Thursday, April 10, 2008

On Office Politics and Hierarchal Structure

There's been quite a change in the warehouse since my promotion from Warehouse Manager to Inside Sales a couple of years ago.

I turned over command to the next senior employee, and he did a bang-up job, keeping things running fairly smooth, and kept the employees in line.

However, the last few months have been insanely busy, and as a result, performance and productivity dropped off sharply. As overtime hours started accumulating, tensions from our overworked staff began to rise. Absenteeism climbed, and productivity as well as accuracy dropped further still.

After a couple of weeks of listening to customer complaints (which begat outside salespeoples's complaints), the boss had had enough.

The following Monday, the boss demoted our Warehouse Manager, and promoted one of his better workers (a lad of 19) to the position. Eager to get started, the lad implemented a number of sweeping changes.

Changes that didn't sit well with others.

Chiefly, the less experienced members of the staff.

That was a month ago.

Today, one of the aforementioned staff was on my bus on the way home. He was quite candid about the sweeping new changes his new boss was implementing. Changes that, much to my seatmate's chagrin, I wholeheartedly endorsed.

I explained to my cohort that his new boss was a great worker, knows his stuff, and knows how things work around the shop. He's smart, adapts well, and learns quickly. However, he's never been in a leadership or management position before, and has a lot on his plate. We're in our busiest season at work, and he's not going to have a lot of time to learn the finer points of management. He needs to learn to balance productivity and morale.

With that in mind, I added,"Despite his inexperience, he's still your boss, and you will do as instructed."

When my cohort opened his mouth to protest, I reminded him, "Remember, the warehouse is not a democracy."

"Yeah," he muttered, "it's a dictatorship run by a littl-"

"NO!", I interrupted, in my most booming authoritarian tone, "It's a theocracy, and I AM YOUR GOD!"


Which illicited a shocked giggle from the college girls sitting behind us.

Ah, the non sequitur... it's all in the setup.

No comments:

Post a Comment