Why delay making a decision when everyone knows that the chances of success are virtually nil?
During a meeting with one of our clients, we discussed the existing behaviors belonging to their director of operations, behaviors we deemed detrimental to the success of the company.
Let’ s go back a little in order to understand the context which I would like to explain to you. The organization hires us to provide training to their supervisors, including the director of operations.
To start off on the right foot, we assess the participants by using a psychometric tool as well as some interviews. From that moment we noticed some significant challenges with respect to the director of operations’ personality traits. According to the management’ s expectations as well as the work environment, the profile was far from perfect. Figuratively speaking, we had a dove in place, however we wanted an eagle. A very difficult transformation. It’ s a typical case of having a quality person sitting in the wrong chair. The capacity of modifying this individual’ s personality traits would require much effort from the candidate which would increase the risk even more.
The message is given; however, the client wishes to give him one last chance, an understandable decision. After 3 mentoring sessions, I needed to sound the alarm because nothing was moving forward, and the excuses were plentiful. Therefore, here we find ourselves back with the company’ s managers, to discuss matters. It’ s at this point that I realize that these latters did not do their part in the management of their director of operations. It’ s not the first time that I witness that. I can see that they are not satisfied with his performance, as they weren’t 6 weeks ago. This brings me to my question… Did you deserve the right to demote the individual? Their response was clear thanks to their nonverbal expression.
What is to be done to ensure that we act appropriately and fairly when we give an employee another opportunity to improve his performance?
A workplace habit, albeit a new one or a simple change requires help. Just like any habit we would like to adopt or change, it is easier when we receive support.
I asked the DG if he regularly met with his director of operations in order to discuss operations. The typical response which I constantly get; we speak every day. Once again, water cooler chatter (non-structured) is worth what it is worth, meaning, not much.
I recommend that he should have a minimum of one weekly structured meeting with an agenda and an action plan in order to follow up and discuss specific points.
The idea is to obtain and maintain the employee’ s engagement.
Therefore, here is the challenge and the solution which I propose to you. In order to create/modify/improve a behavior belonging to your employees the challenge is that a desired change from an employee will require a change as well from the DG, or from the person who supervises him or them. In the best example the change will be in his leadership style. Let’ s keep it at its most basic, with this mathematical equation.
Once again, let’ s not forget that it will be difficult to change a habit especially when this one is not natural to the individual, which means that it will require an effort.
Therefore, how to interpret this? If we want to introduce/change a behavior belonging to the employees, both boxes (Employee and Leadership Style) need to be worked on. Just like in mathematics, if only one element of the equation changes, the result is
1 x 0 = 0
Therefore, we want to introduce a tour of inefficiency with the director of operations. We provide him with training on the subject, external support with mentoring sessions. We work on the employee box.
Therefore, a change is required in the Leadership box. For example, weekly structured meetings with the DG and his Director of Operations and we discuss as well as provide his support. In this case we will have;
1 x 1 = 1
There you go, your chances of success are not guaranteed at 100% but they increase drastically.