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  1. #1
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    Default Offered Foreman Position-Need Tips/Advice

    The company I work for (been here over 8 years) is kind of in a state of transition. Its a small shop, fewer than 10 employees with 1 foreman. The current owner is looking to sell the business and retire.

    It appears that the owners son will be buying the business itself, downsizing quite a bit and moving to a location with lower rent. We have probably twice as many machines as we need due to a decline in business the last few years.

    That being said, they have approached me, informed me of all this and offered me the foremans position in the new downsized shop. Obviously, none of my coworkers know this yet and nothing is set in stone anyway. I was informed the current foreman will not be retaining his position in the new shop, but not by his own choice. He does not know they offered me his position, but does know about a “potential downsizing and move.”

    All that being said, it is a position I have been looking forward to having the opportunity to be in. When they first approached me I didnt put too much stake in it as it was just an idea (the sale of the business and downsizing and moving) but now its actually starting to look like it is going to happen within the next few months. They have struck a deal on new, smaller building close by and I am being asked for input on which machines to keep, their layout in the new shop and which employees to keep.

    I was told to be thinking about salary and benefits I would want to stick around, be foreman and help the son get up and running. Looking for advice on what to ask for and advice on what to do as a foreman. I can say that I have a good idea of what not to do from watching my current foreman for 8 plus years. I am currently making $25/hr ($52k/year before taxes) as a lead man with a small profit share, 3 weeks of PTO time, and 4% IRA match.

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  3. #2
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    I don't know about everyone else, but to me this screams "booby trap!". I can see so many things going wrong, from SOB not working out, to really hard feelings over "betrayal" (whether deserved/rational or not), to the idea of hitching yourself to a secretive coup in a declining company.

    Maybe it would work great, you'd do well and the others would get on with their lives. But me? I'd be looking for a new, more stable environment to work in.

    But I admit, this could be very entertaining. Do make sure to let us know how this shakes out...

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    Default Offered Foreman Position-Need Tips/Advice

    I had a feeling that would be the sentiment.

    The current foreman truely has dug his own grave for many reasons I wont get into on here. There is a part of me that doesnt like how this is looking like it will pan out for him but as I said, the shovel has been in his hands for years.

    As for the rest of the employees, theres really only one thats potentially on the chopping block and he has been openly applying and going to interviews. He has no idea about what is going on behind the scenes but for some reason is very vocal about leaving so he really doesnt concern me.

    What I do like about this situation is it is an opportunity to rebuild, we were booming before and are currently taking on new customers that are ordering more and more each day. A year ago I was about to leave myself, but now I see opportunity on the horizon. Our core crew of guys is a good group and works great together. Its the day to day operations on the shop floor that are disorganized and in disarray no matter how much the peons do to try and improve the situation and the current owner realizes it (finally) hence the change in command, even though it may look to be a coup attempt.

    Edit: Can it really be considered a coup if the president is replacing a member of his own cabinet? I dont consider it as such but that may be a biased viewpoint.

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    You have nothing to lose and many things to gain by doing your best. The hardest part will be the people who will be looking for new employment for the shock of it.

    Look at it as a huge upward move and own it like that. You can not turn down the chance really it is the next step forward. Just ensure it does not harm you in any way keep your cool and stay strong.

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    Well, as I said it could work out. But SOB's have at least a partially deserved reputation, so without knowing the ethos of the kid I can't really give much other insight.

    Perhaps you'll get some more opinions. I'm a little surprised at how quiet it's been, usually people love to comment on situations like this.

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    Default Offered Foreman Position-Need Tips/Advice

    The boy is smart. Has an engineering degree, he worked on the floor with us for several years so he is not new to the business by any means.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steelsurgeon View Post
    The boy is smart. Has an engineering degree, he worked on the floor with us for several years so he is not new to the business by any means.
    That's a good sign. I don't have much more to say, good luck and let us know how it works out.

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    When a company changes.
    And there are secrets.

    Dont count on being in on the new secrets.

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    As said above you got nothing to lose. I would look at it as a new job with a new company. Go for it. If nothing else you'll be able to put "foreman" on your resume. But in the long run there ain't much future in companies that are downsizing. Growing companies are where the opportunities are.

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    I worked in a very similar situation.....the boss/part owner was an old idiot,with so many wacko practices and ideas.....but he knew how to make money by slavedriving and cheating.......Anyway ,because old Col cheated BP ,the business got an ultimatum ....transfer ownership /day to day operation /to the son,or be gone from the refinery.....The son was a right basket ,degrees that fitted him as a financier ,didnt want to be there ,and had a very long list of people to go.........No ,not me,not right away ,I was to be part of the transition plan,then expendable,as were all the "greyhairs".....I quit ,for other reasons ,not related .

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    "Got nothing to lose" ...wonder if the present foreman has guns?.An AR maybe...hi cap mag?....do you have a nice fitting ballistic vest?

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    Get paid for your hours and bail if it goes to shit and you'll be solid.

    Just don't work for peanuts with the promise of getting paid more once the shop is resetup or anything like that.

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    The opportunity to get experience at the next level up wont hurt, regardless of how it pans out at your current employ. But if it goes downhill, then would be wary of how long I stuck it out.

    Nowdays I own my own show and from my reconing if a worker comes in from somewhere that went to shit, my 1st thought is, "can I break em out bad habits they have picked up there". Ones attitude tends to go downhill in a failing business.

    Regardless I would also casually look around at other firms if you can without attracting suspicion.

    Changes in a company like this can really have a bearing on the current customer base. It could quite easily go down hill, but I think you already know that.

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    I'd get the offer and conditions in writing. I'd ask for increased profit sharing and work by the hour at whatever rate you decide is worth it.

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    you are kind of asking for advice about a lot of situational stuff, but to address the title, here are my tips for moving from a production worker to management

    1) hang up your ego at the door (really should apply to everyone, but its more important in leadership). You are a servant to those below you, your job is get them what they need to produce. You are a servant to those above you, your job is to fix or exit those below who can't produce

    2) the big transition is in your head. From when you walk in in the morning until you leave, you have to view everything in terms of as what is best for the business - that's a big shift in attitude and approach. The only time you are thinking about whats best for you is after hours and its along the lines of what to ask for a raise or career/job change.

    3) lead by example. Set the pace. Never late, always serious/corporate/professional etc. In such a small business, with an owner present (assumption is he is working in the business) it seems more like a lead hand than a foreman role (i.e. still on the tools)

    4) Nothing should personal, don't make it so. Treat everyone the same. and they're not your friends.

    5) Humans need affirmation, don't be miserable or mean and hand out the attaboys and do stuff for them - little things like say a bbq or whatever now and again. Retention means you have to stroke a bit and make them feel good about working there and with you
    Last edited by Mcgyver; 03-07-2021 at 12:16 PM.

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    a companies success is based solely on the customers confidence

    in order for a company to survive a move they need to be solid enough

    not to erode this confidence

    the transition between dad and son in companies has a tendency to go

    extremely bad

    lead man assassinating foreman (what could go wrong?)

    add all these together........

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    Good advice here. Thanks for the help and differing views.

    I have quietly been applying other places for a couple years just to see what is out there. None have really caught my eye or offered enough to get me to move.

    The business itself is not in dire straits, we have been debt free for a long time. We arent making a lot of money right now but we are far from losing money. Every big purchase we have made has been cash in the last few years. That being said, we have acquired more machines than we truely need just because of falling into good deals on them. Thats where the downsizing is actually happening is in equipment and machines.

    The building we are in now is a whole lot bigger than we need and the move to the new building is a savings of over $7000/month in rent. I really believe a shake up in management and culling back the fat is the right step for the new owner. (If this all pans out)

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    I don't really get all the hypernegativity in the responses so far.

    It sounds like you have worked with the son long enough on the shop floor to know what kind of a person he is, and if you are talking objectively and accurately about the old foreman then weeding him out and giving someone else a chance sounds completely rational.

    I can see no reason not to go for it if you have faith in the son and in yourself. There are three possible outcomes, either you'll be looking for a new job sooner, or looking for a new job later, or it will be a success.

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    I don't think you mentioned whether this is a proposed salaried position, best to remain punching the time clock in most circumstances. It has been long ago but in most companies I worked in people who were promoted into salaried positions ended up losing cash from unpaid over time, the trade off being a much better benefit package.
    I see nothing but positives coming from a promotion to foreman, even if things go sideways. This will especially be a great experience if you are contemplating opening your own shop, as said before, you can now put foreman on your resume if you need to move on.

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    The current foreman is salary but anything over 40 is straight time not time and a half. A modified salary I guess is what it is called. He still clocks in and out and is paid based off of hours worked.


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