Theory X and Theory Y / Come and See

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by robert payer, Oct 15, 2002.

  1. robert payer

    robert payer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 282

    In school we are learning about the two types of workers:
    Theory X:
    This average person dislikes work and will avoid it if possible.
    Work must be forced. Must be controlled.
    Wishes to avoid responsibility. Has little ambition.
    Demands security.

    Theory Y:
    People like work. Are enjoyable co-workers.
    Go toward goals to which they committed.
    Most not only want but seek responsibility.
    Self starters

    Here is the question. Is there a way to smoke out the Theory X workers in the interview process? The theory is real interesting, how can it be used? Please share your thoughts of experience even if these Theory terms are now new to you.
  2. That is easy for me.

    I sterotyped this one from now on.

    If they are not hispanic, I am not hiring.
  3. Art Stubbs handy 58

    Art Stubbs handy 58 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 132

    Pretty easy, ask them to show you their hands, calloused, grubby looking, you know they work....:D
  4. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,073

    I have dealt with this issue quite a bit in my other business. It is a must to have self starters who go for goals and manage themselves well.

    However, I have found that the best "employees" come from a mix of X&Y. Too much X makes for a lazy worker who's always got the additude of what's in it for me. Too much Y makes for a worker who can sometimes be too independent and ambitious to be a good empolyee. Both are equally bad unless you're looking for someone to run their own crew for you.

    If this is what you're looking for, a bossman, then you need to find a Y that holds your point of veiw in things so you're not constantly bumping heads on things. If not you'll surely end up with someone who has enough of you and becomes your competion. Remember Y's are independent 1st, ambitious 2nd and have less need for security 3rd.

    If you crowd his independence and make him mad, he'll be twice as abitious and since he doesn't need security, hell strike out on his own.

    I know this for a fact because I am an extreme Y and can hardly be a partner to someone, much less their employee. If you just want a good worker, all you need is enough Y to make them money hungry rather than lazy!

    Just my 2 cents
  5. I tried that approch, I found they used to many drugs or drank, and complained.
  6. robert payer

    robert payer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 282

    Envy lawn service,
    That was a very a well informed 2 cents. Did you have any more thoughts? Most insightful. Thank you!
  7. Art Stubbs handy 58

    Art Stubbs handy 58 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 132

    Hey godfather,
    where are my drugs??? I need alot of them because my hands are plenty clloused... lol i do have a few cold ones now and then and we all have something to complain about. LOL good point about your process... I think I'm going to try this one.......:D
  8. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,073

    I have ran some sort of business, been my own boss and had hired help since I was 16 years old. My dad was also a very extreme Y. So this is inherited behavior for me.

    I've been through all types of people in several different businesses. I've seen them all! Drunks, druggies, workoholics, I wanna do it my ways, and a whole bunch that are so lazy they wouldn't breathe if it didn't come natural!!!

    I've hired, fired and worked so many to death I can almost tell within a few minutes rather or not a person will "make it."

    I've no doubt ran a lot of decient workers off by overworking them in the past. Especially when I did construction work. I could never find enough of those good people to keep a good crew together all the time. I needed good self starters to sub jobs and good mix people to help me.

    I did good work and always had more lined up than I could get to. After getting way behind because of lack of good help, re-doing sub out jobs that were not up to my specs and working some good workers to death, I just decided it was a lost cause.

    I had a choice to work myself out of a hole and only do small jobs where I didn't have to depend on others so much or git out while the gitting was good.

    I chose "exit...stage right" :blush:

    So what are you looking for? A bossman for a second crew? An employee to help you?
  9. The Lawn Choupique

    The Lawn Choupique Banned
    Messages: 199

    Go see where they live before you hire them. I am sure if they live in a run down trailer in the poor part of town on the wrong side of the tracks, it must be because they are so ambitious.

    P.S. In america hard work, or the ability to work hard has never translated into success. If so, I think west viginia coal miners would all be living in mansions and driving rolls royces.
  10. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    What about Theory Z?

    In addition to that you could use Maslows Hierarchy of Needs to analyze this question also.

    I am thinking that Envy is talking about Type X and Type Y personalities and that is a little bit different than Theory X and Theory Y. Different but still relevent in its own way.

    Are we getting into Lawn Psychology 101, this can be an intersting topic.

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