A team member notices an inefficient step in the production process and asks their supervisor if they can discuss this. Together, they plan to do a study of this process to gather data that can be taken to management. They complete their analysis, prepare a proposal for a solution with input from the entire team and present the findings and recommendations to top management, who implements their ideas and reports the process saves the company over $100,000 per year.
An employee notices a step in the production cycle that has some obvious inefficiencies. After considering taking this discovery to the supervisor, the employee decides to keep quiet remembering the result the last time they made a suggestion. As the employee ponders the situation, they begin to feel frustration, which they voice to team members who happily add their own concerns. The employee decides to be sick on Friday to try to lift their spirits with a long weekend. Two other employees must have had the same idea. The company pays for temps to keep things going. Having such a high ratio of temps on this particular team leads to a bit of confusion around key work processes and results in some significant customer errors. When the team leader is held responsible, the relationship between the team and the leader deteriorates further…
The impact of involving employees and seeing them a valued part of your team can be huge! Often, managers complain that employees do as little as possible and don't take responsibily or initiative. While there certainly are employees that have personal issues with motivation (why DO you hire and then keep these employees in the first place!?!) often the answer to this challange is the relationship with the manager. How does the manager value and involve the employees in decision making, goal setting and problem solving? The final skill taught in the Essential Skills of Leadership is just that, to involve your employees in these critical team functions as often as possible. It is good for them, it is good for the company and it is good for your customers. Check with your team today: what do they see that you do not? What opportunities, problems and ideas do they have that you can use to improve and grow your business?