Help me be a better manager(Ground) please.

Discussion in 'FedEx Discussions' started by Grounded, May 2, 2013.

  1. Grounded

    Grounded New Member

    I'm coming to a point in my career where I'm at a A- but need to be an A+. I want to take that extra step into being amazing. I know many on this forum are Express or drivers, but... In an over all what can management in general at FedEx do. I don't manage any drivers, I don't manage and ISPs/ICs I just work with them as business partners. My direct employees are package handlers, clerks, and managers. What are the small things that go a long way?

    I can't change pay, I don't make much as is. I can't change hours, I've got my bosses as well. What I can change is the way I talk to people and communicate, and recognize good work. I can't change the system, and I can't change what the job is, "it is what it is". Can anyone offer some constructive criticism?
  2. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    Sure. In our station one of the biggest gripes was the pre-load. Generally, they suck. They aren't trained well. They are showed Vision labels and told to load accordingly. Doesn't work. So what happens? My drivers have to come in and do YOUR LOADERS WORK!!!! It gets better every so often when regional staff shows up or when a particularly ambitious loader "gets it". But for the most part, no. I would love for the preload to run efficiently and accurately, but if not, give me the money so I can pay my drivers.

    if your loaders don't show up, I DAMN SURE BETTER SEE MANAGEMENT STAFF IN THERE LOADING TRUCKS WHEN I GET THERE IN THE MORNING.All the way up to Senior Manager.n

    Don't give me excuses about being short help. Put it this way. If I was down a driver for two weeks, would the terminal accept 70% service until I got around to fixing it? How about if it happened several times a year? No, they wouldn't. So, business partner, simply hold up your end of the bargain. I am.
  3. Mr. 7

    Mr. 7 The monkey on the left.

    Now, for what Grounded was really looking for...

    Look people in the eye when you talk to them. Never say anything in passing or, under your breath. The walls have ears and someone will hear and say something to someone.

    Don't ever lie to your workers. Not even little white lies just to get something accomplished.

    Don't ever promise anything and not carry it out.

    Don't ever tell someone to do something that you haven't done and will not do yourself. Prove this once in awhile by doing that crappy job. It'll go a long way in their eyes.

    No special treatment. Everyone should get treated the same even if they're dating your wife's sister.

    No lies. Did I mention that? It's my biggest concern.

    When in doubt, ask yourself..."What would a stand-up, integrity guy like Mr. 7 do here"?
  4. Grounded

    Grounded New Member

    The Pre-Load is a tough one, it's hard work the they pay and hours are terrible, we struggle with turn over, but when it comes down to it the trucks get loaded. I find this part of it the biggest challenge as well. In our station, it's hard to get drivers to actually map out vision. Perhaps even worse some drivers don't complain if vision gets botched or not followed, leading to loaders making up the way it gets loaded rather than drivers.

    The behind the scenes challenge is that management is not suppose to handle packages, I can do ever job perfect. But if my SM sees me doing it rather than a PH.... I'm in a lot a trouble. So for that I always try and work with ISP/IC/Drivers, but I can't make it perfect if I'm stretched thin, it sounds like an excuse and to an extent it is. But, it is what it is, I'm pretty good at training, some of my managers aren't, but positive feedback keeps it moving.
  5. Grounded

    Grounded New Member

    I'm on board with everything you just said. I follow almost every single one of those. I just find it hard to make people see that I'm doing everything like that, is there a way to make it more apparent without announcing everything I did and seeming like I'm fishing for praise?
  6. Mr. 7

    Mr. 7 The monkey on the left.

    Unfortunately, no.
    Just tell them, you're doing what "you're told" too.
    FedEx hired you from the neck, down.
  7. STFXG

    STFXG Well-Known Member

    The trucks don't get loaded. You can't just pile :censored2::censored2::censored2::censored2: everywhere in the trucks and then say ":censored2::censored2::censored2::censored2: it, the boxes are off the trailer".

    You're sounding like every other manager. Full of excuses. How about teaching loaders to read a load chart rather than use vision? The loads have gotten worse since FedEx stopped training and started using vision. But hey, you have higher throughput. That's all that matters...
  8. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    The day is coming when I am going to drive a route again and I'm going to come in, possibly load a bulk stop and leave. When I get the phone call, I will first let them know that yes, the boxes in question are on my manifest, but they at not on my truck. I will then let them know that if they can ffind me with the boxes, I will make service on them. At that point I will start running the route backwards. Just to se if they can find me.
  9. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    Here's an idea. For a while, screw the numbers. Get the loaders trained properly and take the horrible numbers. There's alot of training that.hasnt been done so there is catching up to do. Get people trained in methods and the speed will come in time.

    I know it won't happen. FedEx is tuned to pushing the beltline, getting trailers emptied and getting loaders off the clock.
  10. Ricochet1a

    Ricochet1a New Member

    Sounds like the same stuff I saw while I was in Express AGFS (ramp environment). FedEx is FedEx it seems...

    The turnover was so bad, that training was limited to that which was corporate mandatory, but actual useful training was to be accomplished on the job - if at all. In the push to get productivity up, corners were cut, handlers were pushed to extreme limits and injuries, mis-sorts and damaged packages were the norm.

    Having a fully staffed operation was the rare occasion, I ran an operation at times with only 60% of proscribed staffing - it was nuts. The senior manager blamed the operations manager in question for not "adequately maintaining staffing levels".... how in the hell is the ops manager to prevent people from quitting when they got fed up? (What it was, was the classic "pass the blame game", pointing the finger of blame at someone else so the senior manager in question wasn't held to account). I quickly learned that it was personnel policy to NOT maintain full staffing, but rather only start interviewing people once there were openings - the problem was that the handlers were quitting faster than new ones could be hired at times.

    Express didn't care, get the volume moved regardless was the policy. That is when I first caught on to the fact that the company I researched prior to hiring on (a company called Federal Express...), no longer existed and a company called FedEx Express had taken its place.

    Whenever the mis-sort, injury or damage claim statistic jumped above the 'goal', senior management jerked the chain and whatever issue was the topic du jour, was focused upon like a laser beam. Everything was focused on getting that particular statistic back to within 'goal' - while completely ignoring other metrics (safety went out the window unless injuries were the topic du jour). It went in an endless cycle, of focusing on one thing while ignoring everything else, then when something else invariably went wrong, the focus was changed to that issue. It was a never ending game of 'Whack a Mole", and the operations manager who could best manage playing the game succeeded, while those who couldn't were fast tracked out and either out the door or back into a wage position.

    The only difference here (between Express ramp ops and Ground terminal ops), is that the final 'customer' (to use a "Quality Driven Management" concept....), is DGO in Express (part of the company), while it is the contractors in Ground (NOT part of the company). So it looks like the ol' FedEx dump is magnified. Cut costs to make an unrealistic goal, then dump on the both the employees working the situation AND the 'customer' next down the line (in Express' case, DGO, in Ground's case, the contractors).

    Given the topic of this thread and the tone taken by the OP - I can surmise that he doesn't have a clue as to how FedEx really operates. It will be a quick learning process, you will either learn to accept and embrace FedEx operating patterns, or you will be shown the door. I'm going to bet he'll eventually embrace Fred and learn to play Whack a Mole to an acceptable level of proficiency, or he'll be out the door within 6 months.
  11. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    Funny thing is that we once had an awesome preload manager who had a dustup with his boss. He walkedd off the job and tried to come back the next day. FedEx held firm against him returning. He is now driving for me. Great work ethic with a tenacious desire to do well and serve the customer.
  12. CJinx

    CJinx Well-Known Member

    Funny, all of our ops managers double as package handlers for the preload... Although I think the reason is so TLH goes up since they have salary employees tossing packages instead of hourly help. Managers sorting smalls, managers hauling incompatibles, managers splitting belts, etc.
  13. Grounded

    Grounded New Member

    Like I said, I can't change the job or the goals, I'm looking for how I can better communicate. I'd love to change the game, but there isn't a "Managing Director" title next to my name. If you want management to treat you differently, here is someone in management asking what he can do to improve. Sounds like better than what most of you have been offered. If you give me solid input I can improve and pass it to all the other management I train.

    MAKAVELI Well-Known Member

    Now this is the pot calling the kettle black. This sounds a lot like the whining and bitching you say us express couriers do on this site.
  15. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    Awesome!! So, exactly where will that get him at Ground? Nowhere.
  16. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    Why would I care about that? I had been trying to hire him for 3 years before.
  17. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    Nope. It's become the accepted norm. But th OP asked what he could do to be a better manager so I told him.
  18. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    It's simple. Hold your management team to the agreement the same as you hold ISPs and contractors to the agreement.

    MAKAVELI Well-Known Member

    Nope , it's whining and bitching. Face it, ground has many of the same problems as express and those problems directly related to the mismanagement of the company. He can not fix the problems you "complain" about because he is powerless to do so just as your drivers are.
  20. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    As I said, it's the accepted norm. I don't expect is. To be fixed.