I won’t be able to cover everything that is wrong with companies in Dickinson, North Dakota, but I want to point out some of the things that are wrong. I hope that this will give company owners and managers in Dickinson some things to consider. I hope that this will give people who are planning on moving to Dickinson some things to watch out for and be aware of.
The company that I recently worked for in Dickinson, starts most new-hires out as laborers, whether they are equipment operators or not. They want to see if the new-hire can do physical work, if they can follow instructions, if they can get along with others, if they have sound judgment, if they are normal, and….so that they have enough laborers in order to complete the work. This is not a bad idea, it works O.K., except some experienced equipment operators would quit before long, after getting tired of being a laborer.
When the opportunity arises at this company, a laborer can sometimes get in a piece of equipment and run it, in order to demonstrate his operating ability, and increase his chances of getting to be an operator in the future. This is O.K. too.
When the need arises for a foreman at this company, they pick one of the equipment operators to be a foreman. They do this because they believe that the equipment operator has enough knowledge and job experience to know what is going on, what needs to be done, and how to complete the work. This is a problem if the equipment operator who is chosen to be a foreman is a bad person and unfit to be a manager.
Stop and think about this, why would you think that a person with no education, no management training, no management experience, who is not a very good person, would be a good manager? This happens all the time in Dickinson, and none of the company owners or company managers ever spot this as being one of the biggest flaws in their company.
I will try to point out and explain why promoting equipment operators to foremen, and foremen who used to be equipment operators to superintendent, can be a very bad idea that hurts both the company and the other employees.
A company owner, or a company manager, often seek to hire the most competent and skilled employees. As far as the company owner or the company manager are concerned, the more qualified, experienced, and skilled an applicant is, the better, they would be an asset to the company, with potential to move up.
To an equipment operator who was promoted to foreman, or to a foreman who used to be an equipment operator who was promoted to superintendent, a competent, skilled, qualified, experienced new-hire is not an asset, it is a threat to them.
An equipment operator without any education, without any management training, without any management experience, looks at someone who is a better equipment operator than them, a more experienced equipment operator than them, a more qualified equipment operator than them, a physically stronger person than them, a more intelligent person than them, a faster learner than them, a more likable person than them, as a threat to them.
A person with training in management, a person with higher education, a person with more broad management experience, a highly intelligent person, or a good natured person, would recognize a skilled, experienced, qualified new-hire, as an employee with potential, someone who could help complete the work, take more responsibility, be in charge of portions of the work, a person to depend on, a good example for other workers. A good manager would utilize a new-hire in the most effective way to get work done. A good manager would just use a skilled, experienced, qualified, talented, intelligent worker as a tool or resource to get work done, not look at them as a threat.
Perhaps the biggest problem with companies in Dickinson, is that they promote a person to manager, who is unfit to be a manager. Yes, a person who has been with the company for a while, who has performed many aspects of the work, does probably know how to complete the work. But many of the workers in Dickinson who have been promoted to manager, do not like workers who are more experienced, more qualified, more knowledgeable, more intelligent, a faster learner, quicker, stronger, or more likable than them. They see them as a threat.
A good manager would look at a talented employee, and think, “Good, finally, thank God, now we can get work done, now I don’t have to watch someone all the time, this will make less work for me.” However, the workers that get promoted to manager in Dickinson think, “I have got to get rid of this person, I have got to make this person leave, I have got to try to find a way to make them leave, I have got to get other people to help me make them leave, …or they will take my job.”
At this company that I recently worked for in Dickinson, there was a young man who was much quicker than any of the other workers, he had much more energy than any of the other workers, he was more intelligent than any of the other workers, he remembered how to do things more than the other workers, he was always coming up with ways how to complete the work quicker, and he was an equipment operator. I didn’t like him at first, until I worked with him some, and then I had to hand it to him, he was quicker, faster, better, more intelligent, and more knowledgeable in the work that we were doing.
He was not treated very well by the foreman. The foreman appeared to resent him, and not want him around. This young man told me that the foreman had done a few things to try to get rid of him. This foreman’s life would have been so much easier, if he would have given this young man a written list of work projects in the morning, told him to take the people that he needed, that he was responsible for getting it done, and to go do it. More work would have been completed, and probably completed better, with less work required from the foreman. Instead, the foreman didn’t utilize this young man like he could have, and tried to make him not want to work at this company.