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Mr. O'Brien is correct when he says that the right culture and the right
team are critical. However, I have to disagree with the rest of his
comments about "ample staffing", "relatively routine work", and the
potential negative results of performance measurement. These somewhat
mechanistic issues are irrelevant in a culture in which employees want
to do their best. One way to create that culture is to provide employees
with incentives that enable them - in their own judgment - to better
meet their personal needs while meeting the requirements of the
organizations they work for. Different scheduling arrangements are one
such way of providing incentives. My experience is that the staff I have
on these arrangements have gone out of their way to show that the
arrangements are not negatively impacting their work. My own performance
tracking confirms this. We are not amply staffed, we do not engage in
relatively routine work, and I've never had a problem with measuring the
performance of staff. In fact, the one place where I would have a
difficult time implementing such scheduling is the area that is the most
routine of the operations I am responsible for - it would be difficult
to run a distribution system with this kind of scheduling. In order to
do it, you would have to get all of the staff involved as a requirement.
My guess is there are staff - like Ms. Duncan - who would prefer to work
the shorter days/longer weeks.

Dwight Wallis, CRM
Records & Distribution Services Manager
Multnomah County FREDS
1620 SE 190th Avenue
Portland, OR 97233
ph: (503)988-3741
fax: (503)988-3754
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