abilities, whether professional, military, or
general; and recognition for progress is given.
There is a minimum of disciplinary problems.
These external symptoms of effective personnel use
are not separate or isolated but are so related that
improvement in any one area leads to improvement in
Senior AKs, like other petty officers, spend a great
deal of time supervising subordinates. Too often, they
tend to think that the emphasis should be placed on the
jobs and how well they are being done by the
individuals. A little thought shows that actually the
individuals should be supervised so that they get the jobs
done wella view that involves an important difference
in orientation on the part of the supervisor.
Some of the factors involved in effective use of
personnel are discussed in this section. No effort is
made to present a definitive treatment of the subject;
rather, the section is intended to alert you to the
advantages to be gained by developing your skill in
managing people, and to give you a starting point for
further reading and study.
Personnel Versus Workload
The standard complaint of many supervisors, when
faced with any change in procedure, is that more
personnel are needed. For anyone to consider the work
force too large already is unlikely. Sometimes, however,
there are actually more personnel available than can be
used effective y.
Perhaps it is only natural to think that any job could
be done better if only a few more personnel could be
assigned. The fact is that the law of diminishing returns
applies in the Navy as surely as in any profit-making
organization. Individuals need to feel that they are
performing a useful function and are contributing
something tangible to the defense of our country. If
people do not have a feeling of accomplishment, morale
in an organization will suffer.
A supervisor with a knowledge of the variety of jobs
done by workers can easily compute the optimum
number of personnel for the organization. You must
review the number of personnel now assigned and the
work that must be done. Does every person have a
full-time job? If some of the functions were combined
or eliminated, would the performance of the
organization suffer? Often, operations that were
necessary at some time in the past are continued long
after they cease to serve a useful purpose. An
accumulation of these can sometimes waste the
productive time of several persons.
If you cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that
you need every person, you are overstaffed. In
determining manpower requirements, it is better to err
on the short side than the long.
People are flexible enough to absorb more work
than they are generally given credit for being able to
perform, and inventive enough to devise the means of
doing the job more easily.
Assigning and Rotating Work Assignments
The supervisor should be able to make an equitable
and efficient distribution of the individual jobs among
assigned personnel. This is not a simple task. It requires
careful study and planning because several factors affect
it. These factors may vary from one organization to
another. One of the factors is personnel ability. Your
personnel will have varying degrees of knowledge and
experience. Also, the jobs differ in complexity, required
time to perform, and frequency of performance. While
the ultimate responsibility for the assignment of
personnel rests with the supply officer, he or she will
rely heavily on your recommendations.
The practice of rotating personnel through the
various phases of their rating is universally recognized
as beneficial to the individuals and hence to the Navy.
Unfortunately, it is by no means universally practiced,
and even more unfortunately, resistance to a regular
system of rotation is often concentrated in the senior
The first step in planning personnel assignments is
to prepare a list of all jobs that are required in performing
the supply functions for which you are responsible. The
size of the list will depend upon the number of supply
functions under your supervision and the degree to
which you break down these functions into jobs. It is
not necessary to list every motion required to perform a
task, but each separate, distinct job should be shown.
The list should not be limited only to routine work,
but should include reports as well as the jobs that are
performed less frequently.
The next step is to analyze the job requirements.
The major purpose of job analysis is to help you to make
the most effective use of manpower. Therefore, you
decide how much information is needed about each job.
You can make the analysis as simple or as elaborate as
you deem necessary. The items listed below could be
used in making a job analysis; either by listing on a