Management Insight: How to Quantify Lost Production

I work with organizations around the world. With every group of managers, I ask one simple question: What percentage of your time do you actually spend supervising or managing your staff? The results are staggering: less than 10 percent.

When I ask managers to explain the reasons, I receive varying explanations. Mostly, supervisors and managers say they need to watch their workers to make sure they do what they are actually supposed to do. I looked up the definitions of supervise and manage, and in neither case did I see a mention of babysitting.

When I worked as a plant manager, I used to cross the title off my business cards and replace it with vice president of child-care services. Why? Because some days, that title best defined my duties. I lost track of the truly important responsibilities: managing the business, coaching, mentoring, and ultimately, improving the department's performance and the organization's bottom line.

Quantifying the Losses

I am not alone. Consider two examples of the personnel challenges managers face.

First, I recently had lunch with a facilities manager at a large university. After lunch, he took a shortcut through a neighborhood adjacent to the campus. We turned onto a side street and came upon two university-owned vehicles parked on the street. The pick-up trucks were parked tailgate to tailgate, with a card table in the center — surrounded by four facility technicians playing full article

This article was published in Maintenance Solutions magazine and posted

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