THE SHOP

Recognized Supplier Guide ‘18

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64 THE SHOP AUGUST 2018 leaders may not like to think of themselves as cheerleaders, the meaning goes beyond the term to the bottom line. When leaders are actively present and interacting daily with and encouraging their employees, they are in the best posi- tion to motivate and inspire them to achieve beyond expectations. As their presence creates an impact on the organizational unit, leaders are able to share in the successes and failures of their employees as they test new ideas and concepts and help their organization adapt in the face of change. Doing this creates a bond of loyalty between leaders and employees, as it steadily and securely increases the organi- zational unit's cohesiveness. T he easiest and most obvious solution to a behavioral problem is for the man- ager to arbitrarily pick a solution that he or she deems appropriate. However, this does not take into account the moti- vational issues that can affect the final outcome. A poorly chosen solution can com- pound rather than solve a problem, especially if the employee is resistant to the idea. When confronted with an employee's behavioral or attitude problem, the man- ager has several choices to make. If the problem is serious enough, termination is an option; yet with the high cost of recruiting and training, this may not be the best solution. However, dealing with negative behav- iors and attitudes present sticky motiva- tional problems of their own. There may be resentment on the part of the employee concerning any solu- tion presented to them. Often the best approach is to involve the employee in the development of the solution. When the employee is involved, they gain own- ership of the solution, which ensures that they will actively and successfully be involved in its implementation. Additionally, they are privy to the pro- cess and see that a solution is arrived at in a fair and just manner; not arbitrarily. These steps minimize the motivational problems associated with the resolution of the problem and make it easier for the manager to work with the employee during the implementation phases. Arriving at an appropriate and effective solution to remedy negative behaviors and attitudes need not take an inordinate amount of time. However, it should be done in a systematic manner, so that the employee is actively involved in the pro- cess, can readily see how the solution has been arrived at, and understands it serves the interests of all involved. The following steps should be adhered to during the resolution process: BRAINSTORMING The most practical approach to devel- oping a workable and effective solution to a problem is through brainstorming. In these instances, the manager is limited to brainstorming ideas and solutions with the employee who has the problem and with other managers and superiors who are aware of the problem. This problem-solving approach pro- duces specific benefits by identifying all possible solutions from every perspective. Additionally, it includes the employee in the resolution of the problem. Empowering them by giving him or her ownership of the solution gives the employee a vested interest, realizing a successful outcome. Both the manager and employee should list every possible solution—even those that appear unlikely or impractical. Nothing should be dismissed without careful consideration; otherwise a nega- tive atmosphere as opposed to an open- minded approach to a solution will be created. SELECTION CRITERIA Obviously not every choice brainstormed will be practical or feasible. However, before any idea is discarded, both the manager and employee should identify the criteria that will be used to evaluate each possible solution. Criteria should be established according to specific parameters that result in the successful resolution of the problem. These might include the cost, timeliness, timeframe, effectiveness and total resolu- tion of the problem so that it does not occur again. Other criteria can be selected that assist both parties in achieving the overall goal. BRACKETING CHOICES Once the manager and employee have agreed upon the criteria, it is an easy task to filter all of the choices developed through brainstorming and to bracket the specific options meeting the selection criteria. All other options are eliminated from consideration. Since the employee is actively partici- pating in this process, they can see the logic of the decisions that will impact them, which eliminates resistance to the final resolution. PRIORITIZE & SELECT THE BEST OPTION The bracketing of possible solutions will typically identify several options to resolving a problem. Both the manager and employee should reach a consensus and prioritize each of the solutions in order of their effectiveness. Invariably, the employee will not wish to see specific options chosen since they are not in their best interest or will take more effort than they are willing to invest. This is why a consensus should be reached as to what will ultimately constitute the best choices for a solution. The final step is to choose the best solu- tion to the problem—one that satisfies both management and the employee while solving the problem. Excerpt: Negative Workplace Attitudes (Majorium Business Press, Stevens Point, WI 2011). —Timothy F. Bednarz Visible Leadership Resolving Negative Employee Behaviors

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