Staff Management

Overview

This is the first version of TOCgame to include simple staff simulation. Your staff undertake three essential tasks:

  • Drivers: operate your trains. Your services will be cancelled if no driver is available.
  • Guards: take care of the onboard passengers. Guards sell tickets and count passengers so you get more income and more accurate information about the loadings on your trains. Guards do not serve any purpose on freight or passenger contract trains.
  • Fitters: maintain and repair your trains.

It is obvious that you need drivers to run your company successfully. While you can get away with no fitters for a while, you will run into trouble as soon as one of your trains breaks down. Guards are useless on contract services, and they are entirely optional for passenger service operators.

Drivers and guards work seven hours a day and breaks are not simulated. Thus, if there are breaks in the service, they are not included in the work time. E.g. a driver may need to work a shift of 12 hours with a five hour break between the actual driving. This is not realistic and may be altered in future versions of the game.

Unlike train stock, staff are not located to specific places but remain in a common pool while not working a train. This is unrealistic, but simplifies gameplay significantly.

Management

Staff management is done by controlling the number of employees and their salaries for each of the three employee groups. The columns and their meanings in the table from left to right:

  • Employed for now: The number of employees that are currently employed, less any being sacked. As our requirement for staff rises, or falls, type the new, total requirement in this box. There is practically no limit to the number of employees you can have so it is possible to hire as many new employees as you like. Likewise, you can sack your whole staff in one day.
  • Hired today: This is the number of new employees you have hired on the current game day. If you accidentally hire more staff than needed, you can sack the fresh employees immediately before the day changes.
  • To be sacked: There is a 30-day sacking period before the employee finally leaves the company. This column shows the number of employees and number of days left of the period for the employees. For example, 3 in 30 means that three employees have 30 days left of the sacking period. If you'd sack two more the next day, the column would display 3 in 29 and 2 in 30. In case you hire new staff, the employees who are being sacked and have the most days left of the period, are given the jobs prior to anyone else.
  • Availability: Shows how many employees were at work the previous day.
  • Required: Shows how many employees are required to work the train services. The worst-case requirement is an over-estimation that may come true when several services are late. In this situation service running times are also longer and more staff may be required than in an optimal situation. Note: this value is undefined for fitters; you must evaluate the need yourself.
  • Salary: The monthly salary of each employee. In practice the salary is divided by 30 and paid every day, not monthly.

Staff Availability and Behaviour

The staff availability is recorded in average percentages of the last seven weeks and displayed in graphs under the management table, the top row being the most recent.

You should keep an eye on the availability figures. While the employees are sometimes off work on sick leave and holidays, unhappiness also shows in decreasing availability numbers. If you don't pay attention, you may suddenly find services being cancelled as not enough drivers appear for work. If the availability drops and unhappiness grows, the employees will threaten to strike (a notice will appear in your company news). Striking employees are not paid their salary during the strike, but you may not be able to make much profit either.

The employees become unhappy if your company is making a huge profit, but the salaries do not reflect this. They also compare salaries from other companies, so if the salary level in your company is clearly below the other companies', they become less motivated. Sacking employees also causes discontent.

Applying Changes and Staff Costs

The bottom of the page shows the total staff costs. Notice that the actual cost of an employee is twice the salary. This includes the pension etc. overhead costs.

Remember to Apply changes if you make any modifications to the employee numbers or salaries.