Calling Tieguy!

Discussion in 'The Archives' started by upsdude, Oct 16, 2003.

  1. upsdude

    upsdude Guest

    I finally received an answer to my What are the results of the ERI question. Well, maybe.
    I was told the results were a 50, and it was a drop of about 9 from last year. No further explanation was given.

    Any idea what this means??

    Thanks!
     
  2. pretender

    pretender Guest

    Our Center Manager posted the complete results on his office door. Your result of 50, is the overall percentage of favorable responses. Our overall was a 58...
     
  3. tieguy

    tieguy Guest

    Yea it means management is probably :censored2: and maybe feeling a little sorry for thierselves. They'll get over it. Hopefully you will start seeing some communications efforts where they start having meetings with parts of the group to find out why they scored so low. There is a lot of attention on that ERI score and in most parts of this country it is no longer acceptable to keep getting low scores. Whether you see it or not your management group will get some unwanted attention over the score. Think about what you want to address in the upcoming communication meetings. They will be looking to identify some things they have control of that they can fix. It won't be the time to talk about buying new package cars. Try to identify some specific issues they have control of and can fix. Care to comment on why you think the score is so low?
     
  4. pretender

    pretender Guest

    Tieguy--I am not sure if your question is directed at me or upsdude. I am assuming that 58 is nothing to brag about either...I can identify some specific issues; maybe I will post them later--I am getting ready to leave right now. One interesting tidbit is that our previous Center Manager was promoted about a month ago (She had great operational numbers.) I just hope that she gets the credit she deserves from the ERI results...
    BTW--What would you consider the minimum *acceptable* positive number to be?
     
  5. tieguy

    tieguy Guest

    Tough question pre probably a 70 to show that there is at least some movement in the right direction.
     
  6. upsdude

    upsdude Guest

    Tie

    The biggest problem I see is with managements attitude. I place the blame squarely on the shoulders of our division manager and district manager. I dont believe that either one of these guys can be pleased and Im a little tired of being treated like a backwoods redneck. With all due respect to those of you from the North, both of the managers are the stereotypical Yankee know it alls we southerners detest. Id like for management to treat me with the same respect shown to our customers. Fortunately for UPS the drivers treat the customers with much greater respect than we get from the company. Id like for my delivery supervisor or center manager to be allowed the leeway to add a route if needed. Id like to have my twice a month no overtime request respected. I dont think its unreasonable for a person that starts work at 830 AM to be home by 600 PM every now and then. Id like for the pre load manager to be held accountable for drivers not leaving the building until nearly 45 minutes after start time. I could go on, but I would end up sounding like some of the registered UPS haters on this board. 16 years of darn near perfect service and positive attitude and Im wondering if the haters may be on to something. By the way, another 27 year manager walked out the door 2 weeks ago. If I remember correctly the total is up to 15 sups/managers in the last 6 months that have walked out the door.
     
  7. toonertoo

    toonertoo Guest

    What is the communication meeting? The only communication I see is the ball heads talking about whatever game is in season at the time. Try to get anything else in and you are basically ignored......which is OK, but it seems more people would be talking about world events, which is what I am watching when all the balls are bouncing around everyone elses heads. Anyone see the post in Usa today on Tuesday? Probably not it wasnt in the sports section.........JMHO never heard of a communication meeting, sales lead meeting, safety meeting, but never communication meeting.
     
  8. tieguy

    tieguy Guest

    "The biggest problem I see is with managements attitude. I place the blame squarely on the shoulders of our division manager and district manager.I dont believe that either one of these guys can be pleased and Im a little tired of being treated like a backwoods redneck. With all due respect to those of you from the North, both of the managers are the stereotypical Yankee know it alls we southerners detest."

    Understood. No offense taken. I see the same thing sometimes in reverse, though I have to admit I like the few southern divison managers I've met.

    "Id like for management to treat me with the same respect shown to our customers."

    Great material for the communications meeting. Take the blame out of it in the meeting. Be specific about actions we take that piss you off. Yelling and screaming , rudeness etc.

    "Fortunately for UPS the drivers treat the customers with much greater respect than we get from the company."

    Your not getting it from the company your getting if from specific individuals. If I can convince you of that one point we can make the company a better place. When you blame the company you blame everyone. You also take responsibility off the shoulders of those that have earned it good or bad. I've been fortunate in that I have had various people in the ranks pull me off the side and give me specifc feedback on things I did that :censored2: them off. If you can learn to do the same thing you effectively put accountability right back on their shoulders. Believe it or not it actually works with them. I know it won't work with everyone but with most it will.

    "Id like for my delivery supervisor or center manager to be allowed the leeway to add a route if needed. Id like to have my twice a month no overtime request respected."

    Let me ask you this. Do you have other drivers that feel the same way? Do you think you could actually suggest the route to add. Do you think you could actually add the route that would help them achieve their service , dispatch and production goals. If you think you could do that you will have a lot less resistance. I met a group of drivers in one center that would actually meet around lunch each day and adjust the dispatch so they were always in range. I know the sups are supposed to have all the answers but that kind of help can actually help you get what you want.

    "I dont think its unreasonable for a person that starts work at 830 AM to be home by 600 PM "

    I don't either.


    "Id like for the pre load manager to be held accountable for drivers not leaving the building until nearly 45 minutes after start time."

    Believe me that guy is. There won't be any public floggings but he is getting more grief than either one of us would want. The worst assignment I think I've had is being a preload management person. You run your but ragged the entire sort and when your drained here comes the day world to kick you but about everything that went wrong. I'm not making excuses for the guy just giving you some insight. Your quest for respect comes from wanting management to look at you as a person and not a piece of machinery. The more your side and mine learns to talk the more we learn to see each other as people and work together.

    "I could go on, but I would end up sounding like some of the registered UPS haters on this board. 16 years of darn near perfect service and positive attitude and Im wondering if the haters may be on to something."

    Yea they are. They have given up. In the process they become part of the problem.

    "By the way, another 27 year manager walked out the door 2 weeks ago. If I remember correctly the total is up to 15 sups/managers in the last 6 months that have walked out the door."

    Sounds like you either have a problem in your district or a lot of managers hitting the lottery.
     
  9. tieguy

    tieguy Guest

    "JMHO never heard of a communication meeting, sales lead meeting, safety meeting, but never communication meeting."

    Management should have an ERI review with each work group. That should actually take place within the next two months. In it they should review the ERI results and ask for feedback. If you really want to make a change get a group of people together get their feeback on the issues and select a spokesman for everyone. Issues you want resolved etc. Ask management to schedule a follow meeting so you can monitor progress on the items you want fixed. Ask for a lot and don't be dissapointed or throw up your hands when you don't get everything on the first try. As long as your positive and working with them you will have the opportunity to influence a lot more of what affects you. You won't get it all and you can't expect to. The company will still order package cars when they feel its right. You won't get every single route time studied and fixed. But you can have a positive influence on how your dispatched. To make it really work and to make a positive change for the better you have to help them find solutions. Complaining with no solutions will not be as effective. Learn what numbers they have on their balanced scorecard. Ask the manager to actually review your centers BSC with you if he does not post it. When you learn what numbers he is chasing, see if you can help him fix some. I'm not telling you to do his job , I'm telling you how you can develop that relationship that will actually help you. When a manager has a work group that is working together trying to fix problems he is normally under a lot less pressure to discipline drivers for mistakes. Believe it or not upper management knows who the true leaders are. the ones that don't need discipline to get the job done. We still have some dinasauers around that think everyone should be whipped like a sled dog but they are retiring as we speak. Given it some time. Be smarter than the tieguy in your center. Work him by working with him. You can change things in your center if you do.
     
  10. dammor

    dammor Guest

    Mr Tieguy,

    I am impressed. Thanks for the constructive imput.
     
  11. interested

    interested Guest

    Upsdude,

    If it is any consolation I have seen some of the lowest ERI scores this year that I have witnessed in my 11 years at Ups.

    We are facing enormous external competitive pressures at Ups right now. Perception is everything in life and FedEx's return to investors coupled with their success in the ground product has left many Ups districts in chaos. I posted just last week on the Yahoo board some of the reasons that I thought FedEx is a sleeping giant right now. They do a much better job at public perception, whether it is their advertising campaigns or their customer service and they have always defined and measured their success against Ups and made the necessary adjustments to compete with us.

    As the marketplace tightens up we have never had to face the pressures of competition that we face now. Pressure on making the sort time, getting out of our centers on time and dealing with the whole issue of jamming ten pounds of potatoes into a five pound bag (our business-everyday) is pressure enough. For most of the almost 100 hundred years in our existence that was pressure and standards that WE placed on ourselves. We set the bar pretty high, but were not always the most responsive organization when the customer had an issue. The primary reason for this is we never measured ourselves against any other organization. We only measured our policies, successes, and methods against history, our own history-and the results were outstanding.

    The marketplace has changed-rapidly in the last thirty years, but many of our policies and procedures have remained rigid and totalitarian.

    Especially in the areas of management. There are a lot of good things that happen when you promote from within-but there is a massive downside also. The management style that was so effective as we moved through the 50's 60's and 70's saw unprecedented success. Return on investment and unbelievable growth were the earmarks of these decades. It also entrenched a management style that manifested itself over years as inbred, stale and ill equipped to handle the pressure of a competitive marketplace where things change with dynamic simultaneity.

    The primary requirements to become a Ups manager have always been a clean employment record, a desire to move up and a lengthy tenure with the organization. Everything else could be taught on the job-trial by fire. Historically, there was not a lot of training and an individuals core skill set and aptitude were often overlooked when they were placed in a specific work area.

    Traditionally, if you do not steal, fudge numbers or violate the fraternization policy, your chances of remaining employed at Ups for a lengthy tenure are very good. Even if you prove to be an ineffective and downright poor manager. Your work assignments, feedback from employees and performance reviews will all reflect your ineptitude, but you will probably be allowed to continue to work at Ups.

    As you continue to erode the morale and performance of those who are unfortunate enough to find themselves in your charge, you will undoubtedly be exposed to the wrath of your superior and peer managers in your work area. Instead of doing the right thing and firing you, Ups will put you through the wringer. You will be bitched at, threatened, moved around and the most motivating of all moves- possibly demoted. When push comes to shove your peers and senior managers will give you a passable performance review, keeping you around because of your tenure and stockholder status-thus weakening the partnership immeasurably by refusing to step up and saying enough is enough.

    This system of management has crippled Ups and we are faced with literally thousands of incapable managers with 15- 20 years on the job that are in their early to mid forties. So entrenched are they in their ways and so close-minded are they in their approach to managing our biggest resource-our people, that it makes it extremely difficult to implement change, and our frustration level is through the roof. I think its important to stress here that I am talking about bad management persons. Whose history, performance and attitude are consistent with poor decisions and bad leadership. Not people who have made a few bad decisions and are still worthy of our support. We ALL know the difference. We ALL know who these people are, and we ALL know how horrible it is to work for them.

    The ERI provides one of the only opportunities to collectively comment on our management team. But the standards that management is held to for those horrible marks that we see on the ERI are unrealistic in their attempts to correct that behavior.

    If you were to look at the reasons that Ups fires it's management you will not often see strict performance goals as a condition of employment. Especially if that manager is a large stockholder and been around for twenty years. There is often re-assignment, demotion and responsibilities that have no real consequence for failure. This is demaning to that employee, does nothing to motivate him/her to change and most importantly sends a strong message that mediocrity and substandard performance are acceptable forms of management.

    In many other organizations people are routinely fired for the type of feedback that a score of 50 on The ERI represents. Performance goals and accountability are hollow objectives at Ups. Bad managers are allowed to continue making bad decisions because the process for identifying and exposing these mangers rest squarely on the shoulders of other managers. Abject fear has always been the main motivating tool at Ups to drive management. That fear cripples the decision making process and the ability to hold accountable people who are incapable of doing the job. Most management people think that they are betraying their peers and superiors if they report egregious errors in judgement or policy. They in turn become less confident of there own performance and decisions-so they say nothing, move on and mind their own business.

    If a management person proves over a period of time that he/she doesn't have what it takes to make effective decisions and perform in a manner consistent with the responsibilities that their specific work areas demand, they should be fired.

    Not summarily, or without proper documentation of specific goals in a finite period of review-but separated nonetheless. Tie made an earlier point responding to a management situation whereby drivers were not getting out of the center until 45 minutes after start time. He stated that there probably would not be a public flogging but that guy is catching more "grief than anyone of us would want" Why try and motivate people with the age-old Ups method of yelling, screaming and threatening? It doesn't work-It used to work but it has long lost its appeal. Why not treat that individual like many other fortune 100 companies treat their employees that are incapable of making the grade. Cut your losses, humanely and quickly, make outplacement services available to them at no cost and give them a good professional review that will help them on their next career move. Why continue the cycle and desroy morale?

    Not every organization is a good fit for every person. If someone has been in management for twenty years and has made bad decisions and received negative feedback in most of his/her respective work areas over that time-what value are they providing to the organization? I can definitively tell you what harm they can do to a company; they destroy morale, and are devastating to the performance of good conscientious employees whose job requirements rely on a strong leader and capable decision maker. There is another valuable lesson that can be learned from getting rid of bad /ineffective employees. You learn to exercise greater prudence in the employees you have marked for promotion into management. You are careful not to make a similar mistake and expend valuable time and resources toward the training and development of someone who never had the qualifications for the responsibilities of a management position other than he/she had a certain amount of tenure with the company.

    Ups is doing a better job of requiring new management personnel to have a college degree or be in pursuit of one, but we are a long, long way from eradicating the closed loop of promotion from within that fostered so many poor managers over the years.
     
  12. tieguy

    tieguy Guest

    "Ups is doing a better job of requiring new management personnel to have a college degree or be in pursuit of one, but we are a long, long way from eradicating the closed loop of promotion from within that fostered so many poor managers over the years."

    Your point is a condemnation of inflexibility and the pressures of competition. The ERI is not in my opinion about what you learn in a textbook but what you learn about interacting with people. Everyone knows the job is tough. The job is fundamentally the same its always been. No college degree will make it easier. What makes or breaks us in the future is not the degree on the wall but the teamwork we develop.
     
  13. interested

    interested Guest

    Education is not found in textbooks. It is found in the interaction of ideas, wisdom and experiences of individuals. Individuals who have chosen to share aforementioned in a manner that is respectful and interchanging of the ideas of different people from all walks of life. Every religion, creed and color. It makes EVERY job easier because it gives the individual the ability to listen to almost anything without losing his/her temper or self confidence.

    Education makes people easy to lead, but difficult to drive; easy to govern, but impossible to enslave.

    It is not the degree on the wall that allows one the ability to overcome difficult obstacles-it is what that degree represents.

    No organization in the world can ever find itself in a position of having TOO many educated people in its employ.

    Teamwork-The fundementals of mutual respect and self-sacrifice in the name of unity and equality are also fundemental tenets of education.

    Remember Tie-"The aim of education is the knowledge not of facts but of values"-William Inge
     
  14. upsdude

    upsdude Guest

    tie & interested...........

    Both of you have demonstrated the desired usage of Internet message boards. Excellent post.

    I have no idea where we are headed as a company and Im concerned as both employee and stockholder. Demanding a near 80-hour work week from managers and having ICC Hours issues with package drivers 2 months before peak cant be a good sign. Were headed south folks, and were in the fast lane.

    ERI.
    If so many folks are so statistically happy with their job, why havent they notified their faces? Our center went from having the highest (Best) ERI in the district to the lowest.

    Communication Meetings.
    I recall early in my career that we would meet at least once every 6 months (after work) for pizza and conversation. Those meetings actually resulted in positive change most of the time. Remember TLAs? The sup would ask if you wanted the day off and then take you to breakfast and spend an hour or so one on one discussing issues important to you. TLAs have been reduced to a 30-minute ride combined with HABITS training.
     
  15. pretender

    pretender Guest

    Tieguy and Interested: I really appreciate the opportunity to get honest opinions from both of you--I gives me a lot to think about, and a chance to see the "other" side of issues...I am ambivalent about the significance of a degree when it comes to the ERI results. While having an education is always a good thing, I don't think it guarantees good leadership. Specifically, when I think of the reasons why I rated my Management Team so poorly, there are so many small things, that it would seem petty to list them. Indeed, like upsdude, I do not want to be labeled as a UPS hater. I have 30 years invested in UPS--4 as a part-timer, 6 as a package car driver, 15 in Feeders, and the past 5 as a Feeder driver assigned to a package car center. It shouldn't take a college degree to have the common courtesy to spell a person's name correctly. It took me two years from the time I came from Feeders back to the center, to get this taken care of. More recently, I celebrated 30 years of service back in June--No acknowledgement at all. In August, I finally asked my Center Manager if she could provide me with the Gift Booklet, because I had been getting postcards in the mail, requesting that I make a choice. Perhaps I was spoiled from the 15 years I spent in Feeders; but it was truly like working for a different company. (I haven't even got to the actual issues related to the performance of my present job.)

    Regarding our survey results, I was wrong--Our workplace environment score was actually a 51 positive. The 58 positive score I quoted before, was the overall result--I assume that the overall would be UPS as a company combined with my management team? Speaking for the work group overall, I would say that the most pressing problem is unfair treatment/favoritism. We have a handful of drivers who are consistently done between 4:00pm and 4:30pm everyday. No matter what the volume is, or how shorthanded we may be, they are untouchable. There is another sizable group who are consistently done at 5:00pm everyday. I would say that this totals about 1/2 of the drivers--The other half (plus the Feeder/CPU drivers, such as myself) have to pick up the slack (It should be noted that these drivers who are in at 4:00, have commercial routes--It wouldn't be quite so bad if they were residential w/no pickups.) There are drivers who have adjoining areas, who don't get in until 7:30pm. I feel fortuntate, if I am lucky enough to punch out at 6:30pm--And there are many times when I get sent back out to make another pickup. I can never, ever, make any plans at all for a weeknight. I can never go to work, and know with any reasonable certainty, that I will be done at a given time.
     
  16. tieguy

    tieguy Guest

    Interestd I think Education has its place but I do think its overated. Leadership can not be learned in a textbook environment. We teach the skills to resolve a lot of the problems mentioned here in SLS and MLS. Practical application is another problem.
     
  17. tieguy

    tieguy Guest

    "And there are many times when I get sent back out to make another pickup. I can never, ever, make any plans at all for a weeknight. I can never go to work, and know with any reasonable certainty, that I will be done at a given time."

    Pretender do you have the option to bid on one of those early finishing routes or is your seniority in feeders?

    How did you end up back in package after feeders?

    Are the routes that finish early located close enough to the later finishers to allow the work to be distributed more fairly?
     
  18. interested

    interested Guest

    There is an important message in this thread for ALL of us. It has to do with some of the language that we have become so accustomed to over the years. That language represents a mindset that is crippling to our organization.


    Mindset-that people who raise legitimate concerns about the company, its policies, procedures etc. are labeled "Ups haters".

    Both Upsdude and Pretender are aware of the incredible stigma that "complainers" get from the company. It is absolutely beyond my comprehension, how Ups can draw a conclusion that good, hard working people who have spent most of their adult lives in the employ of Ups- "hate the company" because they have criticism of some of its policies. And would like to see them change for the better.

    We are supposed to have an open door policy at Ups to ensure that we can remain fair and equitable in most situations. The reality is that as soon as we begin to raise concerns over issues in our work area-we are told to stay away from the negative. We have discussed before that you don't have to be unprofessional or yell and scream, but bringing up legitimate concerns about policy or unfair treatment is NEGATIVE! If you are being treated unfairly, witness to violation in policy or are openly questioning your mangers decisions on something it will be perceived as negative. Why? Because it is negative!! There is no way around that.

    Why this company then chooses to isolate and label that person as a bad influence for doing the right thing and actively trying to better a situation, is mind boggling to me.

    But that is exactly what happens. We cannot blame Upsdude or Pretender for not wanting to walk down that path, it is a hellish road to be on. I have walked a good piece of that road myself in the last ten years and it is no fun. It is also the leading cause of Ups losing good people. After awhile you simply cannot take anymore of the hypocrisy of open door policy, and you figure you will give someone else all your best.

    How much does it hurt Ups to have folks like Upsdude and Pretender keep their constructive thoughts to themselves or their peer group at the bar after work? It kills us to have Ups treat that kind of experienced caring employee with such little respect and regard for their input.

    We all know of what happens when you are labled "negative" . The closed-door meetings, the pep talks about staying away from the "complainers" The unfair stigma that is attached. It is so counterproductive. Ups claims they want us to raise concerns. They want us to report our peers violations in policy and procedure. They need us to bring to light issues about our respective work areas. All of the above negative issues, Why are we so heavily penalized for doing the right thing?

    There is another thread further down the message board, one titled-"We need better union representation". In short, it was started by a newer employee that was unsure of how to get in touch with a union rep in the building, so he asked a supervisor, the supervisor didn't know, so he posted on the board asking for help. One of the replies he received on the message board was, "to ask a fellow employee, the sup couldnt care less"

    Is a supervisor not a fellow employee? If the supervisor was being less than helpful and purposely misleading the employee he should be written up immediately. There is no excuse for that type of divisive behavior from a management person. Especially with a new employee. If we are that mangers peer and were witness to that incident we SHOULD have something to say to that person. If we felt it necessary, we SHOULD also report the situation to human resources.

    Now what is negative here? Is it the mindset that that supervisor has learned from Ups, or is it our actions in reporting him and trying to change something. I am sure our actions in reporting the incident would be considered EXTREMELY negative by our peer group. But it would also be the right thing to do.

    To perpetuate a situation where management and hourly are so far apart, that in the casual arena that is a message board-someones automatic response to a question about union representation is that a "supervisor is NOT a fellow employee"- is a good indication of how far we have to go as a company. We have to ALL begin to change our mind about how we do the job.

    Tie brought up a point earlier in a slightly different context, "that the job is essentially the same as it has always been". In part, he is right, but that is also the big problem. Because we have not done enough to try and change the "job" to fit the times-the result, our morale is awful. We are holding on too tight to the past. It is time for change


    Upsdude-You had a great line "If so many folks are "statistically" happy with their jobs why don't they notify their faces".

    Well said, and so true.
     
  19. tieguy

    tieguy Guest

    Mr. Interested you certainly have some long winded analysis to provide us for someone that has some of the lowest ERI Scores he has seen in 11 years?
     
  20. tieguy

    tieguy Guest

    "Mindset-that people who raise legitimate concerns about the company, its policies, procedures etc. are labeled "Ups haters".
    Both Upsdude and Pretender are aware of the incredible stigma that "complainers" get from the company. It is absolutely beyond my comprehension, how Ups can draw a conclusion that good, hard working people who have spent most of their adult lives in the employ of Ups- "hate the company" because they have criticism of some of its policies. And would like to see them change for the better."

    Yes , Yes. Its another communication barrier. UPSdude and pretender are not UPS haters. They are frustrated with specific issues that appear to be focused on treatment , respect and fairness. They can overcome the barrier by bringing up the concerns in a positive fashion. Management often needs to be reminded that the employee is not a piece of equipment but a living breathing entity who also wants the same things that management wants. They want to do a good job and they want their efforts to result in a thriving company that will be able to compensate them well in the future. If you tell the driver what it is your trying to accomplish and why they will run through walls to accomplish it. We often forget to tell them the whys and ask them for the hows. When we do the line is drawn and the game becomes us vs them. Once that game starts we all lose. Interested I think it is our mission to comment a little less on what is screwed up and start talking about how to fix it.