Culture Matters

Discussion in 'XPO Logistics' started by Merdock, Nov 23, 2015.

  1. Merdock

    Merdock Kool-aid-aholic

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    I was asked, what do I think of the transition to XPO Freight? Ha... I could fill a couple pages, but I want to keep it simple and positive. At the end of the day I just want to work for a great company.

    So many try and identify what Con-Way is today and what it was once upon a time. What matters is tomorrow. Tomorrow can be business as usual or tomorrow can be the start of one culture throughout the whole freight company. We do not have one culture within this company, every terminal has its own culture, some fortunately have a participative culture and sadly too many have a directive culture. Lean was supposed to be a destination, a cultural destination. It can not happen. Lean is only a set of tools to help drive a culture, it can deliver you to engaged employees or it can deliver you dictatorial management practices that produce scorecard results, at any costs.

    Our culture is not a ship to be compared to the Titanic and trying to change the course of one big ship. Our company is a fleet of many ships (service centers), over three hundred, each in need of one Commander in Chief, with him providing navigational aids, maps, and charts to steer all ships in the same direction no matter where they are currently located in the sea of employee engagement. (Too many are lost at sea these days)
    So, how would I do it? First I would have Brad and Tony stand at the front of the room next week in St Louis and define the culture of XPO, hopefully a culture of engagement and participation. Next I would take the talents of the Lean Department, place the VVT under their umbrella and re-task the group as the "Continuous Improvement and Engagement Team". We have had it backwards for three plus years, Lean does not drive engagement, engagement drives the success of Lean.
     
  2. icuicp

    icuicp Well-Known Member

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    I'm guessing - were you on the LEAN TEAM?
     
  3. highspeeds

    highspeeds ENTERTAINMENT USE ONLY

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    Collaborating

    Uniform

    Nonsense

    Team
     
  4. highspeeds

    highspeeds ENTERTAINMENT USE ONLY

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    I love what you are saying. In this environment. How do you achieve it ? Not only are the people themselves very different from terminal to terminal. But the cities they serve and challenges they face and customers they serve are all so very different.
     
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  5. upnorth

    upnorth Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Welcome back Merdock.
     
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  6. ScotchNeat

    ScotchNeat Well-Known Member

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    Setting people up for failure by placing unreasonable expectations on them is a culture killer from management to hourly. If a goal happens to be reached, the goal post is raised the next time. This company believes that striving for excellence is more important than being excellent and that's a wrong headed approach. People here work hard to do the job right and when it's done right and we know it's done right, we get nothing other than, reach higher next time. A happy cat isn't necessarily a lazy cat, sometimes it's a cat who loves his master because his master rewards him once in awhile for getting it right.
     
  7. ScotchNeat

    ScotchNeat Well-Known Member

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    All this BS about "having the courage to intervene" only goes so far. If the company truly wants to reduce damages, they will need to take a more aggressive approach. When a person is damaging freight or loading it improperly, that person needs to be taken aside immediately, not by a dock mentor or another employee, but by a manager and progressive discipline needs to start right there. I have tried a couple of times to intervene only to be told something like "F-you, you're not a boss." This coaching mentality isn't working because many people percieve this as weakness and need to be shown strength for them to do their job properly. This will have a positive effect on those employees who do a good job and a positive effect on reducing damage.
     
  8. vetran peddleman

    vetran peddleman FOR ENTERTAINMENT USE ONLY

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    And most likely the VVT team too!!!
     
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  9. vetran peddleman

    vetran peddleman FOR ENTERTAINMENT USE ONLY

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    I know that just about everybody knows this one but I can't help myself...
    L abeling
    E verything
    A ccomplishing
    N othing

    LOL
     
  10. vetran peddleman

    vetran peddleman FOR ENTERTAINMENT USE ONLY

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    Yeah, you are soooo right on this ScotchNeat. My cat loves me for paying attention to her, petting her and just being there for her when I get home after a hard and heavy P&D work load at XLSM, (XPO LOGISTICS STRESS MACHINE). And my cat really appreciates my attention. The problem w/ XLSM is that certain managers mainly focus way too much on their own careers moving up the proverbial 'corporate ladder' instead of just appreciating us a little... just a little... that's all that it would take and I think everybody would knock themselves out working soooo much harder for this company cause they knew somebody really cares and is focused on them....just a little.
     
  11. highheadblues

    highheadblues Well-Known Member

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    You want to know how to make a successful trucking company? Get rid of as much management as possible!! They only get in the way. Let the professionals do their jobs. Trucking is a very simple business, just serve your customers and everything else will take care of itself. Too much management just muddies the water, they focus on everything but serving the customers.
     
  12. rangeman

    rangeman Active Member

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    I always thought something was wrong when a guy would get written up for picking up and destroying a 5 foot reel of fiber optics with 4 foot blades, because he did not have seat belt on?
     
  13. Merdock

    Merdock Kool-aid-aholic

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    No and no
     
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  14. ScotchNeat

    ScotchNeat Well-Known Member

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    No doubt, too much management is like too much government.
     
  15. highspeeds

    highspeeds ENTERTAINMENT USE ONLY

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    Merdock is like some weird Kool-Aid conasuir. The other Kool-Aid drinkers aren't allowed in HIS club.
     
  16. 616jimmy

    616jimmy Well-Known Member

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    Lean is a profit eater,having said that every person working here should have the common sense to pick up after themselves, if they don't for what ever reason management should step up to the plate instead of waiting for someone else to do their job:6788:
     
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  17. Merdock

    Merdock Kool-aid-aholic

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    How do we achieve it? I don't have an instruction manual to offer but I do offer an idea or two. The new leadership of the company needs to identify which type of culture they want within XPO Freight... directive or participative. The company values seem to better align with a participative culture. Next, senior management should solicit the general population to determine how our local managements currently align with the company's vision of culture. Douglas McGregor popularized the human relations approach to management in the 1960s. He published "Theory X" and "Theory Y". So let's quickly determine the local culture. Take the following two lists, present them to the employees and ask them one simple question, which type best describes your local management
    Theory X managers believe employees
    • need to be controlled
    • don't like work
    • need to be pushed to be more productive
    • need incentive schemes
    • have to be directed to do things that they don't enjoy
    Theory Y managers believe employees
    • want to be involved
    • can think for themselves and make decisions
    • share ownership of tasks
    • will find work more rewarding if given responsibility and a variety of task
    • have good ideas
    • can engage in some level of self-management
    and for the old-timers discussing the way things used to be... when did we go from a Y to an X?
     
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  18. Snark Monkey

    Snark Monkey Well-Known Member

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    Don't over think it. The nonsense you guys have lived through is not practiced at any other LTL Company. Let ConJob rest in peace and move on with life.

    Welcome to the real world, we have been waiting on you!
     
  19. icuicp

    icuicp Well-Known Member

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    One can see the attitude ( or type of management ) in everyday examples. Also , proof that we are X is exhibited by the fact we are driven ( you included Merdock ) to these boards to discuss systemic , chronic problems and issues anonymously.

    In example after example , when I've approached my management about a problem that is real and factual , instead of investigating the problem and attempting to solve it , it's more effective to question or attack the messenger. I used to wonder how long time employees become so jaded and cynical... But , after years of thinking that doing the right thing will result in a positive change for our company , I've lost belief in that idea.

    For example - worker A does barely enough to get by. He gives no effort , slows down others , and could care less about the fact that coworkers have to make up for his shortcomings.

    Worker B , comes in does what's asked of him , is engaged in the company , helps coworkers , but notices he has to work harder to help A everyday. Worker B minds his own business and continues to work twice as hard as worker A but continues to notice the difference. Worker B goes to management and ask in private "why don't you ask worker A to work up to the level of his coworkers?"

    Now , this is where we switch to reality - different managers will tell you different things but the end result is the same - Management will work the good people into the ground and avoid , protect , and coddle the lazy , incompetent , and dimwitted. Political correctness and fear of legal retaliation has taken away authority from the very people that need it in order to execute their job.

    When LEAN started at my location , it was with a threat - "We've walked people out that don't go along with LEAN. Even at the highest levels." By starting out like this the message was clear - if LEAN doesn't work , THE PROBLEM IS YOU NOT THE SYSTEM. YOU DON'T BELIEVE HARD ENOUGH , LEAN IS PERFECT. This immediately created a backlash company wide that doomed LEAN from the start - even if there were positive aspects to the program , you put yourself in a bad position if you spoke out about waste in LEAN , or problems in LEAN.

    Also the lack of transparency and accountability right now is disturbing. Hopefully , this will be addressed by the new ownership/management. But , with the carryover management , they are frightened , and doing everything they can to try and make themselves look useful and necessary. Since they've followed what they were told to do blindly for so long they are turning to the only place they know to turn - THE NUMBERS.

    Don't think for yourself , don't do what's right , it's not your fault , why? YOUR NUMBERS WERE GOOD.

    Merdock , what you say is fine on it's face , but when you dig a little deeper it would help if we could step away from the corporate numbers game and focus on what we do best - haul freight. Give the best customer service. Minimize damages. Eliminate the bad apples along the way. I promise you , it's that easy.
     
  20. highspeeds

    highspeeds ENTERTAINMENT USE ONLY

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    So many bad apples. I hear about dock workers being laid off. Well these newer drivers have never loaded a trailer.

    And how does LEAN help a company like this ? How does turning Bs into As help to better the numbers ?

    People see that being lazy and useless gets you treated like royalty. We might be dumb, not that dumb.

    I can be every bit as horrible as the worst guy you got. I can even make a competition out of it. Worser than worse.

    On here, we have repeatedly referred to Con-way as a rudderless ship. I am hoping that XPO taking the helm gives us a course, a direction. And that they maintain it. And that it is in a positive way. And that they do go after the people not pulling their weight. And tell them to keep up or ship off. It would be beneficial to moral and the company. And the ones that don't like it. GOOD.
     

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