I love the pod cast and as a long time listener I can not seem to get enough. I am faced with an awesome opportunity that I would love to get feedback both from Mike & Mark as well as other listeners.
I work in the utilities business sector. My location is unionized and shift work. I have five directs and 25 skips. I have been successful at developing my directs to embrace several ideas these pod casts give testament to.
Now here is my opportunity, how do We change the thought process, “I’m not doing it because you have not told me.” to “I did it so that you did not have to tell me.”? Or said another way, “How do you get employees to take ownership of their work place?”



juliahhavener's picture
Licensee Badge

Feedback and encouragement. Many people in the workplace do not take initiative, not because they don't want to, but rather because they are afraid to do so. My team is empowered to do quite a bit for their customers (as was my previous location). Even after spending 6 weeks training them and telling them that they are able to do x, y, and z, they would come back and say 'I have this situation. I think x will fix it, and they'd like y for the trouble, can you do that?' My response is 'no, but you can. Do you remember this discussion? This is that time to do it.'

They require encouragement and feedback until it becomes ingrained that it's the expectation and not the exceptional.

mjpeterson's picture

I think this is where coaching would take over. You probably need to develop actions plans with each of your directs reports covering the behaviors you want. If the behaviors are ingrained, then it will probably take a while to change, so work it in small steps.

bflynn's picture

I think you recognize the general issue - workers don't own their processes, are generally satisfied with what they're doing, don't care about moving up and don't really want anything to change. You have the additional minefield of the union to deal with.

General suggestion - think about the issues from the podcast on creating a sense of urgency, then deliver the news of ownership using the general suggestions from the delegation podcasts. I'm afraid this is general and not really in the MT way, but there are so many variables in play here that it is almost impossible to anticipate where you are.


Rich Sheehy's picture

For change to stick it must be reinforced. Coaching, where both parties develop and agree to an action plan and Feedback is used to make gentle course corrections. Learning is a process. Constructivist learning principles build on previous experience and knowledge to develop new behaviors. Depending on the amount of change required it will take time as the old behaviors are unlearned and the new behaviors take their place.

PierG's picture

I think all the MT 'practices' should encourage such a behavior: delegation and feedback more then others.
And ... it's a long way that leads to trust among parties.

Steve Howell's picture

If I had the same problem I think I might ask myself how I was setting the expectations of my directs' performance.

First thing I would check was thier roles & responsibilities. If I had spelled out specific tasks they had to perform, and what I wanted them to do was not listed then they have a valid point.

If I had listed what they were responsible for and indicated how their achievement was to be measured, then it would be time to dust of the DISC model and give some feedback - "When you fail to meet your areas of responsibility heres what happens...."

Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

Reward when you want and disincent what you don't want (within union rules).

Union shops are a GREAT place for positive feedback trumping negative because unions so often write the rules and have NONE covering positive feedback. Further, negative feedback, nice-as-pie delivered, is hard to argue with as well. Though they might.

Feedback. Coaching. Delegation.

And stop worrying about them "owning" their workplace. Union workers privately feel that they DO own the workplace (in very good ways, I might add). So don't argue that. You're using ownership in a way that they would say means "do it management's way". Neither is wrong... just different measurements, not worth reconciling.