CVR Management

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According to my DISC assessment, I am primarily task oriented and mostly dominant while being conscientious and influential. Steadiness is my lowest score.

The above is reflected in my management style. I do tend to dominate more often than not but I do so by seeking input from the others involved, making informed decisions, and then convincing the others to buy into the direction I've chosen. This has been very effective and has fostered a good relationship with my employees because I've shown that I am dedicated to them and their ideas.

Fairness is a high priority with me and I try to be fair and consistant with all employees. However, all employees are not the same and hard, fast rules tend to create tension rather than resolve problems or get the job done. I spend time learning the abilities of those who work for me as well as trying to understand their needs so that I can have them work to their strengths while giving them the support they need to overcome their weaknesses.

As shown in my discussion on safety, delegation is a tool I like to use especially when the tasks needed are straight-forward and easily learned. Since I am task oriented, I tend to keep the most pressing and difficult tasks for myself while sharing the responsibility for long term everyday tasks with my employees. While many employees are initially upset at being given tasks which they don't consider part of their normal responsibilities, this attitude usually turns around pretty quickly as I give them the support they need to succeed at their tasks.

If I have one weakness in my bag of management tools it's that I tend to avoid reprimanding employees even though they deserve it. In my 21 years with Villa Rica, I doubt I've issued more than ten written reprimands and have only ever fired one person and recommended firing two others. However, I am a good counselor and I guide employees towards better work habits. It doesn't always work but it helps me avoid the confrontational aspects of reprimands.

The ability to interview and hire good employees can be a significant asset. In my years as plant manager, I interviewed well over 100 people and hired about two dozen. Of those, six remain and they've worked for the wastewater department for 17, 13, 12, 11, 7, and 7 years. The last two listed were interviewed at the same time. Even though there was only one slot open, I was so impressed with the two of them that I asked city hall to allow me to hire them both. They have proven themselves to be valuable employees.

As can be seen by the lengths of service above, the work atmosphere I create tends to encourage people to give of themselves and to stay with the city. My best guess is the average wastewater plant operator worked for me for four to five years. Through these efforts I created a core of dependable, long term employees.

Another example of this is more recent. When I took over the water plant, I was faced with a fairly new staff. While the lead operator had been there for nearly a decade, four operators had just been replaced and the two others had been there little over a year. While I didn't hire them, I held interviews with each of them to find out where things stood and they all mentioned the possibility of leaving due to all the problems. One of them quit shortly thereafter but every other employee is still there three and a half years later including the person I hired to replace the employee that left. All except one are licensed.

Training and certification are also an important part of management, especially when a resource like the Georgia Water Wastewater Institute is only 20 miles away. My policy was the department would pay for one class and one test per year. Not only did this encourage certification, it resulted in well trained personnel who always had enough recertification points when the time came. We also encouraged certification by providing a $1.00 per hour raise for each license obtained.

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