How would YOU Handle these 3 Management Problems?
Over the years, I have coached leaders confronted with management problems that sometimes conflict with the very ethics that a company proclaims. I admire most people who are managers. They are hardworking, stuck right in the middle of an organization and bombarded by customers, executives, employees, shareholders, and vendors. When things go well, employees or executives most often get the credit. When things go bad it is the managers who are blamed. I empathize with them. Managers, collectively, do make the biggest impact on a business’s success. At the same time, they can step up their game and help minimize the impact of the daily whirlwind. Check out these problems–how would you handle each one?
Certainly, the most important thing to do with a problem is to get on it. When you neglect a problem it tends to get worse. Likewise, you leave the potential for learning and a breakthrough untapped.
- A manager’s team was behind on most goals. Then he caught his top performer stealing. If he let this person go, results would suffer more, and his job was on the line. It is time to decide, what would you do?
- Another manager learns first-hand from customer complaints about a defect in one of their company’s best-selling products. He researches the issue, identifies a pattern across the organization and documents his findings. He brings it up to his boss, who listens and says she will take care of it. Nothing happens. The manager brings it up two more times and no feedback. Problems and complaints are increasing. What is the next step?
- While business is decent, a manager’s boss raises some prices, cuts employee hours, and reduces expenses across the board to improve profits. Managers are expected to pick up hours to fill out the work schedule. He also starts mandatory half-day manager meetings on Saturdays to plan, redirect, and learn how to win. Essentially, he beats people up for a few hours. All managers are told this will continue until results improve. Now what?
Considerations for Handling Management Problems
In dealing with any management problems keep in mind these guidelines:
- Define the issue clearly by gathering all the facts you can-reports, customers, employees, or other managers.
- Review your company policy if one relates to the situation.
- Ask, what are my options and potential outcomes? If appropriate include other people in identifying this.
- Ask, what is the right and prudent thing to do, not necessarily the expedient thing to do?
- Then, act as soon as possible.
- Follow-up and reinforce.
Remember this quote by philosopher Meister Eckhart, “The price of inaction is far greater than the cost of making a mistake.” In summary, how we handle management problems is about our character. Dr. King said it eloquently, didn’t he?
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