If you are a manager you have a million responsibilities, and likely you have goals to meet.
You try your best, you share your knowledge with the team, you mentor, you push, you incentivize … and somehow your group is still struggling to meet its targets.
So … you have some training sessions, you have tough discussions with those members of your team who you think are not pulling their weight … and somehow things don’t seem to change much.
Perhaps you bring in some consulting help, enlist the assistance of your boss, gather ideas from your peers … and things are still not going in the right direction.
You start to work a little longer, you are pretty tough on your whole team now, the pressure is mounting and you maybe lose a couple of people … and if anything things are getting worse. The people who leave are your better people, the morale is down and you are beginning to run out of ideas.
Here is an idea for you …
The people on the front line know a lot more than you think!
If you can tap into the knowledge of the people who actually do the job you can save yourself a lot of heartache.
Think about it … how many times have you had to let someone go, after much agonizing and performance improvement plans and the general feeling from the staff is “I wonder why that took so long?”
It is not easy …
1. You need to have someone capable of getting the team talking … this might need to be an external resource;
2. They need to be comfortable that they can tell it like it is, with no consequences … so management need to be able to curb any comments;
3. You have to REALLY listen … you cannot dismiss the ideas with giving them REAL thought. Sometimes you can have preconceived notions about what will or will not work, but you must set those thoughts aside;
4. You need to act on at least some of the recommendations. I would recommend creating two action lists (a) those to immediately act upon and (b) those to park, and give deeper consideration;
5. You must communicate well … keep the team informed, thank them for their contribution and let them know how it is going; and
6. You need to be open to change.
IF you can do all of this then you can really tap into a wealth of knowledge.
Don’t underestimate the value of the people you already have and the impact they can have on your company!