Posts Tagged fromthefrontmanagement

Is the Team Bored?

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.


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Going After Gold



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.



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Team Greatness

Every business, every company, and sport team wants to have the team that excels in is consistent. In business the employees are the ones and especially the frontline employees, where they are in contact with the customers daily. It is here that the customers will see attitudes, moods, plus whether an employee looks happy at the job or not. This is part of what gives the customer the impression of the company. How does a frontline manager or any manager know that the employees are in a good state of mind and a productive state of mind?

There are daily indicators that will allow the manager to know if the team and the day is running smoothly. Following are some of the indicators.

1. Team members treat each other with respect. They talk to each other and interact with each other with smiles and in a helpful manner. They are courteous not only to the customers but also to each other. They make sure that their job is done so that it does not fall on another team member. They are talking to each other and updating each other on how the day is going.

2. At different times during the day there is joking going on but it is professional joking with smiles and laughter. The work is still getting done and it’s getting done in an active way. But what is very noticeable is that there is a very upbeat atmosphere.

3. When the shifts need to be covered because something unusual has come up and an employee needs the day off, they will help each other cover the shift. In other words someone will step up and cover the shift for the employee that needs off. This becomes a common practice where no one is taking advantage in any situation.

4. The team as a whole and the individuals of the team wants no more. They are eager to have more training and to learn new things. They want to be involved in what’s going on and they want to be heard with new ideas and better ways of doing things.

5. The individuals of the team know the importance of the team. They know from doing a good job, getting things done, and being noticed they are an important part and a valued part of the organization.
When managers stay in touch with team and the individuals of the team they can notice when the team comes up or down. A manager can see when there is a frustration that is affecting the team. When this is caught right away adjustments can be made to get the team back on track. It is about being involved, about seeing what’s going on, and is about being part of the team.

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