Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

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March 26, 2013

(Almost) undercover boss

Town manager goes into the field

BROWNSBURG — Ever wonder if your boss is capable of doing your job? In Brownsburg, town employees are finding out. Town Manager Grant Kleinhenz, along with Assistant Town Manager Brian Hartsell, are three months into a program they call Fridays in the Field, where they spend time at the various town departments performing daily tasks alongside the regular crews.

“I’ve been town manager here for about a year,” Kleinhenz said, “and I think in trying to figure out some of the challenges we needed to overcome, one of them was a better and improved relationship with the administration and my staff. I decided one of the ways to create bonds with those employees is to get out once a month, go on the job with some of the employees, and experience their working conditions the way they do.”

Since the program started, Hartsell has worked at the wastewater plant while Kleinhenz has spent time as a building inspector and most recently, working with the street department filling the concrete mixer.

“It’s a pretty backbreaking task,” Hartsell said. “I talked to the superintendent there and asked what he needed to do this job more efficiently because it’s a fairly labor intensive process. I think what we’ve been doing, it’s really made a difference in the way I see these departments. I see their issues and get to create a relationship with their employees.”

Kleinhenz said the goal is to focus on each town department at least once. And he said the employees don’t cut him any slack just because he’s their boss.

“I sit in my office, and I’m a little out of shape,” he laughed. “They do like putting us through the mill. I can tell you that after scooping that concrete mix, I had a sore back pretty much all weekend. I need to get in shape for the summer.”

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