The Treadway Tire Company

My response to the ‘Treadway Tire Company, Job Dissatisfaction and High Turnover at the Lima Tire Plant’:

This place has an eerie resemblance to my work.  We too have a majority of our workforce as union employees and a smaller percentage as salaried employees.  We also have the same problems as mentioned in exhibit 5; the employees like the work, the money, the people, but dislike the management, the system, and the training.  It’s very similar.  As with us, our front line supervisors, or as they call them foreman, handle all of the day to day business.  They are swamped with work and drowning in the job.  There is just too much to do and not enough time to do it.  Because of that, important things like training have fallen apart.  There’s just no time and no correctly budgeted money for it.  This director of HR, Ashley Wall, is in big trouble.  Good luck with that company.  The only reason it’s still running is because the blue collar employees are the type of people that know what it takes to finish a job and do it right. 

Here’s the way to save this company:

Upper level salaried employees need to spend a portion of their time on the production floor.  Go interact with the employees. Get involved.  Talk.  Reach out and become respectful and engaged with the workers.  Respect the employees for what they’re capable of doing.  Forget about fixing the foreman position, that’ll come as a result of getting involved on the production floor.  Impose a training environment and get people that care about relationships and create good long lasting relationships.  Get trainers from both college graduates and the union.  Put them together.  It’s important to get the right college graduates though.  Don’t just grab the best GPA and throw them into the position.  You need college graduates that can interact with union employees.  You need employees that have pride.  I bet the senior management at Treadway is completely disconnected from the floor.  That’s what needs to change.

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2 Responses to The Treadway Tire Company

  1. Fred Cox says:

    This is what I like about Schwarzrock: he cuts to the core of the problem and offers a single-most-effective solution.

    • ESchwarzrock says:

      Thanks Fred. I do believe that a disconnect between senior management and blue collar workers is an existing problem with many companies. Beloved, thriving companies like SAS, SEL, and Southwest all have or recently had leaders that are transparent, relatable, and connected. It’s important to connect with your co-workers because it’s a reflection of respect and a team like atmosphere.

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