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Old 05-21-2011, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Georgia
421 posts, read 731,032 times
Reputation: 456

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Hi everyone,

I manage a facility that has about 95 employees. Even though cell phone usage on the production floor is not permitted (break rooms and designated areas are OK) people still hide their phones in their desks or pockets. I see people always glancing at their phones, unable to resist responding to the latest text, tweet or call. It's like people are literally addicted to their phones - I wonder if people get a little charge in their brains every time they hear a beep or something. And like addicts, people get real cranky when we contront their cell phone use.

I'm interested in your thoughts. What do you do at work? Is our policy unrealistic? Thanks.
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Old 05-21-2011, 08:36 AM
 
672 posts, read 1,733,123 times
Reputation: 1173
We don't have a policy and I hate that. I have one coworker who is constantly on his cell. It seems to me like stealing from the company - doing personal business while on company time.
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Old 05-21-2011, 08:38 AM
 
Location: Texas
42,165 posts, read 49,616,941 times
Reputation: 66858
We have a similar policy and everyone just blows it off.
And it makes me crazy.
Work isn't getting done.
And what the hell...you are surrounded by real people, but you can't bother interacting with them...the other person on the phone is more important?

I think these phones have really allowed people to show how crass and self-absorbed they are.
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Old 05-21-2011, 09:38 AM
 
2,318 posts, read 3,010,301 times
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It has become a real problem in the work place and drastically reduces production. We have a policy restricting use to their personal time such as breaks and lunch, absolutely no use during work time. I have fired several for it after a couple of warnings. I have gotten to the point where my opinion is if they valued their job and had any respect for the company they would play with their phone on their own time and get the work done on ours, otherwise they can hit the road as far as I am concerned. I have very little patience for it anymore.
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Old 05-21-2011, 09:50 AM
 
26,801 posts, read 38,044,557 times
Reputation: 34733
Quote:
Originally Posted by dijkstra View Post
It has become a real problem in the work place and drastically reduces production. We have a policy restricting use to their personal time such as breaks and lunch, absolutely no use during work time. I have fired several for it after a couple of warnings. I have gotten to the point where my opinion is if they valued their job and had any respect for the company they would play with their phone on their own time and get the work done on ours, otherwise they can hit the road as far as I am concerned. I have very little patience for it anymore.
You have the right idea.
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Old 05-21-2011, 03:15 PM
 
24,511 posts, read 34,054,087 times
Reputation: 12769
Quote:
Originally Posted by dijkstra View Post
It has become a real problem in the work place and drastically reduces production. We have a policy restricting use to their personal time such as breaks and lunch, absolutely no use during work time. I have fired several for it after a couple of warnings. I have gotten to the point where my opinion is if they valued their job and had any respect for the company they would play with their phone on their own time and get the work done on ours, otherwise they can hit the road as far as I am concerned. I have very little patience for it anymore.
I think that your management style is old and antiquated. Rather than having policies about how they use their time, you should be using productivity metrics to determine who is performing or not. Unsurprisingly, those who are always on their phone will have low performance, and thus you can point out their lack of performance when you meet with them.

Employees respond better to "this is how we expect you to perform, and this is the mean, and this is you", rather than "you're breaking the rules". If they cannot improve their performance, they should be let go.

Last edited by NJBest; 05-21-2011 at 04:15 PM..
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Old 05-21-2011, 04:09 PM
 
26,801 posts, read 38,044,557 times
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The workplace is not a Nanny state. If employees can't, or won't, follow the "rules" then they need to grow up, and if they can't then they should be working somewhere else. It may be antiquated to you, but it works.
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Old 05-21-2011, 04:24 PM
 
24,511 posts, read 34,054,087 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tek_Freek View Post
The workplace is not a Nanny state. If employees can't, or won't, follow the "rules" then they need to grow up, and if they can't then they should be working somewhere else. It may be antiquated to you, but it works.
No, it doesn't work. It's ineffective. As the OP and dijkstra indicated, employees simply won't follow rules and end up getting themselves fired. Leaving you to hire new people... which in turn will do the same thing. Constantly replacing staff is costly for an organization. It's best to use metrics to encourage existing employees to be more productive, than having "you can't do that" rules. If they don't get it, then they can be fired. But most will respond better. It's also better for morale.

Empowering your employees to improve efficiency rather than micromanaging their time is the way to go.

All of these are reasons why that type of management style is a thing of the past. Any management/MBA class will teach you this.
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Old 05-21-2011, 05:12 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,518 posts, read 29,173,079 times
Reputation: 21223
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJBest View Post
No, it doesn't work. It's ineffective. As the OP and dijkstra indicated, employees simply won't follow rules and end up getting themselves fired. Leaving you to hire new people... which in turn will do the same thing. Constantly replacing staff is costly for an organization. It's best to use metrics to encourage existing employees to be more productive, than having "you can't do that" rules. If they don't get it, then they can be fired. But most will respond better. It's also better for morale.

Empowering your employees to improve efficiency rather than micromanaging their time is the way to go.

All of these are reasons why that type of management style is a thing of the past. Any management/MBA class will teach you this.
In both cases a lot depends on the employee. For instance, if you have a fairly intelligent employee who can grasp these concepts, chances are that you are going to have better luck with encouraging them to be productive, i.e. positive reinforcement.

However, I can tell you from personal experience that when you get into the lower level employee. The employee who does not have a high school diploma or has a criminal record, or has an IQ equal with his shoe size, that trying to "reason' with him is much like trying to teach a pig to sing.

I worked for a year with a housekeeping staff of several large resorts here in Branson, and I can tell you that the ONLY way to stop cell phone abuse was to REQUIRE them to check their cell phones in on a daily basis. I can assure you that for the type of employee who frankly does not CARE about being productive is not going to respond to anything except threats, and even then PROBABLY NOT. LOL

20yrsinBranson
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Old 05-21-2011, 05:47 PM
 
24,511 posts, read 34,054,087 times
Reputation: 12769
Quote:
Originally Posted by 20yrsinBranson View Post
In both cases a lot depends on the employee. For instance, if you have a fairly intelligent employee who can grasp these concepts, chances are that you are going to have better luck with encouraging them to be productive, i.e. positive reinforcement.

However, I can tell you from personal experience that when you get into the lower level employee. The employee who does not have a high school diploma or has a criminal record, or has an IQ equal with his shoe size, that trying to "reason' with him is much like trying to teach a pig to sing.

I worked for a year with a housekeeping staff of several large resorts here in Branson, and I can tell you that the ONLY way to stop cell phone abuse was to REQUIRE them to check their cell phones in on a daily basis. I can assure you that for the type of employee who frankly does not CARE about being productive is not going to respond to anything except threats, and even then PROBABLY NOT. LOL

20yrsinBranson
^^^ fair enough. I've never worked in an uneducated environment, so it is possible that different management techniques are required.
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