Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Hotel Restaurants-Company Values

(I seem to start comments or chapters with OK--a lot) personal observation. -Can a Psych Major analyze this please?.....Thank you.

How many of you have worked at a company with Values or Visions that you as a; Team Member-Employee-Associate-Ladies and Gentlemen, or however you are referred to, are supposed to practice and or follow-Every day and moment that your are at work? Some companies even ask you to practice those values "while outside of your place of work"
Well, Values are are good. A company or business, whether it employs two or 5,000 people, must have something to guide them and or give them something to shoot for. It used to be just Goals.
Nowadays though it is a lot of "values" that one must follow. It isn't just two or three, it is up to five or six and sometimes you even have to learn a company song or motto, chant, creed or other. (I think it was the Japanese who started these concepts that American Management gurus adopted to increase productivity and job happiness levels. Nothing wrong with having the values in place, I believe that any business has to have standards of behavior for all employees, from the top to the bottom, or viceversa.
The problem I have seen with these values is that not many employees follow them.
Sometimes not even the owners (in small companies), At times upper Management are the most blatant about not following them and of course everyone in between.

I worked with a company where the whole family was involved in the operation of the business. They have more than one business, so the one that I worked at, was run by one of the sons(His own project actually-About 2,000 employees-Quite a few millions in revenues, etc-Not bad at all)
Well, when it came to displaying their own values that they set in place, forget it. A few days after we had opened the place of business, the owner, (lets call him The King) threatened me with, "You wont be working here if this shit isn't taken care of" -At that time, the area which I was responsible for was under-manned due to upper management feeling that the area did not require more than 3 employees to handle, of course after The King and his Knights (Upper management) realized that this area would require at least 7 people to handle they "immediately" ordered the hiring of "As many people as needed" to take care of the problem.
Why didn't they think of this before- 24 hours per day=3 shifts, 3 shifts X 7 days = 21 shiftsThey actually expected 3 people to handle this area.
Anyways, getting back to the point. The King cursed and did not use proper "communication" with an employee-It was known that it was just the way he was-I was not the only one graced by his "nice words" every now and then. Talking to other Management types, most everyone had had a run with him. But of course, he is the owner (king) This has not changed as of this date.

The perfect example is the number two in the company-Number two because the owner had offices in the building and he worked most everyday- SO the GM (Or Vice-President) was the next in line and the next "perfect" example.
He mas not the communicator that the company expected from everyone else. In the time I worked for the company, I believe he stopped twice to say hello, or something else. When I ran into him-many times- in hallways, There was only a "Hello you." Not much else. This is not that big of a deal. (What could we have in common that we could stand there and chit chat). However, when he is the General Manager of the company, I would think he would make every effort to practice the Values that he as the head of the company, espoused and preached at every company orientation. As Managers, we were instructed by HR that we "needed to get involved in our employees lives, to make them feel appreciated" Not a bad concept, but who really wants to know some stranger and what makes them thick?.
Of course there were other rumors flying around about a certain area of the company where it is made up of mostly females and his "qualification tests" for some of them. (didn't some big CEO get fired for that recently?-Also, the King had to approve hiring for this particular area-not HR). There were of course some upper management people that I could actually feel comfortable talking to the point that you may call it B.S.ing. But the discussion here is about the hypocrisy of Company executives and the Values they espouse.

Probably the least rewarding management level. Caught between the BS that you are dealt with from above and the BS you have to receive from below due to the BS from above (Picture Tom Hanks in Forest Gump, when he is the jungle walking with water up to his waist and rain is pouring down and from below-as he explained it) Add to this BS the rest of the BS you have to come up with to get the job done.
At this level, there is the most utter contempt for some line workers or employees. It cannot be helped, because as most everyone knows in any job, there are people who are just complete idiots. I am quite sure that my own boss had the same thought about me a few times. Because of this impression of idiocy about some people and because as a manager, you have control of schedules or assignments, you are allowed a certain level of freedom to screw with someone that you do not like. (Not give them or approve time off or vacation is the most popular). So again Managers are not practicing the values (Sometimes, just pretending).

Well, what can I tell you. Been there, done that.
Most of us have worked as line employees somewhere along in our long illustrious careers. The details are in front of you at every level you are working. Values cannot and will not be practiced by everyone, unless there is a genuine effort to follow them. I believe that Managers, regardless of the level must practice the values and set the example. It is not up to the employees to do it. As a parent you know that your kids are always going to do and say the same things that you as a parent teach them. As a manager you know that your employees, though adults, need direction and encouragement. I am not saying that they need to be treated as kids, but the same philosophy applies. Again, the example needs to come from above, beginning with the owners and heads of the company.

Till Next Time.

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