More Broken Windows Management Tips (3)
By Dr. Tom DePaoli
See my book Broken Windows Management on Amazon for more tips.
Find Out What Really Bothers Employees. One of the things that bothered my employees was the fact that many of the meetings they attended were totally disorganized and useless. Teach basic meeting protocol to people. Make sure meeting leaders have an agenda, take minutes and conduct the meeting in a professional manner. Have clear deliverables and explain the expectations of the meeting. Then enforce your parameters.
Fix It the Right Way. Too often management takes the ideas of the employees to make jobs better and does a slipshod job of fixing them or just appeasing the employees. Why not fix it in the very best way possible the first time. Make sure that it never comes back or reemerges as an irritant to the employees. This tells the employees that management actually listens to them and wants to fix things permanently.
Fix Parking Space Story. One of my stories that illustrate what's important to employees is a project that I did on employee parking. I had a project to reconfigure the employee parking areas and to see if I could get more parking spaces in the plant area. I managed to get 250 more parking spaces and the spaces were auctioned off and the money donated to charity. The employees were very grateful for the additional parking spaces which obviously made their walk to where they work much shorter and much more enjoyable. They also avoided paying for off-site parking. Do not underestimate employee concerns about parking and other issues. Solve them quickly.
Fix Things in Real-time. Do not spend an inordinate amount of time designing systems and paperwork to fix things that can be fixed immediately. Cut through the bureaucracy and make sure that when the employee voices a complaint it is answered as soon as possible and in real time. Systems don't impress people, getting things done does. No one gets really impressed with a fancy work order system.
Fluffy Recognition Doesn't Work. Employees know when praise is really shallow and not worthwhile. Stop praising peoples' tasks that are supposed to be part of their job. You would be better off fixing something in their job and making it easier for them to cope with. Praise certainly has its place. However, do not overdo it. It soon becomes discounted.
Dr. Tom DePaoli, (Dr. Tom) is currently an independent management consultant, the Principal of Apollo Solutions, which does general business consulting in the human resources, supply chain and lean six sigma areas. His organization was self-founded in 1995. He retired as a Captain from the Navy Reserve. In other civilian careers, he was a supply chain and human resources executive with corporate purchasing turnaround experience and lean six sigma deployments. He has worked for over ten major companies and consulted for over fifty organizations throughout his career. Some of his consulting projects include: information systems projects, re-engineering organizations, transformation, e-procurement, e-commerce, change management, global sourcing and negotiating. His industry experience is in the chemical, paper, pharmaceutical, IT, automotive, government, consumer, equipment, services and consulting industries. He has been published extensively in journals, magazines and books. He is the author of eleven books all available on Amazon. He has instructed at six education facilities in numerous roles. He is active in supporting the YMCA, Wounded Warrior, and the prevention of the bullying of children.
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