Rock Products

JUN 2013

Rock Products is the aggregates industry's leading source for market analysis and technology solutions, delivering critical content focusing on aggregates-processing equipment; operational efficiencies; management best practices; comprehensive market

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FEATURE SKILLS PAY THE BILLS IS MANAGEMENT EDUCATION WORTH THE INVESTMENT? IF IT RESULTS IN AN INCREASE IN THE EFFICIENT MANAGEMENT OF PLANTS, PROJECTS AND EMPLOYEES, THE ANSWER IS YES. By Dr. Joe McGuire, Dr. Lisa Breja and Billy Snead $ This is the first in a two-part series on the importance of management education for constructionmaterials producers. – Ed. C ompanies involved in the heavy highway construc‐ tion industries are fortunate in that they generally seem to have hard working and dedicated employ‐ ees. This provides them a pool of experienced employees from which they can select individuals to fill field, plant and other entry level management positions. Many company owners or upper management personnel identify those employees they believe have the potential to become supervisors, lead persons, plant managers or project superintendents. Generally employees selected to fill these positions have an interest in the industries, exhibit leadership characteristics and possess a good work ethic. Employees identified to fill future management positions are usually mentored for a period of time by current managers. During that time, they (future managers) learn how the operation works, how to perform mainte‐ nance and conduct repairs, and how to properly com‐ plete required paperwork. However, they are rarely provided with training or educational opportunities which focus on the skills needed to manage others. In his online article Top 10 New Manager Mistakes, F. John Reh said "managing can be a little difficult at first." He also said "a recent poll found that more than 50 per‐ cent of managers received NO training before starting the job." Because they are not provided with opportuni‐ ties to learn or develop management skills, new man‐ agers may experience some frustration when it comes to communicating with others, delegating tasks, disciplin‐ ing difficult employees, resolving workplace conflicts and handling similar issues when at work. While some newly appointed mangers have a natural ability to deal with the frustration and stress that devel‐ ops from situations that arise in the work place, others do not and frequently request they be allowed to return to their previous job – or simply resign. When newly ap‐ 16 ROCKproducts • JUNE 2013 pointed managers resign, not only do companies lose what they believed to be a valuable employee, but they have the added cost of finding and developing replace‐ ments. A company's management selection process, which con‐ sists of simply identifying employees who they believe have management potential; providing them with an op‐ portunity to develop by working with mentors; promot‐ ing them to management positions; and telling them to "go manage" without giving them the skills to do so, should be reconsidered. Bill Lee in an online article titled, Techniques to Train New Managers, indicates that "businesses are notorious for throwing newly appointed managers to the wolves, many times failing to provide even the most basic management training." Lee believes when this happens, "organizational productivity is certain to suffer." Companies who follow this model will generally experience a higher turnover rate at the entry or field manager level than those who provide management development training for their personnel. A company's financial success is determined by how well it is managed. According to Barrie Gross at AllBunis‐ ness.com, "the ability to manage people well can have a huge financial impact on a company. Employee turnover rates, cost of talent retention, litigation experience and tenure are just some of the metrics you should look at to try to gauge the effectiveness of your management staff. Most companies offer management training of some sort. But there is always room to enhance the programs so that managers feel better prepared to handle the day‐to‐ day responsibilities in ways that minimize risk to the company while improving relationships in the work‐ place." www.rockproducts.com

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