is the stupid stuff they teach you when you go to management seminars.

    As of tomorrow morning, Joe just became your best employee, and it didn't COST ANYTHING..

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    I watch a bit of Japanese TV now and then. One show is just about worker's lunches. You don't see a lunchroom where the president doesn't eat in the same room, from the same menu, often at the same tables. Quite often he's wearing the same uniform. In many small companies they cook lunch for the staff right there every day, and it's a good lunch too, not processed crap. Not rocket science: people who are well-nourished work better in every way.

    It's a pity so many people are so egotistical and/or insecure in our culture that they have to flaunt their petty authority or feel that treating their subordinates in a humane way will detract from their authority. You can be the president of a Fortune 500, but in a few years you'll be nothing but dust and a face on the boardroom wall, or maybe just out in the hallway. Get over it.

    You read about the officer's and NCO's the soldiers say they would have followed "to hell and back"; usually the ones with the human touch, the ones who would remember a man's name or compliment him on what he did well, who showed some concern that their men be comfortable when they could.

    So much, gained from so many, for so little...it's almost embarrassing.

    "Houston we have a cultural problem."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Martin.C View Post
    what do you all do in regards to incentives to get a crew moving faster and more productive.

    i was contemplating adding a job completion bonus/incentive scheme but am worried about people going too fast and compromising quality.

    what is everyone's thoughts/what incentives do you have where you work?

    Cheers
    Marty
    Before trying bribery, how about Respect? Do people know if they are ahead or behind? Are they coached on problem-solving or told to live with it?

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  10. #67
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    As a worker a compliment of doing a good job is worth more than money or time off and a real boost to want to achieve and do yet more when its deserving and then continue to say it even if it turns out having to be said every day. I never cared to have a baby sitter assigned to lead me but to be treated as a responsible adult, given my tasks and left alone to accomplished them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    Oh B.S.
    The owners son/daughter is gonna come in and get the big job no matter what they do,
    and the workers don't have a chance at moving up.
    When I was a kid, I turned down an apprenticeship because the owners son worked there and there was no chance I was going to end up owning the place.

    Wasn't looking to own it at 22, but I understood that I wasn't going to own it at 52 either.

    Steve

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  13. #69
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    Well, I've read most of this thread. I seems to me that the op needs to get rid of all outside workers and use the only people who can satisfy his needs. That being his family.

    Mule

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    I worked at one place where you got paid your hourly rate as a bonus for every bit of time you saved on the job compared to the amount of time quoted to the customer to do that part of the job. But all jobs had to pass inspection before you got your bonus. So, for example, if your part of the job was quoted to take 10 hours to complete and you, say, completed it in 9 hours, then you got 1 hour bonus paid at your regular hourly rate (after the job had passed inspection). If it didn't pass inspection and more work was required to rectify it, then you had to clock back onto the job until it came up to spec. The system relied on honesty from management and the shop floor. But we had a good set up and it worked well. You had guys working 2 jobs (or more) getting the second one completely as bonus. We didn't need anyone standing around with a big stick. Management loved it as they found they still made their expected profit, got the job out the door quicker, invoiced sooner and were working on their next lot of profit producing work earlier. It was win, win, win.

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  17. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rivett View Post
    Here in North America (probably Australia & N.Z. too) we have a leadership class who are increasingly idiotic and corrupt, without any vision other than enjoying the superficialities of power. With one hand they wave the flag, with the other they sell their children down the river. "We've all conspired for years to produce an ignorant and compliant electorate..." John Podesta, Billary's campaign manager. Who is "we"?? Not just the Democrats obviously; he's probably referring to the American "leadership class" as a whole. Can a country long survive when it's people are despised by its leaders, when they are deliberately dumbing them down and degrading them in every way possible? What and who do these clowns think is going to take their place? The answer is on the other side of the Pacific, and increasingly on this side.
    I was intrigued by that quote so I dug into it. First of all, it was attributed not to John Podesta, but to Bill Ivey, former NEA chairman under Clinton, writing to John Podesta, and the quotation is selectively manipulated to convey an different message than Ivey intended, following investigation by Snopes.com, who pronounced the claim 'false':

    "If these three sentences had appeared in a letter or essay, as opposed to a quick e-mail, they would read like this:“And as I’ve mentioned, Washington Republicans, Independents, and Democrats have been quite content to sit quietly as pundits and candidates demean government and elected leaders, quite content to let the study of education fade from our schools, and all-too comfortable as our citizenry then becomes unaware and compliant. Unawareness remains rampant, but as the Sanders and Trump campaigns demonstrate, compliance is obviously fading rapidly. This problem demands some serious, serious thinking…”
    No “master-of-the-universe” conspiracy; just a lament that leaders and policy makers have not been sufficiently attentive to some of the basics that make our democracy great.

    Bill Ivey
    " (emphasis mine)

  18. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingerbeer View Post
    I worked at one place where you got paid your hourly rate as a bonus for every bit of time you saved on the job compared to the amount of time quoted to the customer to do that part of the job. But all jobs had to pass inspection before you got your bonus. So, for example, if your part of the job was quoted to take 10 hours to complete and you, say, completed it in 9 hours, then you got 1 hour bonus paid at your regular hourly rate (after the job had passed inspection). If it didn't pass inspection and more work was required to rectify it, then you had to clock back onto the job until it came up to spec. The system relied on honesty from management and the shop floor. But we had a good set up and it worked well. You had guys working 2 jobs (or more) getting the second one completely as bonus. We didn't need anyone standing around with a big stick. Management loved it as they found they still made their expected profit, got the job out the door quicker, invoiced sooner and were working on their next lot of profit producing work earlier. It was win, win, win.
    Probably says more about where I have worked than anything else, but I can't imagine that system working for long. I could see after a couple weeks of (effectively) making 40-50-60$ an hour by working multiple jobs the quotes would all of a sudden be ALOT more "competitive".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1974 View Post
    Probably says more about where I have worked than anything else, but I can't imagine that system working for long. I could see after a couple weeks of (effectively) making 40-50-60$ an hour by working multiple jobs the quotes would all of a sudden be ALOT more "competitive".
    That is, in part, part of the idea though. I compete with CNC shops around me billing at $35/hr. How can you pay a guy to run a $200,000 CNC, buy tooling, consumables, and keep the lights on at $35/hr? I worked at a company for awhile, and one job I had was in the tool room running a $1.6m Hermle 5 Axis and an old POS Deckel 5 Axis. My "work center" was billed at $28/hr.

    What Gingerbeer was saying is the exact reason I am self employed. I would expect that is why MANY here are self employed or own shops. If you estimate jobs at a $50/hr rate, and can have 2-3 jobs running, you are effectively making $100-$150/hr. Which then means you SHOULD be able to be more competitive on the quotes.

    My brother is a diesel mechanic. One of the reasons he is a GOOD mechanic is his investment in his tools. He can typically complete a job, in 2/3 to 3/4 the time other guys can, for which he is paid an incentive. The company makes more money because he is accomplishing more work in the same amount of time, and he gets a portion of that. Seems like a great system for a machine shop!

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    https://www.nonstopscaffolding.com/d...s%20System.pdf

    Yes, it's for bricklayers, but it's pretty much the standard
    piecework system that has been around for ages.

    Only he makes one point very clear "Do not cut the prices,
    as the workers figure out ways to get faster/more efficient"

    That seems to have been lost on all those old line USA companies
    that used to run piecework.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Martin.C View Post
    .................. they are good at what they do just not good a leading.
    Right there is the origin of alot of issues. I have seen this at multiple companies. They take the best machinist they have and make him a supervisor or lead or whatever title they choose. With little regard to the fact the guy they promoted may be the best machinist they have....but he is also a dink. Or just plain not educated or interested in management.

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    Fire one scare the rest!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fal Grunt View Post
    That is, in part, part of the idea though. I compete with CNC shops around me billing at $35/hr. How can you pay a guy to run a $200,000 CNC, buy tooling, consumables, and keep the lights on at $35/hr? I worked at a company for awhile, and one job I had was in the tool room running a $1.6m Hermle 5 Axis and an old POS Deckel 5 Axis. My "work center" was billed at $28/hr.

    What Gingerbeer was saying is the exact reason I am self employed. I would expect that is why MANY here are self employed or own shops. If you estimate jobs at a $50/hr rate, and can have 2-3 jobs running, you are effectively making $100-$150/hr. Which then means you SHOULD be able to be more competitive on the quotes.

    My brother is a diesel mechanic. One of the reasons he is a GOOD mechanic is his investment in his tools. He can typically complete a job, in 2/3 to 3/4 the time other guys can, for which he is paid an incentive. The company makes more money because he is accomplishing more work in the same amount of time, and he gets a portion of that. Seems like a great system for a machine shop!
    I'm not sure if we are agreeing or not! haha IME when this came up, the owner always had an "excuse" or something. I am in no way saying I should make more money just because he made good money on a job (but it's not unreasonable to at least expect/want a "good job" or maybe a pizza party for the shop if a few jobs did really good), I am just saying why I think what gingerbeer said wouldn't work around here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1974 View Post
    I'm not sure if we are agreeing or not! haha IME when this came up, the owner always had an "excuse" or something. I am in no way saying I should make more money just because he made good money on a job (but it's not unreasonable to at least expect/want a "good job" or maybe a pizza party for the shop if a few jobs did really good), I am just saying why I think what gingerbeer said wouldn't work around here.
    I think we agree, I was just emphasizing that it should work! I have worked at a few of those places as well. Big promises, big expectations, and little follow through.

    The last company I worked for, the owner got to know the routine. He would walk out of the office at 4:30 with a print in hand and a sheepish look. Ask me what my plans were for the evening. He knew it meant pizza and a 6-pk.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Limy Sami View Post

    Reading Row Boat I thought you ment this one.

    The Management Rowing Race


    This one about the ant is also very fitting regarding the lack of motivation...

    The Ant Fable

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