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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Something my wife said today got me thinking about this. In the city I live in we have a few larger companies that pay exceptionally well but are plagued with high turn over rates. The Hospital, a tire plant, a Honda place my wife takes her vehicle to, a large home-service (hvac/plumbing/electric) outfit I used to work at. There’s probably a bunch more but these are all that I can think of right now.

High pay. High turn over. All of them pretty big names in our local economy. Everyone in town knows about them and considers those jobs to be very desirable. That is, until you go to work for one of them.

Pretty sure everyone here has a couple places like that in your local area. What are they? And what is the common problem that all of them have?
 

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Power distribution and controls
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In my area it is management, and their treatment of the people that do the work. I have always seen two management styles. One where the managers treat the workers like assets and want them to succeed in life and in the company. The other one is are you done yet? Your behind and I have other jobs waiting.
I have worked for both the second one was the largest reason I went out on my own.
 

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Hackenschmidt
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There are a few places like that around here. Some of them of course are either government offices or government affiliated. If an incumbent gets beat in an election, the cousins and inlaws of the old administration are replaced with the cousins and inlaws of the new administration. There's a few that are like cockroaches that survive year after year while others come and go. I guess that probably happens a lot all over.

There are other places where the top management is asleep at the wheel - I have seen this happen a number of times at large family owned businesses in their third or fourth generation. Maybe 50 years ago someone founded a company and did very well for themselves, then 25 years ago their kids took over and took it even further. But now they're done, and their kids have so much money in their trust funds the last thing they want to do is work. So with no ownership around, the senior management they hire comes in, with a brand new plan to take things to the next level. They clean house, picking off middle management one by one, replace them with friends and cronies, pay everyone a fortune.

It's not their money; they're not so much looking to do right by the company or the customers, they're looking to use their position to feather their nests. They pile up a lot of I-owe-you-ones at the company's expense, buying real estate and awarding contracts to people that know how to repay a favor. Things don't turn out as great as they promised, they spend a lot and the company spins it's wheels. In three to five years, the board gets rid of them, and replace them with people who have a brilliant plan, fire all the middle management, bring in their friends, and repeat the process.

They are generally miserable places to work for people that prefer getting things done and doing good work for your customers over scheming and conniving against your coworkers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
There are a few places like that around here. Some of them of course are either government offices or government affiliated. If an incumbent gets beat in an election, the cousins and inlaws of the old administration are replaced with the cousins and inlaws of the new administration. There's a few that are like cockroaches that survive year after year while others come and go. I guess that probably happens a lot all over.

There are other places where the top management is asleep at the wheel - I have seen this happen a number of times at large family owned businesses in their third or fourth generation. Maybe 50 years ago someone founded a company and did very well for themselves, then 25 years ago their kids took over and took it even further. But now they're done, and their kids have so much money in their trust funds the last thing they want to do is work. So with no ownership around, the senior management they hire comes in, with a brand new plan to take things to the next level. They clean house, picking off middle management one by one, replace them with friends and cronies, pay everyone a fortune.

It's not their money; they're not so much looking to do right by the company or the customers, they're looking to use their position to feather their nests. They pile up a lot of I-owe-you-ones at the company's expense, buying real estate and awarding contracts to people that know how to repay a favor. Things don't turn out as great as they promised, they spend a lot and the company spins it's wheels. In three to five years, the board gets rid of them, and replace them with people who have a brilliant plan, fire all the middle management, bring in their friends, and repeat the process.

They are generally miserable places to work for people that prefer getting things done and doing good work for your customers over scheming and conniving against your coworkers.
I can totally believe that. Especially all the local car dealerships, service companies, ect. Someone cared about it years ago, but that person hasn’t been alive since Regan was in office! Lol.

But its not just local mom & pop places. The larger employers around here are notorious for great pay and high stress environments. Take the hospital for example - they pay amazing and work you like a dog! My wife worked there for several years and everyone was soo burnt out with their nonsense. She settled for less pay and a whole lot less stress at a private practice instead.
 

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Arsholeprentice
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Those companies are data driven, not necessarily results. They can't see past a line item to save their lives, so the turnover is hard. Ironically, that costs them more than anything.
 

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People quit people.

the reflection of problems is from the top down.

But at the same time, at the top. All the problems customer complaints/employees problems become your not careful, and set up proper policy to help run the show.

In the past worked for a company with great personal but poorly executed policies. Too much red tape just to get something done.

On that note, I should recant my first statement. But I will leave it up.
 

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Electrical contractor 37 years. Electrical inspector 2 years
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There are a few places like that around here. Some of them of course are either government offices or government affiliated. If an incumbent gets beat in an election, the cousins and inlaws of the old administration are replaced with the cousins and inlaws of the new administration. There's a few that are like cockroaches that survive year after year while others come and go. I guess that probably happens a lot all over.

There are other places where the top management is asleep at the wheel - I have seen this happen a number of times at large family owned businesses in their third or fourth generation. Maybe 50 years ago someone founded a company and did very well for themselves, then 25 years ago their kids took over and took it even further. But now they're done, and their kids have so much money in their trust funds the last thing they want to do is work. So with no ownership around, the senior management they hire comes in, with a brand new plan to take things to the next level. They clean house, picking off middle management one by one, replace them with friends and cronies, pay everyone a fortune.

It's not their money; they're not so much looking to do right by the company or the customers, they're looking to use their position to feather their nests. They pile up a lot of I-owe-you-ones at the company's expense, buying real estate and awarding contracts to people that know how to repay a favor. Things don't turn out as great as they promised, they spend a lot and the company spins it's wheels. In three to five years, the board gets rid of them, and replace them with people who have a brilliant plan, fire all the middle management, bring in their friends, and repeat the process.

They are generally miserable places to work for people that prefer getting things done and doing good work for your customers over scheming and conniving against your coworkers.
You are spot on with your observation when I look at several larger former customers. The father started the company and ran it well. He pushed the workers but paid them very well. The son took over with his collage education and replaced all the established managers with his collage buddies. Still pushed the workers but now the workers were not part of the growth.
 

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Electrical contractor 37 years. Electrical inspector 2 years
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Several months ago there was a restaurant owner stating that he could not retain workers. They work for a bit and then quit because there was a covid scare. Now they collect unemployment. When it ran out they go back to work until they were eligible again. I don't know if that is still an issue but wonder where have all the workers gone and what is keeping them home.
 

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As Lindsey Graham said, "things change".

Let's look at WalMart. There were quite a few people that worked there in the 60's/70's as cashiers that retired millionaires because of stock appreciation.

I doubt there will be anymore cashier millionaires from WM.
 
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I always thought a desirable job was with a utility, but now I see more and more people walking away from utility jobs for other opportunities. Combination of poor management and too slow to keep up with competitive salary.
 

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I worked in a plant that manufactured and bottled household cleaning products for nearly ten years.

Very low turn over in either production or maintenance.

Working conditions were pretty lousy, no AC in production area or maintenance shop during summer, no heat in the winter.

We did have fans and propane heaters.

Why low turn over?

Because the plant manager generally cared and did what he could.

He knew you by name and asked about you and your family.

At Christmas he would come onto the production floor, dressed as Santa Claus and hand out gift cards.

At Easter, he would show up wearing a Easter Bunny costume and hand out Easter candy.

Halloween, no telling what he would show up in, handing out candy.

Quarterly safety awards, yearly bonuses, once a month some kind of box lunch.

Then there was holiday pay, paid time off and a dollar for dollar matching 401k.

The benefits and management made up for the working conditions.

Then the owners sold out to an investment group.

Everything went downhill from there.

The group came in and took the entire plant management out, plant manager, production manager, maintenance manager, human resource manager and the safety manager, all gone on a Friday.

Monday morning the group brought in their fresh out of college LEAN group.

One of my first encounters with the maintenance manager, after a week of never even meeting him, did not go well.

About the first thing he mentioned was I was one of the highest paid employees in the plant.

Ok, so?

Then he tells me I'm not doing my job correctly.

I had been doing my job longer than he had been alive.

These guys then turned the middle management into a-holes.

Stayed another six months thinking things might change, nope.

So after 9 plus years I left.

Worked for two other companies that went the same way.

They don't care about their employees, they don't want to hear anything from their employees, you are nothing but someone they have to give a weekly check to.

They aren't loyal to you, so why be loyal to them?

I'm sure there are still companies out there that are great to work for.

Times have definitely changed.
 

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The invention of the bean counter is what ruined the world I'm pretty sure. Companies are no longer about just building cool stuff and making a fair living. Oh no, now we got MBAs and other egg heads telling poeple how to build stuff to cut cost and maximize shareholder profits. Who ever in the history of the world said to themselves, "I want to go to work and maximize profit for the shareholders".
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The invention of the bean counter is what ruined the world I'm pretty sure. Companies are no longer about just building cool stuff and making a fair living. Oh no, now we got MBAs and other egg heads telling poeple how to build stuff to cut cost and maximize shareholder profits. Who ever in the history of the world said to themselves, "I want to go to work and maximize profit for the shareholders".
The bean counter. Yep.

I realize all companies need people to balance the books and make sure the company is making good $$$ decisions, but here’s the problem with them in the construction/trade industry - they don’t see or understand the issue that happen out on job sites or service calls. All they see is the numbers, as if the numbers were just magical things that appeared there. So often times the things that get questions are out of their expertise:

“Why are we paying Bill so much? All he does is sit in the truck and watch other people work?”….Well probably cause Bill oversees 3mil worth of work each year and makes sure these projects get done right and on schedule. Your salary is included in that revenue by the way…

“Why did you make $38.74 worth of purchases at the Supply House???!!! I thought you had what you needed on the truck!!??”……Ok buddy, you come finish this punch list then.

So many more situations like this. You gotta make the money work, but you’ve got to know what line of work your in too.
 

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I had a bean counter ask me how many wire nuts and how many screws out the the box of 100 I used on the job. I looked at her for a second and then responded "all of them".
 

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The city hall egg heads keep trying to push this super expensive asset management program called CityWorks on us. You can literally track everything down to nuts and o-rings if you really wanted to. There are other departments that literally track paper towels and spend twice as much time doing the paperwork as doing work. I keep telling them to stuff it and refusing to do anything with it. I don't need a computer to tell me what is broken, I already know.
 

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There are other departments that literally track paper towels and spend twice as much time doing the paperwork as doing work.
The VP of the company I worked for came to visit one day (we had about 9 branches) and one of the things he wanted to discuss was inventory shrinkage. Not from stealing but from waste and not being too accountable. I told him I thought I might lose $20,000 a year on this, but it would cost more than twice that to correct the problems.
 

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Hackenschmidt
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The invention of the bean counter is what ruined the world I'm pretty sure. Companies are no longer about just building cool stuff and making a fair living. Oh no, now we got MBAs and other egg heads telling poeple how to build stuff to cut cost and maximize shareholder profits. Who ever in the history of the world said to themselves, "I want to go to work and maximize profit for the shareholders".
Beancounters and lawyers. Love them, but never, ever let them run things. Let them count beans and go to court for you, don't let them drive the bus.
 
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