Shop Foreman's attitude toward other employees - What's crossing the line? - Page 3
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  1. #41
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    It's always hard to judge the exact context from an internet post, so no surprise that different responders are reading this differently. FWIW, I'm not hearing that the foreman is jumping on folks for no good reason - if Bob is tossing his tools after using them, it sounds like he is asking for a reprimand. Could it be possible that Bob was testing the foreman, and the OP, to see how firm this new command is going to be?

    That said, I think the foreman could provide the firm hand even more effectively, without treading into the dangerous territory of "hostile work environment." A couple of thoughts that might or might not be helpful for him:

    1) It is, of course, hard to change one's personality and habits -- hard for the foreman, hard for the machinists on the floor. But the foreman is asking them to change their behavior, so it makes sense that he too has to be ready to change his behavior -- not to accommodate them, but to be even more effective.

    2) In terms of changing his behavior, the foreman might consider upping his game. Instead of feeling that he either has to swear louder, or back off because he can't swear, you might encourage him to consider how much more intense a quiet approach can be. Would you rather have the coach swear at you, as he swears at everyone else, or have the coach pull you aside and speak with quiet intensity for several minutes? Coupled with the quiet-but-intense approach needs to be the calm-but-immediate-consequence approach. Start out with the former: instead of swearing at the guy publicly, take him aside and let him know, in an intense but quiet voice, that this is unacceptable behavior, and the next time it happens he is going home. And the next time it happens, no swearing, no shouting, just a tap on the shoulder: "You're done for the day."

    Key to the above, of course, is that the OP has to back him up. Basically, the message needs to be clear: "Like it or not, things are changing -- and here's why." That message needs to be clear in how you and the foreman operate, but it also needs to be said clearly, something like this: "The way things were going was not acceptable. If you all want to continue to have jobs, then the company has to thrive. For the company to thrive, it has to have employees it can depend on. You all are good machinists, even great ... but we have all been operating with some bad habits. As you know, I've asked Joe here to take on the unenviable job of tightening up the ship. He is doing just that. He is learning as he goes, and I will work with him on the ways he needs to grow in this role. But I want to be very clear: what he says, goes, and I will back him up. Yes, he will make mistakes, as will I; if you have a complaint, I certainly want to hear it, and your feedback will factor into the ways that Joe and I work on improving. But here's the bottom line: things are not going back to the way they were. If they do, we're all out of a job as the company goes belly up. I hope you will find that you like a tighter ship, that you like knowing that the person next to you is going to be held accountable for slacking off or sloppy work. However, if you are not comfortable with the changes, come and let me know and I'll be glad to write a recommendation for you."

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  3. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMF_TomB View Post
    a Sargent in the army often cames up in the ranks and talks fairly harshly to his men at times.
    When I was a young lad the HR lady left the small corporation I worked for. It was a pretty dysfunctional place, some mgmt in particular. We heard the new HR guy was a former Army Sargent. There was much jawing about this and everyone figured mgmt was hiring a real ball buster. He started a few weeks later and was a really nice guy. Decent, friendly. He didn't stick around long.

    My first manager at that place was an ex-GM guy of 23 years. He was Great. He had the absolute best insults, and work ethic. He liked me a lot, and we shared an office. My jaw would be on the floor as I wrote down the things he said to tear down whiny underperforming sales guys.

    In one legendary routine he'd yell "But I'm gonna make it easy on you! Oh it's gonna be easy!" and then he'd slam a jar of vaseline on the desk. "Oh, that's not easy enough? I got a whole f'n case for you!" and then he'd open a desk drawer and pull out a case of vaseline, which would get slammed on the desk. Jaw. On. Floor.

    Better still, I kinda figured that was how real management and business were done in corporate America. I had a blast working with him.

    My next manager was a real problem, and it was a sad day when I was tranferred. He referred to people as "his lackeys" behind their backs. One day, shortly before I left, he pushed me too far with boundaries and I took him into his office, closed the door, and gave him the 'full blast tear your head off' that I had learned from my first manager and from that environment in general.

    Some people will try and and walk over you unless you raise your voice.

  4. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glug View Post
    ....
    Some people will try and and walk over you unless you raise your voice.
    Those are the people you don't want working for you.

    Don't raise your voice, just talk. After a cool off period, if necessary. Make your point, respectfully, then listen. If that doesn't work, fire 'em, that is, after documenting their repeated misbehavior. Just do it, without drama.

    Screaming just pisses people off and wastes time and social capital. It's an inefficient way to do business.

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    If someone was doing something that endangered themselves or others and obviously knew better they would get a major heated ass chewing from me. All other situations the first offense of anything else got a calm reminder to do better. My abrasiveness increased as the unacceptable behavior kept repeating itself. Everybody makes mistakes, no need to go flying off the handle if your guy with a history of making good parts runs a couple out of print. A simple "Hey Joe, that .250 diameter bore was oversize yesterday, on a few of your parts, might have to watch it closer." Now if Joe has 4 straight days of parts out of print and has been told repeatedly, go ahead and let him have some verbal abuse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by neilho View Post
    Screaming just pisses people off and wastes time and social capital. It's an inefficient way to do business.
    Some people need to be kept after like a two year old. Some don't need to be supervised at all.

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    One thing not mentioned is where this tirade occurs.
    For some the mentioned screaming or heated is the thing they will respect and you have to do it once in a while.
    People are different and need different handling. The best supervisor/foreman training I ever got was a seminar in personality types.

    IMO, such should never be done on the floor in the presence of others.
    This becomes humiliating and no one responds well to this.
    Bob

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    Make sure you mix a little praise in there when they don’t eff up.
    Kinda like training a dog.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Econdron View Post
    But honestly, I like someone who can yell at an employee. Say what you want, but before foreman #1 when I was doing it, the guys walked all over me. I'd say we're starting to fall behind, mandatory 9 hour days for the next two weeks, and they'd leave at 7 hours. I'd pull them in my office and address it, they'd say sorry, then they'd leave at 7 hours again. Foreman #1 was a little better, but when people pushed back, he would back down and let them do what they wanted. This guy now doesn't put up with that stuff. He says no smoke breaks while you're in the middle of a job, someone goes out on a smoke break in the middle of a job the next day he goes out there and yells at them.

    I agree, he doesn't need to be using the colorful language, but sometimes that's the only way you can get through to someone. And people will definitely fire back at him in the same way if they are trying to defend themselves, but sometimes they just don't like being talked to that way.

    I'm sorry, but I'm not sure that I have time to follow this run-away thread right now, but I want to comment regarding your first few posts in this thread:


    Personally - I hate short fuses!
    Those types always keep everyone else walking on eggshells all the time.
    "Oh - don't piss off Johnny!"

    Like what's so bloody special about Johnny?
    Other than he learned from a small child that a tantrum yielded his own way.
    BITE ME Johnny!

    When you tell someone something for the first time, or even a reminder some time later - it can be done in a light hearted voice.

    But if things are getting out of hand - a more stern voice - saying the same thing - should git the point accrost.


    But yelling....
    That must be what all those parents with unruly kids at the restaurant doo on the way to and from the outing, and once they git home, b/c they shirley don't have any teeth in their words.


    Cut out the yelling and just simply put some teeth in the words.
    Don't say "or else" unless you are prepared to back it up.
    And then back it up!

    Backing it up hurts you as the employer AT LEAST as much as it hurts the employee!
    But it needs done from time to time with certain employees.

    If you're not prepared to doo anything about it - don't bother saying, or yelling anything about it.
    Maybe just look disgusted and walk on.....

    I despise hotheads.


    -----------------------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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    I would not work for someone like that.

    Doesn't sound like you can manage people. There is a certain expectation when a person in a position of authority tells you to do something that is valid and legal, either you do it as instructed or explain why not. In situations where I was employed, the first incident usually resulted in a verbal reprimand in private. The second could be dismissal.

    Tom

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    Working in an environment from the start as a "give praise where praise is due" and "get crapped out if you F up" I have a bit of experience with this.

    ALWAYS give a person " a pat on the shoulder" if he/she have gone beyond what was expected of him/her, but never do it if they do exactly what they are paid to do. Some people perform when getting crapped out for messing up, others d the opposite and go into their shell and do as little as possible and whine about how terrible their supervisor has treated them. You need to distinguish between the two.

    I for one got motivated if I screwed up, got told that I had in a very stern voice (maybe us South Africans are "harder than the rest" but we can handle being told that we messed up and cost the company money without running to the boss man) and tried my utmost to never make the same mistake again.

    Reminds me of a time when I was 18. Walked through a shop my Fathers friend owned. While my Father and the Gentleman were chatting the owner spotted an employee screwing up. He shouted at the employee and said words that made me embarrassed to hear in front of my Father. Not even a minute later he apologised to me and said "IN THIS TRADE YOU NEED TO KNOW HOW TO SPEAK IN SWAHILI, when the time arises"

    I think people have become way too soft in a workshop environment. There is a difference between verbal abuse and being told that you [email protected] up. If your foreman is getting the job done and all the employees have an issue then look at it. If he is getting the job done and only 20% of them are bitching and moaning (probably because they cannot stand actually working for their paid hours) then let him weed them out and hire people that are actually there to work.

    There is a good chance that his frustration stems from his thinking that the could do it better, for the business as a whole because he reaslises that it puts bread on his table.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NAST555 View Post
    Working in an environment from the start as a "give praise where praise is due" and "get crapped out if you F up" I have a bit of experience with this.

    ALWAYS give a person " a pat on the shoulder" if he/she have gone beyond what was expected of him/her, but never do it if they do exactly what they are paid to do. Some people perform when getting crapped out for messing up, others d the opposite and go into their shell and do as little as possible and whine about how terrible their supervisor has treated them. You need to distinguish between the two.

    I for one got motivated if I screwed up, got told that I had in a very stern voice (maybe us South Africans are "harder than the rest" but we can handle being told that we messed up and cost the company money without running to the boss man) and tried my utmost to never make the same mistake again.

    Reminds me of a time when I was 18. Walked through a shop my Fathers friend owned. While my Father and the Gentleman were chatting the owner spotted an employee screwing up. He shouted at the employee and said words that made me embarrassed to hear in front of my Father. Not even a minute later he apologised to me and said "IN THIS TRADE YOU NEED TO KNOW HOW TO SPEAK IN SWAHILI, when the time arises"

    I think people have become way too soft in a workshop environment. There is a difference between verbal abuse and being told that you [email protected] up. If your foreman is getting the job done and all the employees have an issue then look at it. If he is getting the job done and only 20% of them are bitching and moaning (probably because they cannot stand actually working for their paid hours) then let him weed them out and hire people that are actually there to work.

    There is a good chance that his frustration stems from his thinking that the could do it better, for the business as a whole because he reaslises that it puts bread on his table.
    I generally agree with most of your post. The foreman needs, however, to understand that cursing at employees is not a good plan for a long life.

    I once worked in a shop that made rocket engine parts. The foreman had two employees that were friends and would screw up all of the time and generally gave the foreman lots of lip and both of them would sass him back. He threatened to get them fired and in the meantime, assigned them to the dirtiest duties that he could find.

    The foreman came in one morning all bandaged up and with a black eye. He had unfortunately gone to a local bar and had run into these two miscreants. They took him out of the bar and beat the hell out of him. He, of course, got them fired, but what if they had decided to do him in? It could happen?

    It's fine to tell employees when they make mistakes, but some limits are needed.
    Last edited by Newman109; 04-04-2019 at 06:04 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Newman109 View Post
    I generally agree with most of your post. The foreman needs, however, to understand that cursing at employees is not a good plan for a long life.

    I once worked in a shop that made rocket engine parts. The foreman had two employees that were friends and would screw up all of the time and generally gave the foreman lots of lip and would both of them sass him back. He threatened to get them fired and in the meantime, assigned him to the dirtiest duties that he could find.

    The foreman came in one morning all bandaged up and with a black eye. He had unfortunately gone to a local bar and had run into these two miscreants. They took him out of the bar and beat the hell out of him. He, of course, got them fired, but what if they had decided to do him in? It could happen?

    It's fine to tell employees when they make mistakes, but some limits are needed.
    Yup....In this day and age of "smart phones" some other employee will
    stop, and get out their phone, and record such bad behavior.

    The employee on the receiving end might as well.

    These will get posted onto the "world-wide-web"

    For "any and all" to see.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Newman109 View Post
    I generally agree with most of your post. The foreman needs, however, to understand that cursing at employees is not a good plan for a long life.

    I once worked in a shop that made rocket engine parts. The foreman had two employees that were friends and would screw up all of the time and generally gave the foreman lots of lip and would both of them sass him back. He threatened to get them fired and in the meantime, assigned him to the dirtiest duties that he could find.

    The foreman came in one morning all bandaged up and with a black eye. He had unfortunately gone to a local bar and had run into these two miscreants. They took him out of the bar and beat the hell out of him. He, of course, got them fired, but what if they had decided to do him in? It could happen?

    It's fine to tell employees when they make mistakes, but some limits are needed.
    Agreed, Employee stabs boss - Alberton Record this was the result of an employee being paid his dues (Over here all leave pay, benefits and so on) after being laid off for being incompetent. What the article does not divulge is that I was the person that chased him down and put him to the ground before I called the cops and security to help me out.

    He had been drinking and was intoxicated, tried to stab the owner of the business, after getting his final severance, and I saw him run past our shop. Little did I know that he had smashed two Fanuc control screens, tried to cut off the owners finger , and then proceeded to wreak havoc in my shops street (I know that a lot of folks think that this is "AFRICA AFRICA" but it is probably the industrial hub of our continent).

    After I had Rugby tackled him the first thing he said to me was "I did not deserve to be told that I have to leave because I F'd up too many time". I reiterate... he was fired LEGALLY!

    Limits work both ways.

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    Re: cursing at employees is not a good plan.

    I knew a business owner who hired a Bozo to beat up a guy over the guy suggesting he was shorted after being fired..
    All kinds of crazy people out there..Good size shop some of you would know the name..

    Yes he (the business owner) is dead now...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dualkit View Post
    Some people need to be kept after like a two year old. Some don't need to be supervised at all.
    True, but I don't hire two year olds. It's bad business. So's keeping them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dualkit View Post
    Some people need to be kept after like a two year old. Some don't need to be supervised at all.
    Quote Originally Posted by neilho View Post
    True, but I don't hire two year olds. It's bad business. So's keeping them.
    Working for the man in a large facility there was a lot of nepotism. It was almost like a union government institution, they rarely fired anyone. They had long tenured people that would not have made it a week working in a well run facility. As an example they had a guy who had operated Swiss automatics that didn't know a left hand drill from a right hand one and he had worked on those machines 25 years.

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    Looks to me like the owner doesn't have the cojones to tell his employees to shape up nor to tell the manager take it down a notch. Now he is in a rough situation. My last employer talked to his employees like that and most ended up leaving. When you're halfway decent at your job you can do that. I, on the other hand, stuck it out. I eventually got fired when I got fed up and told him to go eff himself. He still calls every few months asking me to come back.

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    I remeber a powdercoater we did business with........his entire crew were dumb kids who d flunked gradeschool..........he could keep up a stream of the most incredible insults without being racist ,sexist,obscene,or threatening...anyhoo,one day he was insulting a giant Samoan teen,the kid headbutted Jerry,and he collapsed on the floor...........the kids thought he was dead,so dragged him to a corner,covered him up with cardboard boxes,and all went home early....his wife came looking for him after dark,and he couldnt remember what had happened,.............the truck driver told me about it later.

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    People and society in general have lost the ability to take criticism and deal with failure. Tell somebody they did something wrong anymore and they take it personal like you kicked their dog or something. Parenting is effed up, schooling is effed up, sports are effed up, no wonder the workplaces are now screwed too. Entire generations of people have grown up never having learned how to deal with failure, being wrong, screwing up, and learning how to deal with the situation. You screwed up, and scrapped some parts. Ya it sucks, sometimes big time. BUT lets move on, Figure out why it happened, and make a plan so it doesn't happen again, pull your head from you ass and pay more attention and MOVE FORWARD. We've lost the ability to deal with that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by D Dubeau View Post
    People and society in general have lost the ability to take criticism and deal with failure. Tell somebody they did something wrong anymore and they take it personal like you kicked their dog or something. Parenting is effed up, schooling is effed up, sports are effed up, no wonder the workplaces are now screwed too. Entire generations of people have grown up never having learned how to deal with failure, being wrong, screwing up, and learning how to deal with the situation. You screwed up, and scrapped some parts. Ya it sucks, sometimes big time. BUT lets move on, Figure out why it happened, and make a plan so it doesn't happen again, pull your head from you ass and pay more attention and MOVE FORWARD. We've lost the ability to deal with that.
    Screaming in your face might be part of the problem eh ?

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