Frequent beating or motivation by positive reinforcement?

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by FracusBrown, Mar 5, 2011.

  1. FracusBrown

    FracusBrown Ponies and Planes

    A beating goes a long way and vise versa.

    From car-washers to the BOD, the entire company is incompetent and in need of punishment in the eyes of the unreasonable.

    A loader that loads one package incorrectly is incompetent.
    A driver that makes one bad delivery is incompetent.
    A supervisor with one payroll error is incompetent.
    A manager the makes one bad decision is incompetent.
    A division manager with one OSHA violation is incompetent.
    A district manager with one big customer that's not satisfied is incompetent.
    And so on...

    In the eyes of most humans, when one consistently does almost everything right, almost all the time, they are considered highly skilled and highly effective. They receive praise and reward. They are happy and they work hard to to be as successful as possible.

    Here, the same outcome results in mental, verbal or disciplinary beatings. Instead of being happy because they are successful, they become demoralized and bitter. They feel that nothing they do is good enough. There is no reason to perform at their highest capability. Productivity, morale and profits suffer.

    This is perhaps the number one flaw within the company. Its a culture driven from the top. It makes it way all the way down to the part-time hourlies and then reverses direction. The result is a demotivated workforce at all levels. It's clearly evident. Reward and positive feedback is rare to non-existent. Negative feedback and negative actions are common.

    When the company begins to understand people are motivated by positive experiences and demotivated by negative experiences, it will achieve levels of success that will never be achieved and sustained through forced compliance tactics and punishment.

    It was said long ago that "determined men (people) working together can achieve anything." This is still true today. The bigger question now is - what makes people determined? Is it frequent beating or motivation by positive reinforcement?
  2. island1fox

    island1fox Well-Known Member

    Catch someone doing something right !!! very simple -goes along way !!
  3. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND


    There is a large difference in just doing your job, and being enthusiastic about it. IE, determined.

    While there is a time and place for both types of management, it is too easy to slip into the base ball bat mode. Does not take much skill and imagination either. And many times, because of it being so easy, it is used without thought as to whom else is clobbered.

    UPS style management is styled after boot camp. Problem is, even in the military, boot camp is over in a while. AT UPS, boot camp is forever.

    d PS, Island, very true, but you have to want to catch someone doing it right. Unfortunatly, from many I have seen is that they are too interested and focused on trying to find something wrong?
  4. johnoutdoors

    johnoutdoors Member

    I've likened it to raising my kids. Most of the time, they're well behaved, sometimes they drive me up a wall and need to be talked to, and sometimes they really screw up and need a quick spanking. They difference seems to be that I am always hungry for more time with them. I know that they will push my buttons. You can't be together for that much time and not have it happen. UPS seems to lose it over the little things that a parent would roll their eyes over. At the start of our careers, maybe it is a "spare the rod and spoil the child" situation. But certainly by top rate, if not well before, we have learned the ins and outs and know what is expected of us. We spend 30 years in their "family" atmosphere, why don't they take a 30 year view and not just a snapshot?
  5. DS

    DS Fenderbender

    What happened to this way of thinking?
    James E. Casey Quotes

    One measure of your success will be the degree to which you build up others who work with you. While building up others, you will build up yourself.
    James E. Casey
  6. tourists24

    tourists24 Well-Known Member

    Good point DS... unfortunately today's management and worker is only as good as the last report
  7. Bubblehead

    Bubblehead My Senior Picture

    I wouldn't know, motivation by positive reinforcement is nonexistent in my building.
    I've been here for 25 years and still haven't made it out of the second grade.
  8. UnsurePost

    UnsurePost making the unreadable unreadabler

    It is a culture - not one thing happened overnight but over many decades. Look at those being promoted and those demoted; the omission of the ERI; callous cover-up of injuries; sending walking wounded and non-parrots home on audits....on and on

    There are so many negatives going on in every operation, every day, there is no ROOM to see any light of day, the tunnel is too narrow to allow.
  9. menotyou

    menotyou bella amicizia

    They did away with the ERI because they knew how bad it was going to be, and they didn't have the guts to face it.
  10. curiousbrain

    curiousbrain Well-Known Member

    I have given this topic considerable thought lately, for various reasons.

    IMHO, dannyboy was right on when he said this:

    To elaborate a little bit, it seems that there is a common misunderstanding of what a supervisors job is supposed to be. Several of them in the building I am employed in view the job as just "work", of which just going through the motions is enough and all that is expected. What I believe, and perhaps I am wrong here, is that a supervisors job is to balance the interests of the hourlies (safety, work efficiency, etc) with that of the corporation (metrics, dollar value per work hour, etc), and that seems to be very difficult at times.

    An example will perhaps illustrate what I'm trying to say a little better; on one of the belts, there are several people who are consistently hit every day, get buried after an hour or so, and thus have to stay late and have an increased percentage chance of misloads. There is another person who is consistently light on the same belt, so it has been my opinion for some time now that it should be the case that some of the lighter routes could be swapped with some of the heavier routes; in theory, this would reduce misloads, make for a more equitable work environment, get everyone off the clock earlier, and would probably make the end of the belt easier as there won't be so many missed boxes down there.

    To make the case, I made a spreadsheet and several charts graphing the preloader relative to their piece count and misloads, which provides some measure of numerical proof of my thesis. Now, this is all in theory, and practically speaking, may not be the case as it does not take into account the average speed of the preloader and other measures; however, the point is that I did this because it balances the interests of the workers and company, and in the end (again, theoretically) both parties benefit.

    To the original question, it is my firm belief that it is not beating or motivation by themselves that motivates individuals, but rather it is the fair use of both; which is to say that I will work hardest for the individual that I believe has personal integrity and will reward (motivate, positive reinforcement, etc) those who deserve it, but by the same token take action (whatever that may be) against those who deserve it. A manager/supervisor who is afraid to take action is almost as bad, or worse, then one who never motivates his/her employees.

    edit: Failure to discipline those who deserve it also, IMHO, promotes a culture of mediocrity and doing the absolute bare minimum necessary to avoid discipline/firing/etc.
    Lasted edited by : Mar 6, 2011
  11. over9five

    over9five Moderator Staff Member

    "The beatings will continue until morale improves"
  12. dillweed

    dillweed Well-Known Member

    There's nothing wrong with pointing out employee's mistake. However, a reasonable suggestion for improvement should follow.
  13. Playdoe

    Playdoe Guest

    One key to unlocking this management paradox is the fact that there are relationships, within the public corporation framework, that are nepotistic. If you look at your upper management in many companies, chances are that that management figurehead has a matrimonial, filial or lineal tie to a greater figurehead somewhere in that company. This can be okay as long as it is disclosed. Our company should be a company where you are promoted based on your performance. As share owners we should demand full disclosure. I would recommend, that every person from part timer on up should read, How to win friends and and influence people and The seven habits of highly effective people. Next, the field of social psychology is well aware of 'expectations theory,'' unfortunately many companies are not. Finally, we are all Alpha people who have made it in a very demanding company. Learn DOK, know your stuff, and question authority. We have made this a turn key company and get paid very well. Our benefit package is great. The question is: 'WHO' will determine you?
    Lasted edited by : Mar 6, 2011
  14. UnsurePost

    UnsurePost making the unreadable unreadabler

    In my opinion, when you make a small mishap and there is the usual exchange, the boss or superiors should at least have the courtesy to "get by" the fact there will be an error on some meaningless report and call for a truce before the next work day.

    Anyone else here had some ridiculous blowout, or even just bickering about some meaningless daily slight of error (no matter who is at fault) and the next day it was just brushed aside like nothing happened? NOT saying who is to blame, however it should be the companies best interest to at least mention something positive before punching out at the end of the day and that (gasp) practically has never has happened in my experience.

    THat is one sign of UPS culture right there , on the front lines..imo Forget but do not forgive
  15. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND

    First, lets understand the workplace relationship. Its like a second family. There will be workers that you are closer to than others, and the relationship with the "parental figures" can be strained as well.

    It is very unusual for families to be 100% in harmony and bliss. Many times there are disagreements and fights, only to get past that and move on.

    One hopes that the parents point out mistakes, offer solutions and guidance, punishment in severe cases, but understanding that everyone makes mistakes and needs to grow. Including the parents.

    Its not one bit different than at UPS. And like in a family relationship, regardless of those that have posted here to the contrary, there is nothing like getting a pat on the back, a well done, and damn, Im proud of the way you took care of that situation. Its human nature.

    You are correct, that is what it used to be. And there were some great ones, and some not so great. Many of the best were promoted as it should be. They showed they had what it took and it was recognized from above by those that had led the way.

    But more and more, they are treated just like the hourly they supervise. They are to be mindless carriers of the "word" from above. Not to change a thing, only to follow orders. Military style. Except in the military, you are given an objective, a few guidelines, and you have the ability to use your training to accomplish the goal.

    So is it any wonder, when not given the freedom to manage, why it is just a job, an income, with no real chance of ever moving up or showing your skills?

    I know that there have been managers that have posted to the contrary, that in their ops, it is different. Shame its not that way world wide.

    As far as the ERI, it would not be very good for UPS to have a Fortune 500 award on a great place to work, with an ERI showing the opposite, now would it. And you wonder why they stopped?

  16. soberups

    soberups Pees in the brown Koolaid

    Unfortunately, there is no metric that measures "reasonable". Therefore, "reasonable" does not exist.
  17. soberups

    soberups Pees in the brown Koolaid

    I prefer the beatings to a pat on the back. At least the beatings are honest, I know they are coming, and I know what I can do to protect myself from them. When you get a pat on the back at UPS it often means that they are looking for a soft spot to insert the blade.
  18. ajblakejr

    ajblakejr Age quod agis

    My opinion -

    Positive and negative reinforcement work both ways.

    Why not provide positive words upward?

    Start a sentence with words like.....
    That really helped me out when you ...
    I appreciate ...
    That made a difference in my day, thank you.

  19. moreluck

    moreluck golden ticket member

    "You really suck when you...". Oh, that's not right ,eh?
  20. ajblakejr

    ajblakejr Age quod agis

    How about...

    I become confused when I receive conficting instructions and I am not sure .....