Monday, October 13, 2008

On Discipline

As I was moonlighting as a manufacturing supervisor an interesting issue came up. Often times union contracts will have supposed "deadly sins" usually there is a number associated with them i.e. 8 deadly sins (we have 12 I think). Supposedly these are violations of company policy, law, or simple good conduct that would not have a requirement for progressive discipline. Usually fighting on company property and harassment are on there as well as others depending on your company culture.

There is a fine line between being a jerk and harassing people. I am not sure many people would even be able to define where that line is. My definition is when a person's behavior creates an intolerable/unsafe/hostile environment for another employee. When someone has been talked to about being a jerk to more than one person, it should shoot up red flags in supervisors minds. Maybe he gets one get out of jail free card (they should still record the incident though), moves and acts like a jerk so much that again it is brought up to a supervisor. Now, I would say you probably have harassment of some sort going on. When you throw in employees moving to different shifts or crews this can become infinitely more complicated. Honestly, I would hate to tell supervisors to not use disciplinary discretion with their employees. If supervisors believe it is a one time thing or just a bad mix of personalities I can see some coaching going on to fix the situation. However, if it happens over and over with different supervisors you are asking for trouble as an organization in the form of broad harassment claims from multiple people.

So there you go blue collar supervisors. Some form of documentation allows your brethren to put the pieces together later if they need to while no documentation may keep a jerk on the job longer than necassary. I personally like problem discussion forms. They also help organize your thoughts before you talk to the employee. Get over the fear of "putting something in his/her file". In the end that is what it is there tell you the past of the employee. In other words CYA.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Development Obsession

I have been absolutely submerging myself in development and training literature for the past few days. I am wondering if I am getting a little obsessive about this program I am creating. Today I created a draft leadership competency model for my organization and began to create a developmental model using a mix of 360 degree feedback, goal setting, mentoring, and classroom curriculum. Right now, I think I am at the point where I can shop this for input from various leaders. Then it is just a matter of figuring out how to sell this thing.

Part of me is wondering if I am getting too into the details. I am so new to the organization that I don't feel like I can create those lines that get specific decision makers ears perked up. I also need to re look at the proposal and decide what the most important parts are to include in some sort of future presentation to the executive team. That is all after I see if it is even feasible for the local community college to get involved as facilitators of the classroom part of the curriculum. If you have any questions about my whole process at this point let me know. I might post the whole plan once it is complete just for kicks.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Leaders Made not Born

A quick one to stir up some thought. The age old question of whether leaders are made or born has always struck me as quite asinine. While there may very well be people who are more outgoing or have a higher aptitude in leadership type tasks, people never seem to think about character when they bring up this question. True leaders are servant leaders and it takes more than a silver tongue and charisma to pull that off. Leading by fear and lies can only hamstring an organization in the end. To me, the real question is whether you are born with character or it is made within you. I think that most people will agree that character is a product of experience and upbringing rather than being born as some sort of shining light. I could not follow a leader without a good amount of character. Maybe when I was young I might have, but as I get older and gain responsibilities of my own I want to know that I will be taken care of and my efforts will be rewarded. If you look at your leaders and do not respect their character my advice would be to run as fast as you can away from the situation. A person like that cannot be convinced or persuaded past their own ambition and will leave you in ruins without a second thought. Better to take less money and be happy (although I believe you can have both). I have been blessed in my life to be surrounded by people of character...not perfect, but good. If you aren't surrounded by these types, you might want to re-evaluate your situation.