More and more, I am convinced that the key training people in organizations do not reside in HR / Training Departments but exist in the ranks of the line managers. The complexity of their job roles, however, can block their efforts to involve and engage their people to implement change and improvement. We need to look at that reality. Here are some thoughts and ideas.
Managers are responsible for performance. Managers are responsible for quality and service. Managers are responsible for productivity and results. Managers do reports and attend meetings. And, more and more, we are driven away from the simple act of focusing on skills needed to motivate and retain people (including the managers!).
Yet these same managers are the only ones who have the direct influence on the workers to understand issues and generate changes.
The reality of the supervisors and managers will probably look something like this when it comes to opportunities to involve and engage their people:
So, what are we doing to provide managers with the tools they need to function as organizational performance improvement consultants, coaches for identifying best practices and communicating and implementing changes and improvements? Are we giving them the time they need and freeing up worker time for them to be asking, listening and considering?
Are managers involving and engaging their people or are we just wasting time and energy thinking that they might?
In most workplaces, people are NOT involved and engaged — sure, the BEST Bosses are good at leading people forward, building ownership and engaging people in teamwork and process improvement. But in most organizations, BOSS spelled backwards is self-explanatory (email me and I will explain privately, if this euphemism is not immediately understood!) and people are not being engaged — the boss is too busy, as in the haiku below:
What do our managers need to do to shift the energy of these meetings and discussions from negative to positive? One solution is to use better tools and an approach that is facilitative rather than confrontational. This simply requires the right tools and some simple, self-taught facilitation training.
For the past 20 years, I have been developing simple but powerful tools for involving and engaging people and generating ownership and performance improvement.
My view is that the solution to the work situation looks something like this:
And we need to allow the team and the managers the time to consider possibilities and plan actions.
If you have any questions about how your organization might accomplish more of this, drift around randomly through the PMC website and generate your own thoughts on how people can be more intrinsically motivated and build a better sense of team and “US.”
People have ideas for improvement and supervisors can do a better job of asking and engaging and implementing, don’t you think? Could people simply choose to do things better and more efficiently?
For the FUN of It!
Dr. Scott Simmerman is a designer of team building games and organization improvement tools. Managing Partner of Performance Management Company since 1984, he is an experienced presenter and consultant.
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Scott’s blog on Poems and Quips on Workplace Improvement is here.
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