September 6, 2009

Yes, Labor Day Is Important

By Paul Bieber

Labor unions are declining to their lowest membership . Economic realities of this year say, “you are lucky to have a job…don’t complain, don’t ask for more money, and you had better be a team player.” So, why is labor day, when we pay people not to work, important to us in the glass industry?

Because we are not an assembly-line industry. Just about every piece of customer glass has to be measured, cut, fabricated, delivered and installed by people. People who have skills; people who have relationships.

As glass shop owners, plant managers and foremen, we need to remember that machinery does not build a plant. Bricks and mortar only keep the rain out. It is people that make things happen…it is people that create revenue which leads to profit which leads to reinvestment and growth.

Just as it is not a good time for an employee to complain, an employer should never complain openly. Your job for Labor Day is to thank each and every employee for working up to their capacity and helping your organization stay afloat. Wait-a-minute…you have a couple of people who don’t work up to their capacity and you don’t want to thank them? Go hit yourself with a baseball bat! By now, you should have changed your workforce so that every employee is working at their best level. It is an employer’s market. Git rid of your malingerers, and hire rising stars. There are millions of people looking for work, most who will work very hard for a new employer.

How do you get the best out of your employees? Simple.

1.Have an employee manual which states the goals and obligations of the company and of the workforce.

2.Have simple job descriptions for each employee, to measure if the employee is meeting the needs of the job.

3.Have an annual review system that gives feedback to and from the employee so that management and the workers have a solid understanding of what to do.

4.If you follow one, two and three, then four is easy…your business will be profitable, and you will have less headaches, so….be happy coming to work.

I hope you enjoyed the long weekend. Now, enjoy the short week.