I have a client with two brothers on the leadership team, who disagreed about how to handle employee-challenge situations. The company has three locations with multiple shifts. Frustrations among midlevel managers were brewing when one of the leaders came across as harsh and cold over something that others considered to be a small issue. The trouble was that the leader didn't have an awareness of how his actions affected the midlevel managers. They were frustrated, hurt, and demotivated by this repetitive behavior.
Disengaged employees cost companies as much as $550 billion every year in lost productivity. As a result, frustrated companies are looking for better ways to increase employee accountability. But increased accountability on its own creates a culture of micromanagement that leads to unhappy workers. This, in turn, has a negative impact on employee productivity.
When I was a leader in one of my own businesses early in my career, I had the misfortune to discover that my employees had nicknamed me “Hurricane.” It was NOT a compliment!
Part of what earned me that nickname was the rage I felt when I had to repeat myself several times with my employees. I thought telling people something once should be enough! I hired really smart people, so when they didn’t seem to remember things I’d told them, I thought they just weren’t paying enough attention to what I said, and that made me furious.
I recently spent the day with two groups of mid-managers, helping them become more comfortable with EOS®, improve their leadership and management skills, and create more accountability. Late in the day, while teaching five important disciplines used by great managers, we had some terrific dialog about providing feedback to employees. The group easily understood the importance of giving both positive and constructive feedback to employees, and about the need to do so quickly (within 24 hours). What they were struggling with was the “how.” In other words, how, exactly, do you give someone negative feedback that is CONstructive rather than DEstructive?
As a Minnesota resident, I often find myself dreaming of warm climates this time of year. The temperature hovers around freezing and I can picture the arid deserts of Arizona or the lush rainforests of Hawaii. Both climates offer respite from the Minnesota winter, but they are decidedly different from one another in flora and fauna. A cactus can’t survive in the rainforest, and ferns can’t grow in the desert.
You wouldn’t think companies are similar to plants, but like a fern in the desert, not all people will thrive in your culture.