I was out with an old colleague and friend for coffee. He is a supervisor of many operators, and their duties were to handle business forms processing. According to him, the work load for the day varies from hour to hour. There are times where there are no work to do, and there are times where the operators could hardly take a break.

What happen is once, there was a colleague who wanted to give him problem, she visited his project site, she picked the exact time where there was less work to do, and pop in to say hello to his operators.

The next day, she made a huge complain to his boss, commenting that the operators have nothing to do, and it is not very “Cost Efficient” and his boss, being all suspicious of him all along, believed her. And force my friend to cut his operators to a 2 persons operators.

As I am listening, I recalled another management person that someone else shared. This “Management” personnel is constantly suspicious that his hourly paid operation staff would tend to”Work slower so as to clock more hours” And he force his supervisors to devise thousand and one reports so that he can read. He also came up with very funny “Productivity calculation”. The easiest way to illustrate is to take the following example
“It takes 4 hours to fly from Singapore to Hongkong using 1 aircraft”
“Therefore with 4 aircrafts, it is possible to fly from Singapore to Hongkong in 1 Hour”

Now wait a minute is this calculation making sense? Well.. I guess most of this Sukhomlinov business leader cant care less. After reports are being created using such weird logics, these sukhomlinov leaders then call for all operations management to the meeting and complain why it is so “Cost Inefficient” Then they will suggest cutting the manpower to one less head-count. Then they will start the process of “Site visiting” once again.

These problems are a result of the management not understanding the following thing.
1. The nature of the business they are handling
2. Unaware or unconcern about what their operators are doing
3. Always having a feeling that the workers are out to cheat the company money
4. Where the source of income is and where the expenses are

And the result of the managements dumbness, leads to the following
1. Many man hours producing management reports that doesn’t show any important data
2. Man hours spent in meetings staring at these funny looking reports and trying to make sense of it
3. Funny decisions made to the companies operations result to more inefficiency
4. Man hours spent coming up with new ways to track old data.

Now consider this, is it more worth it to concentrate on things that matters? rather than to waste all the time staring at these reports? Is this business of suspecting the operators really a good way to get a business going? Feel free to comment.