Today I want to share with you a situation that occurred at a meeting I recently attended.
I want to do something a little different. Today I want to describe the situation, then ask you what you think caused it. Then tomorrow I'll share my opinion on what caused the situation and ask you what you would do to solve the problem.
Monday Morning Meeting
Photo courtesy of NCTRUCKINGITEMS
Ok, 6am, Monday morning, company meeting. The only thing on the agenda is to pass out new binders to all the truck drivers. The manager explains that these binders are to allow management to more accurately forecast equipment needs, as well as to determine which equipment is in need of replacing.
The drivers open the binders. Inside they find a form to be filled out for each load hauled.
- Time started
- Time you arrive to load
- Time you arrive at the field to unload
- Number of miles to field
...and so forth
Now I can't read minds, and I didn't have to, to know what was coming next...
One driver pipes up,
"So is this to keep track of us and if I get one less load than John* am I fired?"
Another chimes in,
"Yeah, if we're gonna do this, and Sam has one more load than me, I'm going to do everything I can to pass him."
Then a third driver jumps in,
"I take time each load to make sure my trailer's cleaned out. If I do that and say, Larry, doesn't; and he gets one more load a day than me, why should I even worry about taking care of the equipment? I should just GO GO GO!"
At this point the manager jumps in and says,
"This has nothing to do with checking up on you. We already know which ones of you are hard workers and which ones lazy. We just want to analyze how we can improve efficiency. We aren't out to hang anyone."
To that one of the drivers that had spoken earlier piped up,
"You won't have to, with this form, we'll hang ourselves!"
These types of concerns and objections continued for probably 30 minutes. So here's my question to you,
When, according to the manager, this form is simply to allow management to review and analyze equipment needs and efficiency,
Why did the driver's respond in such a negative and defensive manner?
*All names have been changed to protect the innocent...and perhaps the guilty :)
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