Posts Tagged business training
There’s an interesting thing that happens with humans once they know a job or task and they feel they know it well.They start to get bored or take it for granted. Whereas initially there is a challenge to learn the job, eventually it becomes second nature. Maybe humans are wired that way so we keep going after new ways and new sights. Whatever the reason, as the job gets commonplace and boredom sets in, people will find different ways to fill the time. They still do the job, but it no longer requires the intense focus it did during the learning phase, and it takes less time than it once did. So now they look for other things to fill the time.
It is interesting to watch a group of people that are becoming bored or things are just status quo even for a couple of days. The work has probably slowed somewhat so the pace of work has become less. Without intervening, just observe what occurs. Some employees will sit around making comments about how they are so bored, while others will walk around the complex and talk to anyone who will listen. Some will start to clean up the office even to the point of sweeping and dusting. Some will start to rewrite paperwork to make it look neater in their minds, and some will ask for something to do
Most of the time people do not like just sitting around. It doesn’t feel so great to be unproductive and the time goes very slowly. However, handing out non-relative tasks is not a good idea because employees will see and resent this if the work is not productive in some way.
Even when work does not slow down it is the same job in the same way Every day and this becomes boring or perhaps it is too familiar. The more thinking that is taken away from employees the faster boredom grows. It isn’t that the job is not liked or even enjoyed, it is more that there is no challenge.
The ramifications of this are that before a manager knows it people are leaving and saying they got a new job. Or even though people have stayed and are still a part of the team the enthusiasm seems to drop along with drops in energy. Some of this can be seen in a change in body language as compared to when the employee started. The excitement in starting a day seems to get less and less. The walking paces are slower, there’s a kind of hanging around and nothing seems crisp. The workplace has become too comfortable and too well known.
The regret may simply be that the team and the people on that team have never gone after and reached their potential. The regret might be that the team is sluggish. The regret may be that the team never went for becoming more. It could be that the team has settled for getting the job done in a very average and common way. The regret might be that the team could have achieved everything and yet fell short.
Probably though, things have become commonplace. If boredom is seeping in it is because it has not been looked at or people have become too accustomed and a little blinded. Status quo is not the way to achieve greatness. Risking and trying what has not been done before is the way to go to the next level.
I’ve gone around this, given hints, talked about the concept. This time it’s about the bottom line in team building and keeping that team at top performance. Just think about it for a moment. The best sport teams or individuals in the world win the championship and when the next year comes around, they don’t. What happened? Now to be fair there are other teams that are working very hard to get the trophy. Pretty much they are now going after the winner to win it all.
A couple things occur that keep a team from being on top at all times. They felt the amazing feeling of winning so it will never be a first again. The members of the team are not motivated in the same way. They get bored. It doesn’t seem new anymore. It’s not their fault. The human mind once it has learned something and become good at it, wants something new and different. It already got that skill down, so to speak. We see this in different areas of business situation. First people are nervous when starting something new whether the job or learning a new task, a lot of energy is being out into it and then they feel comfortable as it becomes second nature. To be precise there has to be a lot of checks and balances. Perhaps it is a human condition.
For teams there has to be newness. this is the maintenance of a team. There needs to be checks on the team and this has to be done often. But this IS NOT micro-managing. Micro-managing is very bad and is more destructive to a team than helpful. Part of maintenance of a team is finding new ways to do things and bringing in things that will keep the team learning and sharp. A team that thinks it knows it all will get dull. Once that occurs, things will slip. The team leader must continue to challenge the team and everyone on it.
“Can’t get there from here” is a New England statement that has to be said with a very thick New England accent. It’s used because,especially way up north, all roads do not connect. And wouldn’t you know it.This idea applies to business too. “Here” is a work environment where employees are disengaged, i.e. distrusting, minimal performing, low energy, etc. “There” is a work environment where employees are energized, contributing, productive. The “road” that leads to the first cannot get you to the second. It takes a different route.
When managers are not trusted to coach, to make decisions, to engage the employees and keep them engaged (to name a few) – business can’t
get to the one thing they talk about wanting. According to many different polls by Gallup and others, business leaders
want employees to choose and to want to better the company, to better the customer experience, and to better themselves. Without a strong coaching relationship between the front line manager and the team, guess what? “Can’t get there from here.”
Business does train and does try new ways to keep employees energized but there seems to be a gap. Doing more tasks or implementing new procedures will not keep employees engaged. Engagement is a choice, whether conscious or subconscious, because there is a reason for being engaged. This could be fulfillment, recognition, career advancement, a feeling of satisfaction, self-improvement, learning, a promotion, or a host of other reasons. The point is the employee has worth and knows it, because it is consistently communicated. And let us not forget that managing an engaged group of employees is not only easier, but more rewarding for the manager in every way.
What is the view from the front? Is the employee seeing the same things the leadership is seeing?
Have the goals and the vision been defined in a way that both parties have the same definition? The perspective of an employee is different than that of management. How can it not be? It isn’t that one is more invested than the other with respect to commitment. Rather, it is more about how information is perceived. If management is asking for more to be done without fully considering the impact it will have on the employees, the employees will see it as negative. If blaming occurs because things are not getting accomplished without seeing why, employees will be resentful. If employees are being treated poorly (lots of negative reinforcement, little or no positive reinforcement) or never recognized, for example, then employees will disengage.
The process of engagement is grounded in how managers treat the employees. The relationship develops while going after the same defined
goals. The frontline manager, especially, is the foundation or source from which the team works. This relationship is one of support, coaching, mentoring, accountability, pushing for greatness in each individual, listening, challenging, defending, and working towards company and individual goals.
Engagement is an indicator. How engaged one is in a relationship, whether personal or work, is much like barometric pressure. Barometric pressure helps us understand weather conditions. When the pressure changes, so do the conditions. Pressure up and we’re looking at good weather; down, and it’s a storm. Employee engagement, or lack thereof is an excellent way to understand the work environment. It lets us know what’s going on and even how it will be going forward. So, less engagement and the work environment is sluggish. Productivity, efficiency, customer service and profit suffer. More engagement and the work environment is good. Work is getting done efficiently and productively, employees are committed and part of the team, and their contribution to the overall health of the organization is valued and recognized. This looks like the road worth taking.
Liz Cosline – Coach and team Enhancer. Developer and founder of the From the Front Management™ Training Program for frontline managers. Liz coaches individuals and teams on balancing, bringing out potential, becoming coaches, and employee
engagement. In business management over 23 years in different industries receiving several awards with appearances on
many radio programs.
, using the default tag: .
It has been talked about in the McKinsey Quarterly, in the Harvard Business Review, and in Forbes magazine to name a few. There is much discussion on how to bring out the best in frontline managers. There has even been statements that CEO’s are disappointed in frontline management.
Since there is disappointed then this is the place to have attention drawn. When there is any problem we must go to the source to solve the problem. Now before anyone wants to “beat up” the frontline managers that is not what is going to solve it.
First it needs to be defined what is wanted at this management level. They are the ones that can be the highest cost, why? Because they affect the frontline employees directly which in turn affects the customer directly. These managers need support, training, and be able to make decisions on a daily basis without looking over their shoulders. They must support and care about the frontline employees. It is their job to get the obstacles out of the way so great jobs can be done.
Often however they don’t seem to get a lot of training.
Frontline managers are key to any organization and to the employees they serve. They need some attention.
So let’s say that everything is being done to build an excellent team, communication is clear, individual skills are recognized and utilized, goals are defined, the jobs are getting done, and most of the time things are running smoothly. Seems like this team doesn’t need much attention at all, right? Wrong. However when using the thought of maintenance it is much less time consuming.
Instead of being in a building the team mode, at least until the next level comes along, I view it as a correction mode. All teams have times when things are just same. No new things for a little bit of time. Usually this means that everyone relaxes a little and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. But if time and energy are taken away from the leadership tings will start to slip. It’s just human nature to get a little bored and not be as sharp. Unless leadership stays in the corrective mode. This is not a discipline mode but instead simply a reminder of the little things that might slip or get missed. Like a simple tune up.
First of all it shows the leader is still and always involved. It shows the leader hasn’t relaxed but still cares about the every day jobs. it shows attention to the crew. And it shows that what is done matters. But this can be and should be done in a calm manner without a blaming attitude. The reason is that you want to show that people are human but you still believe in what they do. Use you leadership qualities of being clear and concise, being brief, noticing the good, never lying, staying calm, saying than you, and reminding that it all needs to get done. But especially make sure the team knows that you are their biggest fan.