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frequently there is a deal of truth in the observation that “he is on his way but he does not know where he is
It should, nevertheless, predominate in the selection of ideals, purposes, and plans that they may be readily appreciated by members of the staff and the rank and file of employees.
The law of the land is said to rest largely if not exclusively on common
Its absence is fre quently reflected in the unreasonable rules and practices that are established by transportation agencies, and in the unreasonable demands made at times by the shipping public upon the transportation agencies themselves.
Very few men profess to be masters of all trades, and naturally instances may arise in any vocation where it is necessary to consult specialists. cheapest thing on the market to-day is the experience of others. Adaptable suggestions appearing in trade and technical journals should be turned to account wherever feasible, and conferences of an intradepartmental and interdepartmental nature should be arranged periodically for the exchange of ideas on improved methods and practice.
The traffic clubs in the larger cities, chambers of commerce, and the like afford a very prolific field for the exchange of ideas among the representatives of contemporaneous or allied activities.
Dinners may be arranged and the services of prominent citizens secured as speakers to insure large attendances and thus stimulate a healthy growth of the organization.
Rules for the discipline of employees with regard to deportment, office hours, and absences should be established and adhered to. Rules once made should be observed. There is no one thing that will create greater havoc in an organization than favoritism. The code established must apply to all and exclude none.
Richard (Dick) Crocker, formerly chief of the Fire Department of New York City, at one time under criticism retorted, “I never order my men to assume dangerous locations that I would not assume myself.” The meat in this statement as applied to office management is “Do not establish a rule that you yourself are unwilling to observe."
The Fair Deal
Not only in the matter of discipline, office hours, and recreation but also in that of promotion, salary increases, distribution of bonuses, and especially in the apportionment of work, the fair deal is a necessity.
Not infrequently one cannot help being impressed by the fact that a certain number of employees in a traffic department may be able to clear their desks of the day's work in the alloted time while other desks in the same department are continually behind. In the latter case, more often than otherwise, it will be found that the condition is the result of shortsightedness in distributing the work, and by no means, to some shortcoming on the part of the individual.
Work should be assigned so that all members of a department have an equal amount to do, and in cases where some of the clerks finish their work before the close of the day, they can be assigned to the relief of the accumulation on other desks.
This has a two-fold advantage in that it disposes of the accumulation and at the same time acquaints other members of the department with the duties of other desks. Under a liberal prosecution of this policy, the service can be made so attractive that the department will not be continually disrupted by desertions.
Records, Dispatching, Schedules, etc.
The necessity for reliable records, intelligent assignment of work, and rules for procedure are too apparent to require any protracted discussion.
The various methods employed in the leading traffic organizations thruout the country will be treated in subsequent chapters of this work from which the reader may select those which are best adapted to the requirements of his particular industry.
Standard-practice instructions should be provided so that each employee may know exactly what he is to do. Each individual in the department should be required to analyze his occupation, to know the approximate time devoted to the major part of the work, the time engaged in correspondence, the forms used and for what purpose. An analysis of this kind from each individual will give a survey of the work of the entire department. In the event of a change, positions can be filled with the least amount of inconvenience and delay; a green man can break into the work and with very little effort become seasoned timber.
Cash bonuses may be given for especially efficient service. Rewards may also be established for opportune suggestions which may be employed to advantage in the department or organization.
The so-called “suggestion box” adopted by many concerns solicits from employees ideas regarding the installation of certain devices, improved methods of practice, waste elimination, eto.
These suggestions are gathered periodically, considered by a committee, and based on their merits. They may obtain first, second, or third prize, or a prize may be given for each suggestion that is adopted. This policy has the advantage of keeping the men on their toes with their eyes open to improve methods in conducting departmental affairs.
Nothing is more absurd than to allow an employee to feel that he has reached his maximum in a given capacity. The ambitious and aggressive employeeand that is the only class that it is desirable to retain—will immediately cast about to develop other openings where his prospects of advancement are not 80 circumscribed.
TYPES OF ORGANIZATION
In the development of our commercial enterprises various plans or forms of organization have been employed. There are recognized at this time by the foremost efficiency engineers, three distinct types of organization: (1) military, (2) functional, and (3) line and staff.
Fig. 1 indicates the military plan of organization,