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WorldLine Training

Cracking Hard-Line Management Issues

Have you found yourself taking the hard line in production management, from both sides of the fence? Were you subjected to hard-act tactics once upon a time? Did you come up through the ranks learning that the only way to stay on top was to keep people down?

Plenty of friends share your situation. I've met switched-on, deep-feeling managers who really struggle with the paradox of what they've learned by rote, up against the demands of today's working environment. Who love their job, are loyal to their company, but just don't know what to think when it comes to the people they're employed to look after.

Retaining personnel can be a tough call with attrition high, morale low, and communication leaving a lot to be desired. Staff turnover is expensive and in wanting people to be happy here, you could find yourself wondering which way to turn. Turning things around, however, demands of you to be hard on your habits and go easy on yourself, for a change. You can have the cake of change and eat it, really - in fact taste-testing is a prerequisite! Usually, we are hard on ourselves and let habits run riot. Add good Reasons and positive Currents to butter the collective mood - it's a tried and trusted recipe for Excellence.

Not to over-egg the pudding, the engineering environment is full of under-rated people - with managers ranking the intellect of their employees according to positional status. Alongside this big mistake comes erroneous language... do be careful with terminology! Low-hanging fruit ripens in orchards. Plebs = people outside 15th century aristocracy - I guess we all fall into that camp. 'Production' isn't a separate species; often the office staff are first to complain of secular divisions. Employees want to increase their sense of worth in relation to themselves and the company - wishes now paramount as society recognises mental health as a basic need and engagement earns essential points of focus.

As a manager in this evolving scenario, you need to grow happily and healthily along with everyone else. Knowing what engagement means is one thing - getting to grips with how to achieve it is quite another! Mistakes are okay, they're great opportunities to learn how to do things better and let others in on the problem-solving process, for people love to talk through issues if they can do so unafraid of harsh consequences. By encouraging these conversations, you'll find yourself;

a) acknowledging people more positively and

b) finding new ways to approach long-standing issues.

Ask a few tough questions of yourself as a first port of call:

"Is it good to take the hard line as standard practice?"

"What am I doing to morale by bawling out employees in front of others?"

"Do I visibly appreciate best-practice enough?"

If you're keeping in mind someone other than yourself, tread carefully in posing these questions but they do need to be asked, for changes in attitude are seminal to the growth and development of your company.

Beware of shark-infested waters under the surface of your management system by the way - they are often there, stirring undercurrents you don't want. Strive for innovation involving everyone; a slow-burn is only to be expected. Allow yourself to grow beyond the confines of conditioning - they tend to remain visible to everyone except ourselves. And keep faith in grass-roots personnel, chosen to be there and destined to be with you now.

You're a good person with a brave heart who wants to do well by the company you love, with an opportunity right here in your hands to excel in engagement and alignment - your new approach to management could make the biggest difference in its history. The truth is out there, as within - you are definitely not alone.

Check out WorldLine's Page for useful articles and insight.

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