WHO in your management team has the absolute most impact on profits? Please do not delude yourself with some belief that it is senior management. We know from all kinds of research that the ideas from top management take 2 to 3 years, in general, in order to be fully implemented in most medium to large organizations. And we also know that, “a desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world” (John LeCarre). Right? 😀
Okay, than it must be sales or engineering or manufacturing or something, right? Well maybe… But let me make the simple point that workers work and managers manage and who has the biggest impact on the workers working? Let me suggest that it is our lowly supervisor.
Supervisors! You know, the ones you had to promote because the other ones quit; that person who you promise to actually send to training one of these days when the workload drops some or you can get a relief person ready…
And what is their normal day like? Mostly, from our conversations and observations, they are covered up with obligations about summarizing results, solving problems, doing HR paperwork, dealing with angry customers or angry managers in other departments and, above all, attending meetings!
You can save them a lot of time by reducing meetings, or making them more effective and efficient and sending them information instead of telling them. And you can also impact them positively by giving them some job-skills with broad impacts.
And you cannot expect them to impact their people much if you do not allow them to interact with their people. (I read an article that showed that people working remotely had more manager contact than those located in the same office space.) And I believe that. Managing by Wandering Around is just not the norm these days, for sure.
Let me suggest that effective communications are also somewhat of a skills problem, that many people simply do NOT know how to facilitate effectively to involve and engage and motivate people. If you put a gun to their head, they simply could not do much better, so it is a SKILL issue and not simply one of motivation. And that lack of skill and the pressure to perform causes something like this in most workplaces:
I’ve been playing with the themes of Square Wheels® for over 20 years and they are a fabulous as well as easy to use way to involve and engage people in workplace improvement. What we have done with The Square Wheels Project is design an online training program to teach the techniques and share the tools.
Give us a try. Allow one of your supervisors to go through this course and network with our other users and with us about their issues and opportunities, and see if they will dramatically improve how things work in their organization,
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.
Learn more about Scott at his LinkedIn site.
Square Wheels® is a registered trademark of Performance Management Co.
LEGO® is a trademark of The LEGO Group
Also published on Medium.