Pseudo Jobs

There is an update please see below.

We have a man in our machine shop. He has been working with this company for more than a decade. He began as a ‘helper‘; then graduated to work on the drilling machine and later in assembly. Now he is a staff member and is in charge of assembly.

He was promoted time and again in spite of other people being around because he was diligent as a worker. He took pride in his work. He was honest and a man of integrity.

His job now, is to collect materials and make them available for assembly. We call them collectively, Assembly Items. The items are scattered throughout the factory floor due to different processes and thus different machine work and thus different locations.

His job takes him hours just to collate one set. Imagine the productivity hours lost.

Collation of items should be imbibed into the process rather than have someone find and then collate it. Basically his job is redundant and is a useless activity. What we have done by promoting him is KILL his productivity. His job is a ‘pseudo job‘.

There are numerous such instances of productive people turned unproductive due to an un thoughtful promotion. In the above case if we decide to rectify the process and change the layout and in general make changes which will eliminate this pseudo job, his job will be rendered useless which is undesirable for such a worker.

This is a classic case where appreciation has become a bane for the incumbent.

update: There is a name for such phenomena, The Peter’s principle.

The principle holds that in a hierarchy members are promoted so long as they work competently. Sooner or later they are promoted to a position at which they are no longer competent (their “level of incompetence”), and there they remain.

Peter’s Corollary states that “in time, every post tends to be occupied by an employee who is incompetent to carry out his duties” and adds that “work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence”.

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