Employee Engagment: A Leadership Series
Number Four of More than Seven
Approximate reading time: 2 minutes
In This issue:
- Managing Involvement - When You Need More Information
- Rob's Corner - Invest in Employee Learning
- Upcoming Public Workshops
- More Original Content from FSTD : Current Blog Posts
- Featured Product: Work Expectations Profile
Last time we concluded, even if the solutions are equal, don’t “lay” the solution on your team unless you know for a fact they will all wholeheartedly and automatically accept your solution. Involve them.
This time we’ll start to look at the guidelines that apply when it does matter which course of action is chosen. The first thing the leader should do is some introspection. Before you, as the leader determine how much, if at all, you want to involve your team, ask yourself, “Do I have all the information I need right now? Will it enable me to choose a quality course of action?” In other words, given that finding the one best course of action is essential, do you, right now, have all the information you need to choose the superior solution without gathering additional information?
If you go back to our 12 May newsletter, we talked about Plan Implementation Analysis. We encouraged you then to ask, “What could go wrong if…”. In this case, I’d ask myself, “What could go wrong if I choose the course of action based solely on the information I currently have?” If, upon seriously asking this question of yourself, you have even a hint of queasiness, assume you need more information. How do you get that “more information?” You involve your team!
So, where are we now? We’ve determined that it does matter which course of action is chosen and we’ve asked, “Do I have all the information I need right now? Will it enable me to choose a quality course of action?” At this point, you will answer either “Yes” or “No”.
If you answer “No”, it is clear that you will need to involve your team in order to get enough information to choose the superior solution. On the other hand, if you answer “Yes”, you don’t need information. But, all other things being equal, people want to be involved in the choices which impact them. Why? Because people often need to control at lease some of the variables which impact their life. It is a proven fact that, for some issues, people perform better when they are involved.
Today’s tip: If finding the superior solution is essential, be absolutely certain you have all the information required before you even think about choosing the course of action without involving your team! At a minimum, ask a member (or members) of your team for information relative to the situation before proceeding.
In the next two newsletters, we’ll look at how to involve your team and just how much involvement is required to support a superior solution.
Invest in Employee Learning, It's Worth It.
I've just completed three weeks of facilitating ropes course train-the-trainers. During the course of that time, I've had the wonderful opportunity to work with John.
During one of those train-the-trainers, John and I were on the top of the zip line, a high element consisting of a single wire which participants ride down while attached to a two-wheel pulley. John is a superb facilitator. I can tell from working with him that he will connect very well with his facility's clients. John is a gentle spirit, a great communicator, and he really wants his clients to succeed.
John, I think, is also what might typically (and improperly) be called a "slow learner." You can tell him two or three times certain particulars - how to set up a particular belay system, for example. John will, when it comes time for him to work, not remember all of the details. This is an issue with belay systems - when details are wrong, people are less safe.
So what to do? I could report my initial observations to his superiors at the facility. If I were to do this, he would be reassigned immediately. That is one option ... and both he and the facility would be poorer for that decision.
What I chose instead was to continue to do what we teach about adult learning. John is technically a kinesthetic learner. He needs the proper sequence of concept, detail, practice, reinforcement and then, when he is ready, application to the real work environment. I chose to work with John and got him to the point where I am quite confident in his ability to keep people safe. It took more time, it took more patience, and it took more deliberate, conscious, focused learning.
So what about your organization? You have high value people who need to "get" new content. You have people who learn in different ways and at different rates. You can give everyone the same training, hope that they all "get it," then reassign the "slow" learners.
Or, perhaps, you rethink and restructure how they learn. Slow down, assess your learning results, and modify your approach to reach different learning styles. Your people - and ultimately, your customers - are worth the extra investment you make in superior learning.
PS. Want better employee learning but concerned about the cost? Read a case study we prepared about how an investment in learning resulted in significant bottom line savings.
- Trouble Shooting Logic
- August 24-26, 2010, Atlanta, GA
- September 20-22, 2010, Atlanta, GA
- October 25-27, 2010, Atlanta, G
- The Sales CODE, September 14-15, 2010, Atlanta, GA
- Performance Coaching, September 23-24, 2010, Atlanta, GA
- Mastering Involvement, October 28, 2010, Atlanta, GA
- Trouble Shooting Logic Train-the-Trainer (T3), November 8-19, 2010, Atlanta, GA
- Experiential Expertise Train-the-Trainer (T3) - Openers, Initiatives and Low Elements - November 30-December 1, 2010, Utica, MS
- Experiential Expertise Train-the-Trainer (T3) - Trust, Low Ropes, High Ropes and AlpineTower - December 2-3, 2010, Utica, MS