General discussion


How do you define "productivity"?

By Mean_Machine ·
My boss wants me to write a daily journal so he can see what I'm working on throughout the day. Out of eleven people in my department, I am the only one being required to do this.

He says I'm not producing, but I can view reports in our work order tracking software that says I've got the second most closed calls and the highest "billable" hours.

Is there a conspiracy to drive me mad? Is he trying to make me quit? Should I get HR involved on the grounds of harassment?

Help me.

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We have to do it to

by FRSAL In reply to 2 Points

Just recently my boss also asked the team to do the same thing. We also use TrackIt for all work orders but I think we miss out on special projects. I seem to think that our boss wants us to do it so he can request more help or more $ in the budget. But as one post said talk with your boss. They dont always tell us the reason unless we ask and sometimes then they still dont tell us. Good luck

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Thanks DT and Tom

by Mean_Machine In reply to How do you define "produc ...

I will do as you said, Tom, and politely request a one-on-one with my boss and try to find out what it is that I'm NOT doing as well as what I AM doing wrong.

As both of you stated, I will be continuing my daily journal as well as printing out and recording my help-desk logs. That way I'll have a paper trail if it ever comes down that I'm being fired due to lack of productivity.

Sidenote: In my first reply I made mention of using the "F" word. That was more or less me being fasecius.

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by Mean_Machine In reply to Thanks DT and Tom

I mispelled the heck out of facetious.

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How are you doing?

by rpehlm In reply to mispelled

How did the one-to-one go? Still keeping a log? I used to keep a log all the time. Partly due to my bad memory, partly to show the bosses what is/was happening and mostly as a great debate stopper. Everyone knew I kept a detailed log. If an issue cropped up I could say "That is in my log somewhere", 9/10 times debate ended there! I said 'used to keep a log' because I am now happily retired.

In my experience most bosses who behave this way are either insecure and/or bullies. If they have an issue with your work they should arrange a meeting with you or bring the issue up in a departmental meeting. Just my two pennies worth.


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Define Your Job

by RNAckerman In reply to mispelled

All the advice I have read here is good. I have worked for several small companies over the years and all of them really don't know how to gauge what an IT person does. Usually I am the only IT person on staff. Many think (and I ran into this last week) that a computer is like an adding machine. Unpackage it and plug it in. So, I recommending some of the following (which is a repeat of some other comments):

Talk to your Boss and your Boss' Boss. When done properly this will make you look like a team player interested in their goals as well as yours. Find out what they expected. Do this with a positive attitude that you want to improve your productivity to the department and company.

Educate your boss and your Boss' boss. They don't understand that it takes time to monitor a server logs and system usage. They don't understand it takes time to validate backup systems, server operations, setup new users, review security and other aspects of managing a system.

Document. Not just what you do but why you do it. Develop documentation to outline regular scheduled tasks and include why this is done. If possible cite references from program documentation, vendors recommendations and software companies as to why this is done. Detail average times to do this task and develop a weekly and monthly schedule of tasks to be done. This documentation must be public within the company, not hidden on the computer.

Suggest Improvements. If you are overloaded with tasks, can another less IT trained person take some tasks while you concentration on other more complex tasks? Since part of my job is program development I was able to demonstrate the need of an operations person to handle a lot of the daily work, report generation and other tasks that can be easily taught to someone interested in computers. By doing these things I got an assistant which left me more time for program development.

Recommend Improvements. Many of the tasks that I do are done too fast. There is not enough time to properly review logs and systems. If this is the case tell your boss and your boss' boss.

Communicate. IT people usually are techical support for other departments. We have an IT Steering Committee that meets monthly with all department managers to discuss IT issues and needs. We review tasks completed and upcoming scheduled tasks. Things like regular PC and printer maintenance, system upgrades and related items. You will be surprised what some department managers may want or suggest.

As to your log, yes I think your boss is targeting you and your boss maybe looking to chop you. Maybe your boss is just trying to determine your worth. In a small company this can be normal. I had a company let me go because they question my worth and tried to hire me back parttime afterwards.

So, if this is just your boss you will find out in time. I wish you luck.

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by Cactus Pete In reply to mispelled

Thought you'd like the correction...

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Right on the mark

by dbabh In reply to Thanks DT and Tom

Mean_Machine, I have replyed to several of these points because I have been in your position, unjustly as well. Let me just say that Tom is right on the mark. I personally had problems because I had thought I could joke with my coworkers. Turns out my English sense of humour was offensive to them. I didn't try to offend and was very surprised to learn that I had, but by that point it was too late for me. The perception had been placed and rooted. I was audited quite frequently and asked to keep a log as well. But this taught me that what the customer sees is more important to them than the truth. So now I keep the truth, but I play the game as well.

It would be unfortunate for you to lose your position or to be passed over for a promotion or a raise based on nothing but perception but it can surely happen. I agree with Tom 100% but let just add a couple of things.
First your boss auditing you with remote software may seem invasive and it may make you angry. I know I don't enjoy having to play "computer nazi", but the most important part of this is not to actually become angry at work over an audit. After all, they are with in their rights to do so, you have no expectation of privacy in the work place. Least of all on your computer. Try not to let it bug you, but for sure don't show that it bugs you while you're at the office or with a customer.
Second, under no circumstances allow your personal feelings about this seep into your work. Never share stories like this with a customer, it will only go racing right back to your boss and damage your reputation. Your reputation should be your most valued asset. It takes years and lots of work to build it, but only a few brief moments to destroy completely. And once it's gone there is nothing to do but to begin building all over again. Better to keep it intact and safe.

Good luck really, I hope it is all just a misunderstanding.

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Speak to HR

by stephen.massey In reply to How do you define "produc ...

This smacks of him attempting to judge your capability and performance. If this is the case then he needs to have informed you about this and organised regular review meetings with you

What are his grounds for his allegations?, has he checked the order tracking software?
Best advice is to speak to personnel and see what the company's policy is regarding this

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Go to HR

by mcse1 In reply to Speak to HR

I'd be off to HR too. I would have thought workplace discrimination laws would ensure your boss must treat everyone equally. Discrimination is defined as "unfair treatment of a person or group on the basis of prejudice". So if you are being singled out, you may find your boss has a case to answer. Once your boss is forced to treat everyone fairly, the productivity reports will speak for themselves.

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HR's not there for you ...

by mrtgrady In reply to Go to HR

It's important to remember that an HR departments primary responsibility is to ensure that whatever practices the company follow will not lead to an employee suing. They are not there to represent your interests, per se, for that you need a union or professional association. They are, however, the starting point to make sure you are being properly treated within the confines of the law and your contract.

Check with HR was the assessment periods and criteria are defined as in the company handbook and whether there are specific exceptions or clauses that apply to you.

If you are being subjected to a disciplinary procedure ensure that it has been properly followed and that you have been accorded your right to reply and agree targets for change. A majority of these kind of cases are disciplinary matters that have not been handled properly because the manager has fialed to understand or comply with the company's procdures.

If after all of this you find that there are no grounds for your treatment or that you are being dealt with outside of policy and law then you can insist that the manager be brought into line with the rules or else you reserve the right to seek legal counsel.

Bearing in mind we don't have an objective view of your situation I think it's best you check with HR that everything is being done properly.

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