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Survey: Respondents Split on Clarity of Upper Management's Direction

Bruce Beggs |

CHICAGO — Does upper management provide clear direction for your laundry? How would you gauge its willingness to invest in your operation? Do you feel respected? This month’s Wire survey gave respondents the chance to answer these questions and more about their view of upper management.

Respondents to the unscientific survey were pretty evenly split in assessing the direction that upper management provides them. Forty-five percent either strongly agree (14.3%) or somewhat agree (31.0%) that upper management provides clear direction. Forty-three percent disagree (14.3% strongly, 28.6% somewhat), and the remaining 11.9% are neutral.

Fifty-seven percent agree (22.7% strongly, 34.1% somewhat) that upper management has a long-term view and seems willing to invest in their operations. Thirty-four percent disagree (20.5% strongly, 13.6% somewhat), and the remaining 9.1% neither agree nor disagree.

Does upper management understand the problems that laundry and linen managers face and provide the resources and training they need to solve them? Forty-one percent agree that it does (15.9% strongly, 25% somewhat), while 45.4% disagree (29.5% somewhat, 15.9% strongly). The remaining 13.6% are neutral.

Fifty-nine percent of respondents believe that upper management treats them with respect (25% strongly agree, 34.1% somewhat agree). Forty-one percent say they’re satisfied with their company’s strategic direction (11.4% strongly agree, 29.5% somewhat agree).

Respondents were asked to name one thing they would change about their laundry or linen services. Some of their anonymous replies:

  • “Be able to process linens for profit by taking on outside work.”
  • “In our company, there is no chain of command. I think there should be clear direction for the hourly workers. I also do not believe we have the liberty to make daily management decisions without second guessing or ridicule.”
  • “Being benchmarked against facilities that are not reasonably similar.”
  • “More direct customer contact.”
  • “Put upper management on the floor to see what is working and what needs to be changed.”
  • “Build a bigger building.”
  • “Set up a funded depreciation account.”
  • “More input from the true operators (management), not bean counters.”
  • “Better pay for laundry and linen services employees.”

While the Wire survey presents a snapshot of readers’ viewpoints at a particular moment, it should not be considered scientific.

Subscribers to Wire e-mails—distributed twice weekly—are invited to take a brief industry survey anonymously online each month. All managers and administrators of institutional/OPL, cooperative, commercial and industrial laundries are encouraged to participate, as a greater number of responses will help to better define operator opinions and industry trends.

To sign up for the Wire, click the “Subscriptions” button at the top right-hand corner of this page and follow the instructions.

About the author

Bruce Beggs

American Trade Magazines LLC

Editorial Director, American Trade Magazines LLC

Bruce Beggs is editorial director of American Trade Magazines LLC, including American Coin-Op, American Drycleaner and American Laundry News. He was the editor of American Laundry News from November 1999 to May 2011. Beggs has worked as a newspaper reporter/editor and magazine editor since graduating from Kansas State University in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications. He and his wife, Sandy, have two children.

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