Adult Daycare: Dealing with Employees

fxh

OG Party Suit Wearer
Supporter
Messages
7,599
Well that’s a first. I called references for someone I was about to hire. She listed her current employer, so I call them last and they proceeded to throw the person under the bus by listing all their faults and weaknesses. I am both surprised that the candidate would list them as a reference and that the employer would expose themselves to that sort of HR risk.
I don’t give references anymore except for close friends or outstanding workers. I say I’ll be available on the phone and answer any questions honestly.
 

Journeyman

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Messages
4,094
called references for someone I was about to hire. She listed her current employer, so I call them last and they proceeded to throw the person under the bus by listing all their faults and weaknesses. I am both surprised that the candidate would list them as a reference and that the employer would expose themselves to that sort of HR risk.

Some years ago, a former colleague of mine was interviewing people for a position and one of the candidates was internal. The candidate interviewed well, and my ex-colleague saw that one of the referees listed on the application was someone she knew (also internal) and so she called her up.

When my ex-colleague got her on the phone and told her the reason for the call, the referee said, "Oh, sh@%! She applied for an internal position? I told her that I'd be her referee because I expected her to apply for external jobs!"

The referee really didn't need to say anything else...
 
Last edited:

Pimpernel Smith

Well-Known Member
Messages
8,193
Just gone into the home office to answer an email and look what's happened to my mouse:

IMG_2675.jpg
 

Rambo

Supporter of Possible Sexual Deviants
Moderator
Supporter
Messages
33,073
 

ballmouse

Well-Known Member
Messages
301

I'm not sure exactly with I agree with the premise that you want your manager to be doing work. You don't want your football coach on the field. You want your coach to keep the team focused on important tasks and to remove all distractions so everyone performs their best. If he were a football player he'd be far too occupied with his performance he couldn't possibly manage the team.

The same is true for the workplace. I've had managers who are trying to do everything and it burns them out. It definitely helps to know the work of the people you're managing, but you don't want to do 2 or more jobs as one person.

A good manager or administrator is invaluable. And a good one listens to the team because the admin knows he or she is only as good as the team is good. The problem is more likely there are so many bad managers or admins that they make anyone with that title bad or that the environment the admin has to work is does not allow them to be a good admin (because instead of being able to help the team he or she manages, they are forced to do whatever his or her boss says and see 2nd sentence of this paragraph).
 

Pimpernel Smith

Well-Known Member
Messages
8,193
Pretty much all wrong
Agreed, was expecting something juicy with some insight there, but nothing.

A very grandiose title delivering some very low level personal experience.

It doesn't even stand up to scrutiny at the anecdotal level, which I generally thoroughly approve of.

In other words: It's shite!
 

Journeyman

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Messages
4,094
I'm not sure exactly with I agree with the premise that you want your manager to be doing work.

Well, ideally you want your manager to be doing work (rather than not working!) but generally doing a different *type* of work from the people they manage.

In my experience, there are three types of managers. This is a gross generalisation, of course, and they exist along a spectrum in each category - some are poor and some are excellent:

- Those who do at least a reasonably good job of managing work (ie tasks);
- Those who do at least a reasonably good job of managing people; and
- Those who do at least a reasonably good job of managing both.

A lot of managers seem to get promoted to management because they can manage work. Generally, they like work because it doesn't answer back - it can ebb and flow, some of it is urgent and some of it is boring, but once you get used to the type of work it's generally pretty predictable. Work doesn't answer back, it doesn't go and cry in an office, it doesn't take random days off because it's not feeling well, it doesn't complain that John got promoted but I didn't and so on.

Managing people is more difficult because you can't control it as easily. You can't put people aside to wait for tomorrow if they're angry or crying. You need to tailor your approach to individuals, gauge your approach. Some people thrive on it, but most of the managers I have had were pretty poor at it.

The last group, those who are good at managing both tasks and people, is the most elusive group. If you have a manager like that, they should be worth their weight in gold but, unfortunately, it often seems to the Category 1 managers who are promoted.

I agree that your manager doesn't need to be doing the same work as the people they manage, but I do think that it really helps if they understand what that work is, what it involves, and (if necessary) can help out and provide advice. This used to be very common, to my understanding, but over the past 50 years or so, a (probably US-derived) management theory has crept in which says that a manager can manage pretty much anything as management tools and skills are the same. Therefore, in theory you can go from managing a factory making widgets, to managing a callcentre, to managing something else.

So, thanks to places like McKinsey and the proliferation of a plethora of business management courses at universities, we now have a managerial class that are pumped full of management theory and know all about MECEs, Six Sigma, DMAIC and a whole heap of other management tools, but don't actually know about the things they are meant to be using those tools to manage, and don't know how to - or want to - deal with people.
 

Dropbear

Member in Good Standing
Messages
6,567
^
I see that a lot, where managers believe that if they are doing work, it is taking them away from ‘managing’. So they spend all their time ‘managing’. Sometimes they really are, but often if it’s a good team with an established structure and work flow, this means the manager really isn’t adding much value and fails to understand the work being done.

I think some of the mentality that leaders can’t also be workers is a hold-over from pre-industrial revolution and then Victorian times. Even minor aristocracy tried not to be too familiar with the staff, to maintain the illusion that they were a different breed of people and ‘born to rule’.

In my brief, miserable and unsuccessful time in officer candidate school, it was drilled into us that if an officer is shooting or fighting then everyone is minutes from death. An officer should be leading the battle. Any working alongside the troops was discouraged in order to maintain the mystique of the officer class (because seriously, who should anyone listen to a kid who just finished a university degree instead of the sergeant with twenty years of experience?).

Ironically, the thing the SS and IDF have in common is that both made officers start in the enlisted ranks before being commissioned. You then have junior officers with at least a rudimentary understanding of the job and its challenges.
 

Rambo

Supporter of Possible Sexual Deviants
Moderator
Supporter
Messages
33,073
Well, ideally you want your manager to be doing work (rather than not working!) but generally doing a different *type* of work from the people they manage.

In my experience, there are three types of managers. This is a gross generalisation, of course, and they exist along a spectrum in each category - some are poor and some are excellent:

- Those who do at least a reasonably good job of managing work (ie tasks);
- Those who do at least a reasonably good job of managing people; and
- Those who do at least a reasonably good job of managing both.

A lot of managers seem to get promoted to management because they can manage work. Generally, they like work because it doesn't answer back - it can ebb and flow, some of it is urgent and some of it is boring, but once you get used to the type of work it's generally pretty predictable. Work doesn't answer back, it doesn't go and cry in an office, it doesn't take random days off because it's not feeling well, it doesn't complain that John got promoted but I didn't and so on.

Managing people is more difficult because you can't control it as easily. You can't put people aside to wait for tomorrow if they're angry or crying. You need to tailor your approach to individuals, gauge your approach. Some people thrive on it, but most of the managers I have had were pretty poor at it.

The last group, those who are good at managing both tasks and people, is the most elusive group. If you have a manager like that, they should be worth their weight in gold but, unfortunately, it often seems to the Category 1 managers who are promoted.

I agree that your manager doesn't need to be doing the same work as the people they manage, but I do think that it really helps if they understand what that work is, what it involves, and (if necessary) can help out and provide advice. This used to be very common, to my understanding, but over the past 50 years or so, a (probably US-derived) management theory has crept in which says that a manager can manage pretty much anything as management tools and skills are the same. Therefore, in theory you can go from managing a factory making widgets, to managing a callcentre, to managing something else.

So, thanks to places like McKinsey and the proliferation of a plethora of business management courses at universities, we now have a managerial class that are pumped full of management theory and know all about MECEs, Six Sigma, DMAIC and a whole heap of other management tools, but don't actually know about the things they are meant to be using those tools to manage, and don't know how to - or want to - deal with people.
seems like a lot of people are having problems understanding what Ian was getting at with the premises of the article. jman is at least getting closer to the plot here.
 

formby002

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,870
^
I see that a lot, where managers believe that if they are doing work, it is taking them away from ‘managing’. So they spend all their time ‘managing’. Sometimes they really are, but often if it’s a good team with an established structure and work flow, this means the manager really isn’t adding much value and fails to understand the work being done.

I think some of the mentality that leaders can’t also be workers is a hold-over from pre-industrial revolution and then Victorian times. Even minor aristocracy tried not to be too familiar with the staff, to maintain the illusion that they were a different breed of people and ‘born to rule’.

In my brief, miserable and unsuccessful time in officer candidate school, it was drilled into us that if an officer is shooting or fighting then everyone is minutes from death. An officer should be leading the battle. Any working alongside the troops was discouraged in order to maintain the mystique of the officer class (because seriously, who should anyone listen to a kid who just finished a university degree instead of the sergeant with twenty years of experience?).

Ironically, the thing the SS and IDF have in common is that both made officers start in the enlisted ranks before being commissioned. You then have junior officers with at least a rudimentary understanding of the job and its challenges.
Most modern management comes from the US, F.W Taylor in particular.
 

fxh

OG Party Suit Wearer
Supporter
Messages
7,599
out of curiosity, why?


I could "Fisk" it line by line but let me make a few general points.

Firstly no one disputes there are a lot of shit managers. (And shit non-managers. And shit people generally.) A lot of them speak the corporate fashionable bullshit - we all do at times - words are useful. {{ "reach out" - if I hear that one more fucking time I'll go postal - "No: I'll send her an email and ask to meet", "gift - gifted" - "No it was a donation, or you gave a present, or it was Pro Bono, or free, gratis, given away - it wasn't fucking gifted", "We are like a family - "No No and NO - its a workplace"}}

I've no idea what that blokes graph means - increased by X % - what was the baseline - who crunched the figures and why and explain why it matters - other wise so what

He made a mistake - some of us here know more than a little bit about health systems - and in more than one country. Most of it is understandable - well except the USA system- and even then some it it is (almost) understandable.

At a basic level - even if his figures are sort of accurate -

What is classified as Administrative???, -

Records clerks, pharmacy, cleaners, ward assistants, Trolley people, maintenance, payroll, security, transport, cleaners, accountants, billing office, theatre maintenance, computer network workers, lab workers, MRI operators, kitchen, laundry, OH&S, medication suppliers, surgical instrument suppliers, infection control, air con negative pressure maintenance, lift maintenance ...... this is only a small bit - I mean the list goes on - tell me which ones aren't necessary to run a health system.

You want your neurosurgeon to welcome patients at the door and tell them where the toilets are, you want your orthopod to ring those patients who don't turn up for scheduled procedures, you want the Urologist to clean the toilets - makes sense - its all piss isn't it - - you want the cardiologist to check fire safety protocol and arrange leave rosters for nurses, you want the anaesthetist to fill out the compliance accreditation paperwork that the legislators require - the same legislators who whinge about "too many administrators"

Want me to go on - I can...

FFS anyone but a Trump can see - look at the space program - how many are actual astronauts - shock horror - sweet fuck all compared to the thousands - nay - millions WASTED in administration.
 
Last edited:

Journeyman

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Messages
4,094
you want the cardiologist to check fire safety protocol and arrange leave rosters for nurses, you want the anaesthetist to fill out the compliance accreditation paperwork that the legislators require - the same legislators who whinge about "too many administrators"

This can be true - it's self-evident that you need people to do the more "menial" but necessary admin tasks so that highly-trained specialists can get on with their tasks.

However, there is also a phenomenon sometimes known as the "pathology of the bureaucracy", where administration will expand and create new tasks, simply for the sake of administration.

As an example, at the university where my wife teaches, academic staff now need to fill out more and more admin surveys and other record-keeping stuff. This emanates from central administration. Central admin has grown like topsy over the past couple of decades, but the schools and departments have been starved of funds unless they come from research grants. As a result, they can no longer afford to hire an executive officer to manage this stuff so it now rests on the shoulders of senior academics or heads of department/school, who have to spend time filling in online forms with info about staff, expenditure and other such details, which is a total distraction from their actual work.

This reminds me of another couple of examples from my time in a government legal services department. We had a uni student come in a couple of days a week to photocopy and collate files to send to the tribunal and court. We'd tag up the files and she would copy, collate, create a table of contents, bind it and send it off, with a copy for us. When she was about to graduate, we started the process for finding another casual to come in 1-2 days a week, only to be told we didn't have the funds for it. So, instead, we had people being paid $90 -$120,000 per year, each spending half-a-day or more per week copying files. We all thought it was insane and an awfully inefficient use of resources, but the bureaucratic managers seemed fine with it.

Similarly, we used to have an admin person for the whole office in Brisbane who would, amongst other things, handle travel bookings, issue and reconcile Cabcharge vouchers and so on. Once again, she got the flick and we had to do all of this stuff ourselves. So instead of handing over travel receipts and Cabcharge receipts and getting her to process them, we had to scan everything as *separate* files, log in to a clunky system, upload each item individually with a detailed description of where it was, what it entailed and so on, which could take anywhere between one-to-two hours in total.

Meanwhile, middle management keeps on growing - there are more staff at the "Executive Level 1" level (usually "Assistant Director") in Canberra than any other staffing level. So these positions typically exist to tell other people what to do - but there are more of them than of other positions!
 

Pimpernel Smith

Well-Known Member
Messages
8,193
In my experience, there are three types of managers. This is a gross generalisation, of course, and they exist along a spectrum in each category - some are poor and some are excellent:

- Those who do at least a reasonably good job of managing work (ie tasks);
- Those who do at least a reasonably good job of managing people; and
- Those who do at least a reasonably good job of managing both.
You missed out the fourth type of manager:
- Those who have been promoted to their own level of incompetence and are determined to stay there.

Most modern management comes from the US, F.W Taylor in particular.
He's the grandfather of the Quality discipline and a modern development, the Japanese Kaizen, I've applied quite successfully to office and IT operations.
of course. no one does capitalism worse than we do.
Well, you want quality in all systems, including socialist and communist ones, which was one of the elements where the Soviet Union went wrong. Cheap shoddy goods that had no market outside of the Communist block. Well, excluding Kalashnikov's, LOMO cameras and Poljot cosmonaut watches.
Similarly, we used to have an admin person for the whole office in Brisbane who would, amongst other things, handle travel bookings, issue and reconcile Cabcharge vouchers and so on. Once again, she got the flick and we had to do all of this stuff ourselves. So instead of handing over travel receipts and Cabcharge receipts and getting her to process them, we had to scan everything as *separate* files, log in to a clunky system, upload each item individually with a detailed description of where it was, what it entailed and so on, which could take anywhere between one-to-two hours in total.
The travel departments also served the function of ensuring that hotel booking were kept within a band of stars and price ranging. Same with flights if you weren't getting business class.

You don't necessarily need that function now, with notable exceptions: mobilizing to high risk countries where security has to be factored in etc.

I do (did) all my own travel and hotels for several years now. Dead easy and you get to stay exactly where you want to.
 

Rambo

Supporter of Possible Sexual Deviants
Moderator
Supporter
Messages
33,073
Well, you want quality in all systems, including socialist and communist ones, which was one of the elements where the Soviet Union went wrong
can't really argue with that

Cheap shoddy goods that had no market outside of the Communist block.
well i don't think they were shipping or shopping internationally then but thats a bit besides the point.

Well, excluding Kalashnikov's, LOMO cameras and Poljot cosmonaut watches.
see, not all bad!
Firstly no one disputes there are a lot of shit managers. (And shit non-managers. And shit people generally.)
if you ever run into someone who argues that there aren't, run in the other direction.

"We are like a family - "No No and NO - its a workplace"
i DESPISE this one. extremely common here in the US. generally followed up by a request for more of your labor without an increase in pay.

I've no idea what that blokes graph means - increased by X % - what was the baseline - who crunched the figures and why and explain why it matters - other wise so what
it was a basic plot line showing in overall employment. it shows that for each doctor we created we also created X-fold number of administrators.

this post has a bit of a better layout


its adapted from the bureau of labor statistics

here's another link talking about the same thing


He made a mistake - some of us here know more than a little bit about health systems - and in more than one country. Most of it is understandable - well except the USA system- and even then some it it is (almost) understandable.
he definitely isn't a health management guy which is why i was curious about your take since this is your ballpark

What is classified as Administrative???, -

Records clerks, pharmacy, cleaners, ward assistants, Trolley people, maintenance, payroll, security, transport, cleaners, accountants, billing office, theatre maintenance, computer network workers, lab workers, MRI operators, kitchen, laundry, OH&S, medication suppliers, surgical instrument suppliers, infection control, air con negative pressure maintenance, lift maintenance ...... this is only a small bit - I mean the list goes on - tell me which ones aren't necessary to run a health system.
it doesn't specify but if i had to guess i'd say its mainly just office admin people and not tech workers in the field

However, there is also a phenomenon sometimes known as the "pathology of the bureaucracy", where administration will expand and create new tasks, simply for the sake of administration.
yes, and this is the central premise of the piece

Meanwhile, middle management keeps on growing - there are more staff at the "Executive Level 1" level (usually "Assistant Director") in Canberra than any other staffing level. So these positions typically exist to tell other people what to do - but there are more of them than of other positions!
i'd be curious what the statistics were for this in the legal field. dollars to doughnuts its similar to the medical field.
 

Dropbear

Member in Good Standing
Messages
6,567
Firstly no one disputes there are a lot of shit managers. (And shit non-managers. And shit people generally.) A lot of them speak the corporate fashionable bullshit - we all do at times - words are useful. {{ "reach out" - if I hear that one more fucking time I'll go postal - "No: I'll send her an email and ask to meet", "gift - gifted" - "No it was a donation, or you gave a present, or it was Pro Bono, or free, gratis, given away - it wasn't fucking gifted", "We are like a family - "No No and NO - its a workplace"}}
.

“I’m going to get with Smith in finance” instead of meet with/talk to/call
 

Pimpernel Smith

Well-Known Member
Messages
8,193
That's W Edwards Demming. They're often confused with one another. Both engineers, Taylor mechanical and Demming electrical.
I was a bit too fast on the tippity-tappity there: Demming for the Quality discipline, Taylor for productivity.

Kaizen embraces and is a development of both.
 

fxh

OG Party Suit Wearer
Supporter
Messages
7,599
“I’m going to get with Smith in finance” instead of meet with/talk to/call
hah - really??

As you know "get with" - "got with" has a specific meaning in Australian (mostly teenage) language
 

fxh

OG Party Suit Wearer
Supporter
Messages
7,599
it doesn't specify but if i had to guess i'd say its mainly just office admin people and not tech workers in the field


yes, and this is the central premise of the piece
Not trying to be smart but usually IME these stats are very crude - clinical workers vs non clinical.

And no one - certainly not cultural warriors have any idea what they are talking about.

Is the Head of Medical Clinical Services - always a very experienced clinician - clinical or nonclinical? - they rarely will be still practicing clinically - at least not in their own hospital.
 

Rambo

Supporter of Possible Sexual Deviants
Moderator
Supporter
Messages
33,073
 
Top Bottom