Book highlights what workers want
‘Emerging From Turbulence: Boeing and Stories of the American Workplace Today’
(Editor’s note: SPEEA
helped connect the authors
to members interested in
participating through surveys. All names of employees
featured in this book are fictitious in response to requests
Thirty-six workers voice their own views of Boeing and
its future in a book that
authors Leon Grunberg
and Sarah Moore created
from two decades of study of
Boeing Commercial Airplanes
in Washington state. Their
research included company-wide surveys and recent in-depth interviews with 85 employees.
Grunberg, professor emeritus of sociology, and
Moore, professor (and chair) of psychology, at
University of Puget Sound, gained national recognition in 2010 for their book Turbulence: Boeing
and the State of American Workers and Managers,
co-written with Edward Greenberg and Pat
Sikora, of University of Colorado Boulder.
This new book gives voice to Boeing’s workers (present, former, and retired) and, using
accumulated data, assesses what lies ahead. The
resulting work identifies a noticeable shift in the
workplace culture of large corporations.
“The millions of ‘ordinary employees’ who work
in corporate America rarely have starring roles in
these unfolding dramas of change, but … a full
understanding of the consequences of corporate
change is not complete without their voices,”
the authors write.
In parallel with changes since the
Boeing merger with McDonnell
Douglas, a fascinating story of its
own took place in the offices and
on the shop floor. Thousands of
workers, though often appreciative of the good salary and benefits Boeing provides, reacted
with shock to the changes at
the company they had once
regarded as “family.” Meantime,
newcomers, who were part of
a hiring effort to replace thousands of baby boomer retirees,
came in with radically different
The authors conclude: “It’s
hard to think of how such
workers can continue to earn
a decent living if companies like Boeing continue
to squeeze their pay and benefits, introduce more
labor-saving technological changes and relocate
work to cheaper locations.”
Leon Grunberg - For more than 30 years he has
studied large and mid-size organizations, focusing on employee behavior and attitudes.
Sarah Moore – Her research, since 1993, has
focused on the effects of work-related stressors,
such as layoffs, re-engineering, and various job
characteristics on employee health, work attitudes, and work performance.
Source: University of Puget Sound press release.
How to maximize
If you haven’t already met with your manager to discuss your Performance Management (PM) close-out, consider some suggestions
from Steve Spyridis, who has firsthand experience on both sides of the process.
As a Boeing engineer for several years, he asked
a lot of questions to gain a better understanding of the PM process. As a SPEEA contract
administrator, he now helps members with PM
questions in addition to providing training on
how to get more value from the process.
Spyridis’ training provides a more comprehensive look at the PM process at Boeing and how it
connects directly to raises and retention ratings,
Seek input – Ask coworkers or immediate customers for feedback to share with your manager at your close-out meeting. Coworkers or
their managers may ask for your input, too.
Remember – providing input is optional if you
are asked. SPEEA urges you not to ‘rate’ anyone.
If someone (even if it’s your manager) asks you
to rate someone else, contact a Council Rep.
Salary Job Classification (SJC) – Did you know
the importance of SJC competencies related to
your overall score? Understanding where your
manager thinks you’re at (in terms of meeting or
exceeding expectations) can contribute directly
to your retention rating.
Business Goals and Objectives (BG&O) and
Performance Values (PV) – How well do you
know what your manager thinks of your work
related to your BG&O and PV for your SJC?
This can affect your Integrated Performance
Assessment (IPA) and ultimately your raise.
Ask your Council Rep to schedule a lunchtime meeting on the close-out with staff. Learn insights into
the process that can help prepare you for discussing
Performance Management with your manager.
Good response to open enrollment seminars
SPEEA Benefits Director Matt Kempf presented an overview of SPEEA contract benefits for Prof and Tech bargaining units
through lunchtime meetings (shown here in Portland) and after-hours at the SPEEA halls. Kempf also hosted webinars for
members to watch online on their lunch breaks (he held three mid-day sessions Nov. 19). Kent Council Rep Tony Hickerson
reported the positive response he received after hosting a seminar with Kempf. About 75 members attended – making it
standing room only. “Members have been stopping me in the halls, thanking me for the discussion and asking for more of
the same,” Hickerson said. Kempf also gives presentations on retirement benefits.