By Debbie Nicholson, Think-to-INK!
Note: Keep in mind while reading this article that I am being respectful of confidentiality – so some comments might seem mysterious; however, I am most certain you can connect the dots.
Question: Have you ever been on the fence about retaining an employee?
Due to COVID-19, a client made some difficult decisions to move a few employees to different departments to fill positions for employees put on furlough. I am sure many of you were in that same position due to a diminished workload.
One of the employees was open to the departmental change; however, he was anxious and unsure if he could fill the position in a fashion deemed necessary for success. Therefore, training was established and put into place to help the employee succeed. However, major mistakes ensued, and projects were undeliverable for various reasons. Short discussions followed after some of the errors – but not all!
I received a call from the CEO to discuss the leadership team’s next steps to minimize project discrepancies and maximize the employees’ abilities. The team made some substantive suggestions, however, the employee’s disposition eroded to a lack of cooperation and accountability.
I suggested a “visit” with the employee via Zoom, including the Leadership Team. He agreed, and I began constructing a detailed plan (agenda) for the two owners to review and study before the meeting.
The broken-down plan (agenda) was built in three tiers:
1. What accomplishments are you proud of while working in the Wide-Format department?
a. Did you set goals for your new position?
b. Which goals fell short and why?
c. What motivates you to accomplish your job?
2. What can we do as a Leadership Team to make your job more enjoyable?
a. What are ideal working conditions to be the most productive?
b. Do you feel your strengths are being maximized here?
c. Are you happy and content being a leader in the Wide-Format department?
3. Apology from the entire Leadership Team
a. We did not supply you with sufficient leadership and training for your new position
b. We did not allow you to voice your opinions and suggestions
c. We did not give you the power to make effective decisions for you and your team to succeed
d. We will establish new guidelines for your department -- together!
From the Heart:
After the 2-hour Zoom visit the CEO looked at me (virtually) and said…”I had no idea our employee cared so much.” He was ashamed that his company did not do a better job at helping his employee with their job!
I can’t discuss the information I heard from the employee; however, I can tell you it was an eye-opening experience for everyone attending to not only hear what was said but also felt during the visit.
The owners discovered not only how the employee felt about the position but learned some great and enlightening ideas of how to make it a much better department.
That is why I titled this article “Visiting With Your Employees Is Eye Opening!”
Take the time to “visit” with your employees one-on-one and/or with your leadership team. The visit should not be about a pay raise or a promotion, it should be a conversation asking pertinent questions that empower and ignite positive and truthful feedback.
Giving your employees permission to talk – can be priceless!