Car People Blog
Addressing Workplace Discipline
Addressing disciplinary issues is a reality for most managers.
No matter what the detail of the situation, introducing discipline can be a very sensitive and stressful process that many managers deal with in only a cursory manner or avoid altogether. However, if disciplinary issues are avoided or handled poorly, very serious problems for the organization and the individuals involved can evolve.
While disciplining employees may not be a pleasant task, it does not have to be painful and laborious. Instead, the discipline process can be a valuable tool to help employees and the company achieve success.
All managers should be trained to understand that workplace discipline should not be viewed simply as a way to punish employees.
For best results over the longer term, it is preferable to view discipline as a way to correct some problem behavior or performance issue. It should be viewed as a way to develop an employee.
In the ideal situation, discipline should be kept as positive as possible and not used in a punitive or retaliatory way. Managers should be aware that the objective of any disciplinary action is to correct the problem, the action, or behavior, not the person.
Two other important rules regarding workplace discipline are:
•The type of discipline should fit the severity of the violation; and
•Discipline should be conducted in private.
Gen “Y” the Millennials
Born 1981 – 2001
How did they get here?
Over the centuries, each generation seems to have trouble understanding the generations that follow them. And each new generation finds a way to separate themselves from prior generations. It’s a continuous cycle or process. In this last century we have more clearly defined, identified and labeled them. The current generation, Gen “Y”, also called the Millennials, are today’s attention getters as viewed by their bosses, who are mostly Baby Boomers or Gen “X”ers. A survey by beyond.com* reveals just how distant their views are regarding their performance in today’s workplace.
Hiring Confidence is HOT
90% of over 1600 US executives polled, viewed the global economy as either stable or improving, according to Earnst & Young’s April 2013 Capital Confidence Barometer. That’s up significantly from the 72% who thought so in 2012.
Hiring plans have also improved with 47% of the respondents saying they expect to hire talent or create jobs, up from 32% last year. Plans for workforce reductions reached a 2 year low at 6%.
CruZin the Northwest
Car shows can be a lot of fun. Especially the specialty shows. Nothing like a hundred Mustangs or Corvettes all lined up in pristine condition. Old collectables always seem to draw a crowd. But where to go and when?
Being attached to my computer I Googled for "Car Shows in the NW" expecting to have to search all over the web to find them. Not this time. I found the web site for CruZin Magazine, headquartered on Whidbey Island, right here in Puget Sound. Go to their Calendar page and there are hundreds of listings for car shows, races, rallies, swap meets and more throughout the NW.
If you like a good hamburger you have to try the XXX in Issaquah, Wa..
Old fashioned, juicy, delicious, with all the trimmin's. 50’s décor with todays pricing. Great fun for the whole family. But the real draw at the XXX, for a lot of car people, are the car shows. 12 to 15 of them a year. Especially all summer.
So get out there. Lots of cars to see.
Lookin' for something fun to do? Go to www.cruzinmag.com
In Washington State 80% of the population lives within 20 miles of I-5. The biggest concentration is obviously around big cities,like Seattle. It appears that
these population centers are leading the way back to normal unemployment.
Current Unemployment Rates for States
|April 2013||Historical High||Historical Low|
|Idaho||6.1||Feb. 1983||9.6||Mar. 2007||2.7|
|Montana||5.5||Mar. 1983||8.8||Dec. 2006||3.1|
|Oregon||8.0||Jan. 1983||12.1||Feb. 1995||4.7|
|US 20 yr. avg.||6.6|
|US 66 yr. avg.||5.8|
|County rates:||% Today||%_2007|
|King Co, Wa||4.4||3.3|
|Snoh. Co, WA||4.9||3.5|
|Kitsap Co, WA||6.8||4.2|
|Pierce Co, WA||8.1||4.6|
|Spokane Co, WA||7.7||4.3|
|Benton Co, OR||5.5||4.0|
|Clackamas Co, OR||6.9||4.5|
|Wash. Co, Or||6.4||4.2|
|Mult. Co, OR||7.1||4.9|
As Goes the Boat Show Goes the YearThe Seattle Boat show has proven itself to be a good barometer of not just the boat business in the NW, but RV, motorcycle and even the car industry. As goes the boat show goes the year, and all too often that has proven itself to be spot on.
Well, attendance at the 2013 boat show was a disappointing 2.6% down from last year. Having said that, it takes a couple months for the true success of the show to be measured with sales and deliveries. Sales were up dramatically. More people came to buy then just look. For most of us boats are wants, not needs, and in bad economic times our wants are put on hold. The success of this show is a strong indicator that in the eye of the buying public, bad economic times are behind us.“In terms of sales, we exceeded expectations for the majority of the businesses that were there,” George Harris, president of the Northwest Marine Trade Association, said in an article by Deborah Bach. “I think that after the last five years of just slogging through the recession, boaters showed up with a renewed interest in boating and maintaining their boats.”
“I think it’s definitely turned around,” John Rothermel, vice president of sales for Fisheries Supply, said. “It’s been a long time coming, believe me, but it’s turning around and getting better.” “I feel like the mood was better,” he said. “Maybe we ignore the negative if there is any, but I saw no negative. Everybody was in a great mood. They wanted to be there. We were so busy the whole show.”
Still looking for signs of recovery?
Well, there’s your sign!
A Couple Thoughts About Hiring Metrics
Billy Bean and John Madden need to get together and write a book on how to build a roster of players for a successful team without breaking the bank. Billy had the analytics, (or sabremetrics) John had the knack, the intuition, and both were able to find older and underrated players that still had a lot to give. John won the Superbowl in 1976 with the Raiders and Billy was played by Brad Pitt in the movie Moneyball where the A's broke the MLB winning streak record in 2002. Both very successful teams with a budget on the lower side of their respective leagues. Now, hold that thought. Call it Thought # 1.
The bureau of Labor Statistics has indicated that people under 40 change jobs every 2.7 years on average. For over 50, it’s closer to 7 years. Thought # 2. (statistics)
At Car People we get applicants for all positions, various levels of skill and all ages. Todays employers are very demanding of the people they will consider to fill a position. Skill level is usually the top prerequisite. Job stability, attitude. And even though the law prohibits it, they all want someone young. Someone with more energy who will be with them, potentially, for a longer period of time – despite Thought # 2.
Thought # 3. We get some very talented professionals through our service with a little gray in their hair. They still have good energy, have kept up with modern processes and technology and can get the job done. But maybe too close to retirement to be competitive in the job market. Losses in 401ks and home equity have postponed a lot of retirement parties. Younger GMs want their contemporaries in management positions. All too many baby boomers are finding themselves back in a very competitive job market.
Granted, there are some automotive professionals who, when they get close, seem to retire in place. Sometimes 5 or 10 years before it’s time. We get those too. The people and the job orders to replace them. It happens. But our processes do a pretty good job of finding the talent. The cream of the crop. Proven professionals with a lot of miles left in them. Worst case scenario is that they only give you about 5 years. The best case scenario they not only give you the 5 or more years, but mentor and develop a strong young aspiring assistant to take their place when they retire.
Just a couple thoughts.
Automotive News April 2, 2013
In the highest-volume month since August 2007, automakers broadly advanced to sell 1.45 million light vehicles in March.
That's only 3 percent higher than strong year-earlier results. But the seasonally adjusted annual selling rate of 15.3 million made March the fifth straight month above 15 million and signaled a continued industry rally.
"After several years of sales volatility, we're seeing automakers settle into a state of near-equilibrium," said analyst Alec Gutierrez of Kelley Blue Book.......
Read more: or go to @Automotive_News on Twitter | AutoNews on Facebook
Look for Milkshake Moments
Leadership thinker Steven Little performs a test during hotel stays. He asks room service for a milkshake. If he’s told it’s not on the menu, he walks employees through the list of ingredients. “Do you have vanilla ice cream?” Yes. “And milk?” Of course. “Do you have a tall glass and a long spoon?” Sure. If so, he tells them how to make one. If they’re willing to do it , that’s a milkshake moment.
His definition: When people understand their true purpose, believe it’s their job to fulfill it and have the tools and freedom to make it happen, that’s a milkshake moment.
He wrote a book about the exact moment that employees realize they can overcome stupid rules and do the right thing.
Ask: What is your organization’s highest purpose? Are you putting people in the best position to accomplish it? Do your current policies and systems enable you to deliver it?
Steven Little, author of The Milkshake Moment: Overcoming Stupid Systems, Pointless Policies and Muddled Management to Realize Real Growth.
Automotive Great: Phil Smart
Phil Smart Sr. was a lot of things to a lot of people and always a positive giving person.
Passed Away This Weekend
Everyone that knew him has their Phil Smart story. I still have my card from his speech a few years back. If "HHHU 121 YOID" means anything to you then you were probably there too.
My Phil Smart story is probably typical. A friend of mine has 3 sons. All 3 became Eagle Scouts, as did Phil. The first was Danny. I went to his Court of Honor, the award ceremony. Lots of speeches about how deserving Danny was. He’s a great kid. Then Danny gave his speech and it started out like this, “I knew the very moment that I wanted to become an Eagle Scout. It was at a campfire meeting and the guest speaker was Phil Smart Sr.. Mr. Smart told us what an Eagle Scout is, why it is important to become an Eagle Scout and what many Eagle Scouts have accomplished in their lives. I knew there and then that I wanted to become one.”
Back to work on Monday Morning I gave Phil a call. I told him about Danny and thanked him for his campfire speech years ago and who knows how many other camp fires and people he has influenced over the years. He apologized for not attending but apparently he was invited to 3 Courts of Honor that night. Note: this was my first Court of Honor and he had 3 just that night!!! He said that, at his age, he always has to choose the one that is nearest to his home and easiest to get to so he couldn’t attend.
Almost immediately he turned the conversation around. He said, “You know Brad it takes a certain type of person to make this call and I want to thank you…” I interrupted him and said, “no, this call is about you, not me. I made a call, you made it your calling to help people. You helped someone close to me and I just want to say thanks”
He said “OK, I’ll give you that.” Then thanked me again for the call.
He will be missed.
Seattle Times article – Click here.
The Kiplinger Letter, Feb.1, 2013 is
“As the number of US jobs slowly rebounds to the peak ….of 2008….some states will do far better than others. Figure on nationwide growth averaging 1.6%. The fastest gains will come in the west….fueled by energy and tech industries….. Durable goods manufacturing and housing will lift average growth to near the 2% mark in Oregon, with Washington not far behind, aided by commercial jet building plus high tech...tourism will keep Montana in that neighborhood.....They anticipate unemployment to wind up at 7.5% by year end.”
Upbeat on the Recovery
I Love the term “Post Cliff Buyers” Automotive News
The Detroit 3 and Toyota led U.S. auto sales to a 14 percent gain last month as robust demand from November and December carried into the new year.
Automakers sold 1,043,192 light vehicles, the highest January volume since 2008. That translated to a seasonally adjusted annual selling rate of 15.3 million, following a 15.6 million SAAR in November and 15.4 million a month later. The industry hasn't seen such a 15-plus streak in five years.
"We continue to recover strongly from the recession, despite the headwinds of higher taxes and lower government spending," said General Motors sales chief Kurt McNeil, who downplayed a reported fourth-quarter decline in U.S. economic growth as a quirk of volatile defense spending.
"More important from our perspective: Customers bought cars and trucks in robust numbers," he said after his company posted a 16 percent January gain. "This feeds our optimism for the year."
Ford Motor sales boss Ken Czubay said pent-up demand continues to drive sales
Auto Repair Business Overview & Trends Are UP. Expect 4% Growth.
The $86 billion US automotive repair and maintenance services market will grow four percent annually. Mechanical services will remain the largest segment while electronics will grow the fastest. New light vehicle dealers will continue as the dominant service provider while quick lubes, tire stores and repair chains will lead gains. An automotive repair industry report by the Freedonia Group points out a 17% increase in demand for qualified technicians is a worrisome factor.