Manage the people you have

Underneath yesterday’s post, Bardon wrote the following:

I don’t like Ilya either and think that he should be shown the door. How long has that loser being getting away with it, is all I can say about the useless idiot.

So let me elaborate on the situation on Sakhalin Island in 2007, which will be fairly typical of most non-western countries. There is a thing called Local Content Legislation which makes it a legal requirement on the part of all foreign entities to hire a certain percentage of locals. If the locals are uneducated, unskilled, and untrained it doesn’t matter: it is the foreign company’s responsibility to provide the necessary training to allow them to do the job. If there are no locals around because the site is in the middle of nowhere, you must hire them elsewhere and bring them to site. In the early days, it was possible to employ a whole bunch of locals as drivers or in other lowly positions, but the authorities soon got wind of this and started looking at job categories and average salaries.

Even before 2007 companies in Sakhalin were under enormous legal pressure to hire more locals in more senior positions. At the height of the Sakhalin I and II construction projects (which were running simultaneously), there were tens of thousands of people working on them, both locals and foreigners. The population of Sakhalin is around 500,000 of which about a third live in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, the regional capital. To say there were serious labour shortages is an understatement, and thousands of Kazakhs, Turks, Kyrgyz, Uzbeks, Azeris, Brits, Americans, Australians, Nepalese, Dutch, Indonesians, Filipinos and another forty nationalities were brought in to man the projects. Russians were brought from the mainland by the thousand, particularly those from the Krasnodar region who had experience on the Caspian Pipeline Consortium. Kazakhs were also favoured because they spoke Russian and had experience from the Tenghiz and Karachaganak projects.

In short, any Russian under 50 on Sakhalin who was not mental, in jail, or a raving alcoholic was in high demand (so about half the male population, then). Added to that was the problem that foreign companies needed most of their Russians to speak English, which reduced the labour pool even further. This is why all the foreign companies on Sakhalin at that time were stuffed full of teachers: they were the first ones they identified who could speak English, and any technical skill or other competence came further down the list of requirements. Much further.

So while we had some very good Russians working for us, we also had some pretty average ones who you couldn’t do much about because the law didn’t allow a foreigner to do the job and there were no better Russians available. It is in such situations a manager is really tested. Any idiot can fire someone and hire another, but it takes skill to manage a team with a whole range of individuals and understand that these are the people you have to work with. A common mistake a lot of modern managers make is to believe replacing people is a bigger part of their job than effectively managing those they have. When a new manager of Plymouth Argyle football club takes over, he doesn’t sell the whole team and demand the club buys Ronaldo and Messi. Instead he looks at the team he has and tries to get the very best out of them, and he’ll only sell a player once they’ve been shown they can’t fit the team and a better replacement is available. Now I understand some managers have the luxury of being able to fire people and immediately replace them, but let’s not pretend this requires any great talen t.Another way of putting it is you manage the team you have, not the one you wished you had; I was stuck with Ilya and had to work with him. In the main he did a reasonable job, could be relied upon for the most part, and brought in more money than he cost us. Indeed, by the standards of Sakhalin Island in 2007 he was a pretty good employee.

The other thing every manager had to be wary of on Sakhalin was the labour law. The Russian labour code is notoriously strict, and getting rid of people for performance issues required several steps with the involvement of HR, each properly documented. Even then, local employees used to take foreign companies to the local labour courts, who would delight in ruling in favour of their own (this was in stark contrast to when a Russian would take a Russian company to court, and get laughed at). This meant you would only fire an employee as a last resort, when the damage they have wrought is so great you have no choice. Usually, the way of getting rid of a bad employee was to make their job a bit rubbish and, with the labour market being what it was, wait for them to get a better job with another company on more money. The exception was if they were drunk at work, in which case they would always resign rather than have the reason for dismissal entered in their labour book for future employees to see.

In summary, firing Ilya on Sakhalin Island in 2007 wasn’t really an option, even if it were a good idea. Instead I was required to manage him. Imagine.

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30 thoughts on “Manage the people you have

  1. “When a new manager of Plymouth Argyle football club takes over, he doesn’t sell the whole team and demand the club buys Ronaldo and Messi.”

    I play walking football (yes, it is a thing for us ancient ones) with an Argyle fan. He would dearly love to see a new manager and enough money to buy Messi if not Ronaldo. Some dreams just never go away.

    On the subject of managing what you have and not being able to swiftly replace, I recall one chap who was widely suspected of trying to take cash but only winkled out of my company when it was shown by ultra-violet analysis to have pinched some treated money deliberately left in his reach. The thing was, no other department there would take him so the original hirers were stuck.

    I believe after leaving he fled to, er, Plymouth. Maybe he can help down there.

  2. One reason I’m not a manager, generally, is that I don’t cope in that situation. Give me a solid guy who is struggling, having a hard time in his life, I can deal with it. But the useless or lazy? I want them gone. I know I’ll spend so much time with them, I might as well just do their job.

    And while we don’t have laws about this in the UK we do have corporations with long-winded bureaucratic HR processes and industrial tribunals that cost money that make firing difficult to the point where companies put up with people and get rid of them with the next round of redundancies.

  3. Really, there should be an MBA course about HR in Expatria. From my limited experience in Papua New Guinea and Africa the fundamentals should be:
    1. Locals are paid much less than expatriates for performing the same functions.
    2 .Once a local realises this, he will if he or she is any good become an expatriate himself. (Take a look at Africa where you will find lots of Ghanaians and Ivory Coast-ians doing excellent work in Senegal and Mauritania, and vice versa).
    3. Firing a local will in almost all circumstances be more trouble than it’s worth. Unless you have an immediate replacement recommended by someone with government connections.
    4. Unless he’s actually likely to kill someone, you had better stick with him and revise his job description to maximise his strengths.

  4. The worst person I ever had to manage was the CEO’s choice. At the interview, the rest of us on the panel argued with the CEO, but he had to have this guy, so I got lumbered with him. Very quickly, his poor performance led to me being pressurised to somehow “improve” him, and when I pointed out to the CEO that I had wanted one of the other guys we interviewed, I realised that I was straying into some very dangerous territory. I was told to “get rid of him”, but apparently these days workers – even crap ones – have rights and these things can’t be done overnight. I had lots of depressing meetings with HR where they acted the rock to the CEO’s hard place.

    Finally, the situation was resolved when I went on paternity leave, and the CEO summarily sacked him. I think I lasted about another year…

  5. At about the same time, I was working for a company that was Russian in every respect – location, ownership, culture, and so on. A relatively low-level employee was seen drunk in the office more than once. At some point, HR forced him to submit to a test, which turned out positive so the man got fired. However, HR must have done something wrong – the man sued, won and was reinstated with back pay.

  6. Anywhere you go you will find that managers that apologise for their staffs poor performance always have the best reasons for it, they thrive on it, that’s what they do best, chapter and verse on why it is that Ilya couldn’t do a simple task properly and that there was absolutely nothing more that should be expected from management efforts in this regard, this is just the way it is around here and everyone knows it. It’s the law.

    They are fearful, but not of business failure, because they could explain that away to the nth degree as well, they are fearful that they will be shown up as not being that good. In this type of culture only fearful staff are promoted to the top and it’s only the fearful staff that stick around and that culture is toxic, not the type of place that any self respecting good employee will stay in for long, good staff are confident and find better organisations with better opportunities and higher expectations and therefore become more successful and satisfied with their careers.

    Surely anyone that was responsible for managing Ilya would see to it that there was at least a basic and rudimentary check done of his work before it went to the next stage? Checks and balance are used in most organisations with competent staff, where you have known under performers there is even more reason to prevent loss. Well-conceived checks and balances are incredibly efficient as they don’t take much resource and they do prevent gross failure, and they also teach staff how to do things properly.

    Robert Owen made considerable progress teaching illiterate paupers what was acceptable in the workplace with a very simple and rudimentary checking system called the silent monitor*.

    And if there was absolutely no choice but to work with total donkeys everywhere, particularly in a hazardous environment, a good confident manager that could think clearly and logically would find himself a far better place to work, he at least owes it to himself to do that. Unless of course he just wasn’t prepared to accept any responsibility, or he didn’t understand the risks that his unchecked donkeys were putting others at.

    *”The Silent Monitor

    This was hung next to each worker in the mills, with each side displaying a different colour. ‘Bad’ behaviour was represented by the colour black; ‘indifferent’ was represented by blue; ‘good’ by yellow; and ‘excellent’ by white.

    The superintendent was responsible for turning the monitors every day, according to how well or badly the worker had behaved. A daily note
    was then made of the conduct of the workers in the ‘books of character’ which were provided for each department in the mills.”

    http://www.newlanark.org/uploads/files/The%20Silent%20Monitor.pdf

  7. Surely anyone that was responsible for managing Ilya would see to it that there was at least a basic and rudimentary check done of his work before it went to the next stage?

    If you recall, his error was caught rather early.

  8. the man sued, won and was reinstated with back pay.

    Blimey. That would be hard to pull off in Sakhalin where all the business owners had friends and relatives everywhere.

  9. I’ve the “how do I manage an idiot” problem going on at work at the moment.
    Small business, not belonging to me, and although generally I’m left to mind the shop, one of the very few things I don’t really have much power over is hiring and firing. Our general policy is to only pay peanuts, which means finding staff who aren’t monkeys is difficult.

    Currently I’m understaffed for the work I’ve taken on, and am having great difficulty finding more staff (frankly it would be difficult at any price, never mind what they are willing to offer – currently this country has a huge engineering skills shortage of tradesmen).

    My idiot is capable of most of the work required of him, and generally does it to a reasonable standard – but he is slow. So slow it’s unreal. It takes him most of a week to accomplish what I can do in a day if I come out of the office and pull my overalls on. If he touches a project, it’s the curse of death for it making a profit (at least on paper), as we calculate our costs mainly on the basis of hours spent at a notional internal costing.

    However, I’m now between the devil and the deep blue sea. Let him go (which I probably could make happen if I really wanted it) and my paper profitably rises considerably. On the other hand, I’ve several customers with jobs already dragging on (and more work in the pipeline), and frankly anyone to work on these jobs beats no-one – and long term my reputation for reliability is probably more important than short term paper profitability.

    Answers on the back of an envelope! I never even wanted to end up more or less the general manager of a small business – it just sort of happened by accident.

    When I got involved with management three years ago, we were losing £50k a year, on a turnover of around £400k – last year it was down to losing £15k, and I reckon this year we will be in profit by about £40k – mainly achieved by being realistic about pricing incoming work, and outsourcing lots of things we are capable of, but comparatively inefficient at – but I can’t outsourcing everything, and I’ve lost two of my best staff this year (both unavoidably).

  10. “If you recall, his error was caught rather early.”

    More excuses, you must stop apologizing for your staffs’ poor performance and recognise it for what it is, a gross error that should never have been tolerated and that you were responsible for making sure that this didn’t happen in the first place.

    It wasn’t “caught rather early” it should never have got that far, Ilya had completed the material take off, wrongly, this is the point of failure. A simple check at this planning stage could have averted disaster. How could this most basic of workplace controls not have been implemented, particularly when we knew how dumb this Russian was?

    Ilya had taken his mistake to Chris the fat lazy storeman, that is the next stage, a doing stage and an interaction with another function. It should never have got to this stage. Especially when we know that Chris is not fit to be working in this role.

    The only reason Chris with a terrible work ethic, didn’t issue Ilya the requested materials wasn’t because he knew that Ilya was a loser and had measured them wrong, don’t forget that Chris gets his jollies from situations like that. He would quite happily have issued him the wrong material, other than that Chris had a nepotistic relationship with Ilya’s boss.

    Yet another flashing and beeping warning sign of a fearful and toxic workplace culture heading full steam towards disaster.

    “He said he would have been quite happy to have cut Ilya 800m metres of utterly useless foam glass insulation and let him embarrass himself on site, but I got on well with Rick and he knew it would ultimately be bad for me.”

  11. @theProle – “Answers on the back of an envelope!”

    Well done in turning the business around from a loss making one to a profitable one since you came on board the management team. You achieved this through identifying the low hanging fruit of which areas of the business needed to be improved first and done this in the setting of all the usual business constraints, negative cash flow, productivity problems, entrenched attitudes and varying staff competencies.

    This is not an easy thing to accomplish, don’t believe anyone that says it is, it wasn’t meant to be easy and that is why people like you (drivers as opposed to passengers) are in the minority and are a necessary member of a business in order to make it happen properly as opposed to saying that it is all too hard and articulating and blaming the situation on everything but themself.

    The other positive indicator on your performance to date is that it is far harder to turn a poor business around than it is to launch a new one properly.

    Robert Owen said that:

    However, firm measures are required, in his view, as “the difficulty of overcoming that which has long been wrong greatly exceeds the difficulty of putting matters right from the beginning.”

    With respect to your hopelessly lost staff member, he has to go, you know it, I know it and what you will probably find when you break it to to him is that he always knew it too.

    Find a way, you won’t regret it, I promise you.

    One things is absolutely for sure, if you don’t move him on, you will definitely live to regret it.

  12. Bardon,

    Your comments would carry more weight were you not the chap who, having minimal experience outside provincial Australia, entered Africa having no idea what you were doing and got your pants pulled down – twice. It’s a shame TNA’s blog isn’t still up because I seem to remember predicting something like that would happen, too.

    The purpose of my post was to let readers know about local content laws in Russia and the difficulties of managing staff in remote areas with a labour shortage. Why you feel the need to continually say I’m incompetent and remind everyone how brilliant a manager you are (and how much you earn) I don’t know, but one thing is for sure: successful, competent, secure people don’t behave this way, online or off. Above all, it’s tedious in the extreme.

  13. Speaking of Plymouth Argyle there performance this year has been dire so i decided two weeks ago to lay out thirty quid at 500-1 that they would not win a match this season they then went on to win there next game against Wimbledon,Argyle always a disappointment.

  14. The common sense and low animal cunning fills me with admiration.
    I managed to get a physician to retire, he was elderly and in my opinion dangerous, but it took me the best part of three years and legal help to do it.
    Love your comments.

  15. @Tim

    The point of my post was to distinguish between good and bad management practices and elaborate further on my previous comments on this topic.

    The Sakhalin scenario in my experience was a case study on bad management practices, that’s all I am saying here. I may have a different view to you on this subject but is that necessarily a tedious thing and something that should be discouraged because it’s your blog?

    Feel free to counter my views if you disagree with them but I don’t think that you should expect that all of your readers should be in perfect alignment with your views on all things.

    The only continent that I haven’t worked in is Antarctica, Africa was the last one I entered so I am unsure what you based your claim otherwise on.

    I don’t think that I have had my pants pulled down in Africa once, never mind twice unless you know something that I don’t.

  16. Feel free to counter my views if you disagree with them

    I fear it would be mind-numbingly boring for my readers.

  17. Answers on the back of an envelope!

    Start with the basics: who is he, what’s his background, who put him there. Is he suited to the role? From there, find out if he wants to be in that role, if he thinks he should be in that role, if he thinks he’d be a lot better doing something else. Perhaps you’ve done all this already, but any manager worth a damn would do this before firing anyone (or, if we’re being frank, complaining about his work). I have numerous examples of people being labelled useless who were in the completely wrong job, they didn’t want to be there having been moved from a position they were more suited to, and never had the job context properly explained to them. A good few of the supposedly useless Nigerians I encountered were in this position, and improved rapidly once properly managed.

  18. The thing with small companies is that I already know the answers to all those questions – when you only have and manage a handful of staff, you tend to know pretty much everything about them.

    Mr Slow is happy in the role, and I think believes himself to be doing fine, despite my efforts to gently (and increasingly bluntly) point out his inadequacies. There probably are things he could do productivity – but the trouble with small businesses is that it’s not often possible to redirect someone to do “something else” – we all have to be pretty much all-rounders – even while managing things I spend about a 3rd of my time out in the workshop actually making stuff, or at least guiding the lads on how I want stuff doing.
    Mr Slow is probably temperamentally suited to be a CNC machinist – write a program, load machine, stand back and watch it run for 20mins, repeat – he’s bright, and has a reasonable understanding of the type of engineering we do – but just doesn’t seem to have the drive and motivation required (we give our lads a lot more freedom than most places, and but then do expect them to be able to think on their feet and get stuff done as the the tradeoff for that).
    The trouble is, not only do I not really need a full time CNC machinist, but I can’t afford to carry him for the three years while he learns how to be one.

    I think Bardon is probably right – I know what the only longterm answer is, but sacking staff who are doing the job (after a fashion) with no known replacement when one is already short-staffed and a backlog of work starting to develop feels “courageous”!

  19. The thing with small companies is that I already know the answers to all those questions – when you only have and manage a handful of staff, you tend to know pretty much everything about them.

    Fair enough. Next step is to benchmark the performance: if you don’t, how can you demonstrate he is going slow? If others can do the same tasks more quickly, and do so regularly, this should be easy. After that, you need to formally apprise him of your expectations for work performance; when he fails to meet them, you need to haul him in and give him the opportunity to explain why he failed to meet them. Once you’ve done this twice, and he hasn’t improved or explained why he’s unreasonably slow, you can probably get rid.

  20. Bardon
    “It wasn’t “caught rather early” it should never have got that far, Ilya had completed the material take off, wrongly, this is the point of failure. A simple check at this planning stage could have averted disaster. How could this most basic of workplace controls not have been implemented, particularly when we knew how dumb this Russian was?”

    All I can see in this approach is the road to hell. The only possible destination for this kind of thinking is a workplace than is entirely run on ‘controls’ top to bottom. My experience is that an operation like this makes just as many errors, but everyone just sits around and blames the process with no hope of any improvement.

    The more checks/controls you introduce, the less ownership individuals will have. The only people I’ve seen promote this approach have never evolved past Taylorism.

  21. “I know what the only longterm answer is, but sacking staff who are doing the job (after a fashion) with no known replacement when one is already short-staffed and a backlog of work starting to develop feels “courageous”!”

    You will feel so much better once the weight of this situation has lifted off your shoulders and you tell him that he is leaving, the only bad decision is the ones that are never made. It does get a little easier with practice, but it is never easy, I did say before that management wasn’t meant to be easy, it is your job to fix this problem area and this responsibility comes with the territory.

    I had to sack a Russian staff member here in Australia two weeks ago, he was no Ilya either and he looked up to me which made it tougher. I had had about five deep and meaningful discussion with him previously, I could just about get the good stuff out of him, but our GM couldn’t and as the end of the day he works for him not me.

    So, to help you with your courageous decision I think you should try and get the owners buy in. Not sure if you have dialogue with them but if you do then I would do it like this. You can demonstrate that you have turned the business around and surely they are very satisfied with your performance in the hole, so you have established credibility with them.

    You mentioned that you could do in a day what Mr Slow took a week to do, lest say it’s a five-day week, so that makes him 80% inefficient. To be fair it is probably not appropriate to benchmark him against you so give him the benefit of the doubt and say that he is 60% inefficient. This gap to me is unfixable, especially when he was hired based on being able to produce widgets at 100%, you are not running a training school and he could be an accident waiting to happen if you put pressure on him to improve on his unacceptable productivity. Mr Slow is not paying you to train him and he may well be an accident waiting to happen if you try to.

    So, you are running profitable now, even with this poor performer, you have lost two good guys and the market is tight and you have clients screaming at you for work that you haven’t even started yet. He needs to go but you don’t want to cut your nose off to spite your face. Maybe you can go to a more specialised skilled labour source and pay top dollar for a highly proficient contract staff member, you will stay be making a profit, you can sack Mr Slow and you can get past this juncture. Then see how things are going and maybe recruit two more and lay of the expensive contactor once the new guy(s) has proven themselves.

    Plus, he will be dragging moral way down, his colleagues will have noticed how slow he is, which generally engenders resentment and a feeling of inequity amongst the workforce. They will grow tired of your leadership if you do not address this major problem in the team and they will respect you more once you finally address it.

    The other tip I will give you is that 90% of the time when an employee is tapped on the shoulder, they will immediately counter offer you to do a lesser job for less or something along those lines, neve countenance that, even if they offer to do it for half price. You have made up your mind and this is the end of it never waver particularly when they tell you about the mortgage payments and the sick kids.

    We recruited a bloke recently to work in Dubai, and we initially were considering him for Kuwait, but the offer and acceptance was done on the Dubai role by me from Brisbane. He was based in Canada and coincidentally was in Doha when he initially arrived from Canada to get a briefing from our management team there. I spoke to him and told him that he needed to go and get some work and that we will support him from Doha for the moment and that we will start building a Dubai team on the back of contracts. He came back to me and said that he wanted some staff now, I said that he will have to wait and use the existing resource, then he said we needed to negotiate, negotiate what I asked him, he said that it was a very senior role more so than the Kuwaiti one and he felt that his package should be much higher. I told him to see me after lunch, contacted the relevant director and confirmed that he was on the next plane back to Canada. I then told him it was over and he backflipped to say that he would do the Kuwaiti role for the leer money, no way, you are out of here. He lasted about three hours. We since found another more suitable candidate that has got off to a good start with us.

    Also, when you move on Mr Slow him tell him that he is a very good CNC operator and there are many larger companies that need dedicated CNC operators and as you know this one isn’t one and that you would be happy to give him professional reference to this effect.

  22. “The more checks/controls you introduce, the less ownership individuals will have”

    I did say “well conceived checks”, as opposed to the situation where they had zero checks and balances resulting in this completely unacceptable outcome. I bet you London to a brick that, that organisation had more ineffective procedures and controls than you can poke a stick at. The dumb Russian, the lazy fat Storeman and the Manger had zero ownership or control over the situation explained.

    It happens all the time in certain organisational cultures.

  23. “Plus, he will be dragging moral way down, his colleagues will have noticed how slow he is, which generally engenders resentment and a feeling of inequity amongst the workforce. They will grow tired of your leadership if you do not address this major problem in the team and they will respect you more once you finally address it.”

    You’re certainly not wrong on that point – the other lads are distinctly unamused at present, and they only probably know the half of it – I actually see the time sheets he’s turning in!

    My big problem is recruitment is a total nightmare – we’re a very niche specialist outfit, and it’s proved very difficult in the past to “convert” normal welder/player types to do what we need of them. The only route we’ve ever really had that works is taking on bright 16 year olds and training them from scratch – but that’s not a quick process, and bright 16 year olds are in quite short supply. Useful agency staff just won’t exist at any price.

    That we are on the mean side on pay doesn’t help get quality either but that’s an area where my hands have been very tied. I foolishly do what I do for buttons really, could earn a lot more sat in someone’s CAD farm, but I enjoy the job far too much to change. If I can keep things profitable for a bit, then it will be time for a serious conversation about renumeration…

  24. Bardon

    “I did say “well conceived checks”, as opposed to the situation where they had zero checks and balances resulting in this completely unacceptable outcome”

    There was a check, and the outcome looks like it was the right one.

  25. “There was a check, and the outcome looks like it was the right one.’

    Said Captain Smith of the Titanic, when he decided to not slow down due to nearby icebergs and low visibility, this was standard practice at the time.

    Why shouldn’t he have then left the deck for a dinner party, and then suffer a mental breakdown at the sheer disaster that unfolded and abandon his responsibility to the poor souls that were relying on a single human being to get them to port on their ill fated voyage and when disaster struck not totally botch their evacuation.

  26. “If I can keep things profitable for a bit, then it will be time for a serious conversation about renumeration…”

    I am confident that you will. In addition to remuneration, you also need to discuss incentivisation, whereby you are directly rewarded and share the benefit of any improvement that you make to the company’s bottom line.

    Don’t worry too much about this as the universe has an uncanny way of finding high performers and rewarding them, whether it be where you are now or in your next station of life. Plus, you now have some good fellows of the haute bourgeoisie that are very interested in what you can do for them.

    With Mr Slow, it’s up to you to find a way because there is a way, you just haven’t thought of it yet. Its best that you don’t labour the “how to” anymore in your conscious mind, just say to yourself that he is going and leave it to your subconscious to find the way and don’t think about it anymore. You will be pleasantly surprised later on when you are having a cup of tea or watching Eastenders or enjoying a pint at your local when your subconscious will unexpectedly deliver you the solution tied in ribbons and stamped approved. Works every time and that is what your subconscious is designed to do for you.

    Good luck with it all, you certainly deserve it.

  27. There was a check, and the outcome looks like it was the right one.

    In the eyes of some, the outcome is less important than how you got there. This is particularly true of micromanagers who insist you do everything exactly as they would, even if they are clueless.

  28. The other way of looking at the Sakhalin unreported near miss, is that there was zero control, zero accountability, zero learnings and zero management oversight as outlined below.

    Ilya, was known to be “not yet competent”, yet his work outputs which were found to be wanting, remain unchecked. There was no investigation of his work outputs to ascertain if any of his workplace errors have been incorporated into the works and if so, what risk did they present.

    The fat storeman doesn’t follow any system, he just does things that suits his personal relationships, no effort was made to understand the extent of all of the unsuitable stores issues that he has made to staff where he had zero motivation to ensure that they were correct. The organization finds that this type of behaviour is acceptable and condones it.

    The misguided manger has no control, the only reason that he didn’t have a loss is because a storeman liked him. He finds this situation as acceptable.

    Since this chaotic situation was discovered, there was absolutely no effort made to investigate the extent of Ilya’s mistakes, institute a simple check of his work, discipline the storeman, learn a lesson, let cross disciplines know that there was a potential wider problem and failings in their workplace systems and organisational culture.

    And most importantly, no attempt was made to address the inadequate management oversight and follow-up on each of the issues described above and put in place a simple workplace system to prevent it from happening again.

    Nothing, nada, but she’ll be right, until it isn’t.

    “Accidents don’t just happen, even in a dangerous and risk-laden industry. Accidents are the outcome of a pattern of corporate managerial mis-behaviours which in principle need not have occurred had the proper incentives and procedures been in place.

    Ultimately, the lesson of corporate failure is that management must bear the responsibility for managing in a safe and environmentally appropriate manner. This did not happen in the case of Piper Alpha and it would appear from Deepwater Horizon that some industry management is still reluctant to live up to its obligations.”

  29. The misguided manger has no control, the only reason that he didn’t have a loss is because a storeman liked him

    “The only reason this manager didn’t have a loss is because he built working, mutually beneficial relationships with competent people around him.”

  30. @theProle

    Very interesting to hear about the challenges you have to deal with.

    I must say it sounds like the kind of place I would wander about goggle-eyed for a bit until you kicked me out. 🙂

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