Employees Who Damage Management Styles Damage Themselves

Article excerpt

For at least the past 20 years, there have been experimental management styles. When a new management style is introduced, it can be difficult for managers to adjust. Often they resist it. If the experiment fails, it's difficult to tell whether the reason is weakness in the innovation or sabotage by reluctant personnel.

Recently, for example, there has been much discussion of People Express. While most airlines have specialized personnel categories, People Express cut overhead by having employees perform many jobs. In addition, employees have been divided into 11 "operating groups" of about 300 members.

Criticisms in print probably reflect statements by employees who are used to the way things were done in the airlines they came from and don't like the new system.

People's recent well-publicized problems may or may not result from its management style. Whatever mistakes were made might have been made under any system, but doubtless the personnel who leaked criticisms to the press are saying, "I told you so."

Such employees damage themselves. Their survival depends on the survival of the company. Sabotaging the management style isn't likely to effect change; all it does is weaken the company and make itmore likely that the worker will find himself in the unemployment line.

QUESTION: When I first met my supervisor, I was very nervous and made an offhand personal comment to try to put myself at ease. Obviously she took it as an insult. She has always treated me very distantly since then. How can I get her to regard me more favorably?

ANSWER: Probably you can't. Impressions formed in the first four minutes of an acquaintanceship are nearly impossible to eradicate. Try to be especially considerate of her and build a reputation for accuracy and efficiency. If, after you give this extra effort a fair try, she still hasn't warmed to you, you should accept the fact that you blew the relationship irretrievably. Very likely she will never recommend you for advancement. If you want a promotion, you will have to change jobs.

Q: As a new freshman, I haven't made up my mind what to major in. My father suggested I write you to ask what careers show most promise.

A: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the fastest growth career now is paralegal aide. Following this in order are computer programmer, systems analyst, medical assistant and data processing equipment repairperson. However, the best career choice is made by asking not, "Where are the openings?" but "What would I like most?" No matter what the opportunities, if you don't like it,you won't succeed. If there's something you really like doing, even if there's only one job opening, you'll find it and make good.

Q: In a recent column, you wrote about franchising. I'm interested, but it sounds too good to be true. Wuld you tell me more?

A: Perhaps it isn't clear to you how franchising works. The franchisee pays a fee, usually a downpayment plus a commitment to pay off the remainder within five years. For instance, with PostalInstant Press, the world's largest printing chain, which has been rated by a New Jersey consulting firm as the top service franchise, you would pay $15,000 down and an additional $67,000 (of which $42,600 is equipment and supplies) over five years. …