Slow Down in These Three Areas to Grow Fast
Busy clients tell me the same thing, “We are having more ‘good kind’ of problems,” – the kind that come with increased volume, expansion of capacity and new initiatives.
As you lay out your ambitious plans for 2016 remember these three specific leadership actions that will help keep your culture high-performing as you grow.
- Explain ‘Why’ – With rapid change and overflowing to do lists it can be tempting for managers and supervisors to skip explaining their decisions and changes that affect the shop floor. Keep in mind that the management team has likely spent weeks or months hashing out the decisions, changes and timing. But for front line employees, the decision or change might seem rash or hurried because it gets sprung on them. Keeping employees in the dark only fosters distrust and lets gossip and the grapevine to fill the vacuum. Take the time to explain decisions and changes and the reasoning behind them. Give as much of a heads up as possible and remember to circle back and deal with any open issues, questions or concerns. You’ll get better buy-in, reduce conflict and maintain stronger morale.
- Value Relationships – Employees can be sensitive to perceived snubs by managers and support functions who forget to acknowledge and connect with people when on the floor. It’s easy to overlook these personal interactions when you’ve got a long list of priorities. Making time to connect and maintain relationships is crucial to avoiding negative conflict and to help get projects done on time. Practice the “five and ten rule” – everyone within ten feet deserves to be acknowledged and everyone within five feet deserves to be greeted.
- Increase Involvement – Resistance to change decreases with greater involvement and communication with employees. It can be tempting to skip these steps for the sake of speeding up the process only to discover that you are losing time from a lack of cooperation. Getting end users engaged as changes are planned and implemented usually improves the quality of the solution and makes it more likely that the change will achieve the intended targets for efficiency gains.
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Upcoming Public Workshops in Front Line Leadership
You can enrol your front line supervisors, team leaders and managers in our two-day Front Line Leadership program being held in early 2016 Toronto, Canada, London, Canada, Kitchener/Waterloo/Guelph, Canada, Windsor, Canada and Chicago, USA and Detroit, USA.
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