It doesn't add up
It was the first time we'd seen it laid out like this, but the results didn't seem right. When we looked at the hours that each of us had logged, the report showed that we were over-staffed by one person. I looked at the numbers, and they were not correct for me or for most of the members of our team. When I commented on this to our manager, the reply was, "These are the hours that are recorded. If these numbers are not correct, then you are not reporting your time correctly."
That was it! Because the corporation did not want to pay overtime, my co-workers and I had not been correctly reporting our time -- specifically no time over 40 hours. As we discussed it, we found out that most of us were not recording our travel time, either. Thus, the hours for our payroll system and our help desk system matched, but they weren't accurate, and our manager had incorrect information because of this. Our dedication to our customers by working longer hours wasn't helping any of us in the long run.
We spent time in two meetings using the IRP to come up with a process of recording our time properly for all of the work we were doing, even if we weren't being paid the extra hours when we were working 10 to 12 hours a day. We had a strong sense of loyalty and dedication to our customers and wanted to continue, but it seemed that the company might be making positive changes to help our workload and make it better for all involved. We could hope, anyway.
Real change can happen
Within two months, the numbers showed that we had a deficit of 2.5 people. That was an incredible turnaround now that we were reporting our time correctly. We'd also became more realistic about travel time and on-site arrivals, now that we weren't jumping through hoops to minimize our recorded hours.
Our manager passed along the reports to upper management, and they had feedback to share with us. "We are working on getting more people, but it will take two to three months for hiring and training, and we will be starting employee vacation time shortly, too. We need to find a way to cover for illnesses and vacations when multiple people are gone."
After three meetings and going through the IRP, we finally came up with a workable solution. It was a pie chart with everyone's name as a slice of the pie and a number assigned to every name. We figured that for our group of eight support people, there could be up to two people gone from every workday.
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