In Part 1 of our series you peered through the window of an accounting department to see a dysfunctional accounting team at work. Teammates were blaming each other for mistakes and missed deadlines, and clients were taking the brunt of it. You watched them long enough to see them pull together and find ways to…Details
In Part 1 we saw how an accounting manager began to realize that staff member mistakes and poor performance weren’t so much because employees were lazy or incompetent, but more the result of poor processes and systems causing disorganization and delays. Staff ideas of what was supposed to be done and who was supposed to be doing it constantly conflicted. It was obvious every time another “oops” was discovered and a deadline missed that staff members weren’t communicating and something was broken.Details
I try to hire the best employees. Once they’re on board, I work hard to motivate them applying what I learned in my management training. My employees don’t seem lazy, and they’re definitely smart enough to do the job, but for some reason things aren’t working. People keep making mistakes and our work is falling behind. What can I do?
Seriously Cynical Supervisor”
Could you have written this letter? If so, you’re not alone.Details
Some silos were built to last. Trying to poke a hole through one isn’t always easy, especially in those reinforced by years of isolation and self-preservation. Jim, a human resource manager just assigned to a new general manager and business unit, found that out.
I coached Jim to help him get the most from his new assignment. I taught him what it means to be a business person instead of just another HR professional with a bucket of HR tools. He learned that if he looked for problems in the operations, he could make a real difference—he just needed to find the opportunities and figure out how to help operations solve the problems. Jim got it. He was excited to show the general manager what he could do.Details
Let’s say you started a credit card payment processing company. Ten years later your business is raking in $2.2 million in profit after paying yourself an annual salary of $1 million. You find out from a study on pay and happiness that people who make less than $70,000 aren’t as happy as everyone else, so you cut your pay to $70,000 and use the savings to bring your lower paid employees up to your new $70,000 salary.
Despite our book learning, we tend to learn how things are done in the world of work from our experiences at work. Usually, our Master Mentor is the person vacating the job we’ve just landed or the boss who makes sure we know the “right” way to do things. By watching and observing what happens when things get screwed up, we get a pretty good idea of how things should be handled. We may learn that when we need to get something done, we get tough. When following procedures doesn’t work, we go around people. We learn that bullying is effective, or not.Details
It’s that time again when organizations are abustle with performance grading, self reviews, rank ordering, goal setting, final performance evaluations, and merit pay raises all in the name of managing performance. The amount of activity and anxiety the performance review process produces could make last minute Christmas shopping look like a seasonal stress reliever. So…Details
Like the proverbial many ways to skin a cat, there are many ways to change the culture of an organization. There are also some principles that have proven their worth along with more than a few myths that have crept into the popular literature on the topic. Here are a few of those myths that…Details
Some human resource leaders are finding out that getting a seat at the table is more than a warm body in a chair when it comes to being part of the team. Quoted in recent articles on HR challenges, a stressed HR executive says his job is now tougher because his executive team’s primary strategy…Details
Can people change? Are they doomed to repeat their mistakes? Should companies bother to spend time and money to help them? I get asked these questions a lot by CEOs debating whether to hire me to “fix” a key employee while vacillating between firing and coaching choices. That’s what happened when one CEO asked me…Details
According to a writer who recently contacted me about an article for the Sunday newspaper, workplace food theft is becoming a serious issue. Seriously. Apparently, employees are fed up with disappearing donuts and Twinkie tinkering suggesting that maintaining co-worker trust is no picnic. Of faith and the unfaithful All joking aside, workplace mistrust is a…Details