Caitlin, Field Engineer for an industrial general contractor based in Vancouver, told Session 8B of Turbo Leadership Systems' Leadership Development Lab (LDL):
"Our company standard is to submit all labor hours to payroll by the end of the day Monday each week. It was my job to get everyone's time submitted at the OHSU CHH south job. The process began with foremen handwriting the time cards for their crews, and then the cards were passed on to the superintendent. The superintendent would enter the data into Excel and produce a document to send to me. Next, I would go through the data to make sure all the phase codes and hours were correct. This worked for a while, then I stopped getting all the time by the deadline. This resulted in me submitting our hours late to our payroll department.
"I finally went to the superintendent and asked what was going on; why was he getting everyone's time to me so late? He explained that he had been very busy and didn't have the time for his part in the process. He told me that his crew had grown to 60+ people and that gathering everyone's hours was a time-consuming task. I assured him that I completely understood and had some ideas on how to make this process easier. Then I asked to share them. He said, 'Absolutely!'
"I told him I could create Excel time cards for each of the foreman and get them set up with their crews. Then my foremen would fill out the time, send it directly to me daily and I would get it compiled into the master time sheet. When I was finished, the superintendent would only have to look it over to make sure it was accurate. He liked the idea and allowed me to implement the new procedure immediately. We went a step further to require the foreman to send the time cards in daily so I had time to go through them, format the data and present it to payroll without being rushed, running the risk of error, and upsetting payroll with a late submission. It took a few weeks to get this all going, but once it happened, it saved everyone a lot of time. Payroll is now getting everything they need on time!
"The lesson I learned from this experience is when a standard is not being met, stand up, speak out and be counted. I shouldn't be afraid to come up with new creative processes. It's important for me to put my foot down when our company standards are not being met. "The action I call you to take is to be creative, think out of the box and don't be afraid to put your foot down so you and your team will meet your team's agreed to standards.
"The benefit you will gain is the cooperation and teamwork required to make your job and those of your coworkers easier."
—Larry W. Dennis, Sr. President Turbo Leadership Systems