Who’s The Boss? By Don Desrosiers, Tailwind Systems, Inc. Editor's Note: This article includes employment horror stories and tactics to counter similar situations. Most employees are not the troublemakers this article discusses. Proper training, open communication, and compromise can promote balance in the employer/employee relationship. The author's views are his own and do not reflect an endorsement by DLI. For additional perspectives on this topic see DLI's Management Matters Bulletin No. 8: "Seven Personality Types and How to Motivate Them"; "Turnover is a Profit-Killer"; and the May-June 2014 Fabricare cover story, "Keeping Your Best Employees." SOMETIMES CHANGE CAN CAUSE PROBLEMS IN THE WORKPLACE. Some people don’t like change and fight it, tooth and nail. I met a cleaning business owner who made a name for himself as a numbers guy. Outward appearances suggested he ran his company “by the numbers.” Forget personalities and employees with personal issues. Forget any resistance to change, his company was run by the numbers. Except it wasn’t. In a private conversation with this gentleman, coupled with a glance at his labor hours, it was very clear to me that he was wasting labor in his shirt department. It was a waste of 12 hours per week. In Pieces Per Labor Hour terms: Three pieces per labor hour (PPLH) wasted. When I called this to his attention, he was blunt. “If I make any changes, the presser will quit, so I will forfeit the three pieces per labor hour.” I’m fairly confident many readers have uttered something similar at one time or another. I probably said or did something similar in my plant days, too. I know why we sometimes accept this but waste is bad in business. First, three pieces per labor hour might sound like pocket change but 2,200 shirts per week and a typical burdened hourly wage, comes to more than $8,000 per employee. This situation often includes three employees (presser, touch-up, and assembler), so we could be talking about $2,000 per month or $24,000 per year. Just hearing those dollar figures might cause you to never act on an ultimatum from an employee. But probably not. FE ATURE continued on page 18 THIRD QUARTER 2018 17