SitePoint Sponsor

User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 41
  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard Wolf_22's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    1,700
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Unhappy First-time Manager Questions

    I'm in an internship where a manager is nominated every semester of the year. I was nominated last semester, interviewed, and promoted.

    So now I'm the manager, and I am in charge of 5 people now not counting myself. Since I've started this, it's been a real pain in the rear. Since we do a lot of work for non-profits, it's hard to be with my team at every minute making sure they're doing their work. I've had some of my team members complain about how my office door is usually shut, and I've had others complain about how they don't have the keys to their office doors. I've told them that the reason I've committed to both is due in part of:

    1.) Anti-theft
    2.) Operational Integrity
    3.) Communicational Awareness/Retention
    4.) Simply because "I said so".

    While this has been/is an issue amongst some of the team members, it's also worth noting that we've had problems with setting up a content filtering server (proxy to block out porn and whatnot). Since we've started work at a local agency, we've spent about 3 weeks trying to get a computer lab setup with this filtering mechanism; it's taking too long.

    I'm not sure if it's because of overall difficulty of the project for my team of interns of if it's because they are juicing it for what it's worth simply so they don't have to worry about other projects (like working in a basement refurbishing computers).

    My question is this:
    Is there a way to get on them (verbal warning?) without feeling like I might be making a mistake? Personally, I know close to nothing about networking, and I know very little about server-rights administration. SO, how am I supposed to get on one of them for not getting a project completed if I'm not sure that it's really them to begin with (because we all know about the halo affect: they always work when I'm over there supervising them...)? They always tell me that they know how to do it...

    Any help from some professional management here is very helpful. I'm thinking that I'm just going to have to play the bad/mean manager card to get things moving.

  2. #2
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    in transition
    Posts
    21,236
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    "Can you explain to me why this is taking so long? This project is overdue."

    You have to delegate in order to be an effective manager (you can't do everything yourself obviously), but you also have a right to know what's going on, especially when things are going wrong in a project. Ask them to explain it in terms you can understand. Even if you don't know the full technical details, you should be able to help them plot some course of action.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Enthusiast BaldEagle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    37
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My perspective comes from a military background, so might not be suited to you.

    The first move I would make is to re-examine your policies. Yes, some policies are written in stone, but it can be helpful to make the employees feel like they are part of the solution not the problem. Doesn't mean they should always get their way but once in a while they need to feel as though they can come to you and expect that you will not only listen but actually accept and utilize their input. If personal doors are locked or not locked for security reasons then there are much bigger issues in your workplace than your immediate problem. If it seems to them that you do not trust them, how can you expect them to trust you.

    Be their leader not their manager. They are adults, they can manage themselves and should be trusted to do so at least until they prove otherwise. What they require is leadership. Use your power to influence them without making them frightened of your power over them. As vinnie has said, encouage them to keep you abreast of their progress such that they are proud of what they are accomplishing as well as to ensure you understand what their problems are and what obstacles impact the timeline.

    Share in their enthusiasm and reward them when it is warranted. I am not saying you need to be their friend, quite the contrary in fact. They have friends and you have friends, this is work. You are in charge. In the end you are responsible for the final outcome and since you need to rely on others to reach your goals it will behoove you to make the team environment as pleasant as possible. Have them take a small amount of time and create a timeline of their particular assignment (BTW they need to have well layed out definitive assignments at least until you are comfortable with their abilities to manage themselves in more chaotic environments). Then each day or two update it so you know at any given time what the status is and where you can and need to intervene. You can even designate one of the others to do this for you and receive the update from one person. I personally prefer group sessions. Also use your power to delegate (vinnie again). It will give them a sense that you trust them and also a feeling that they have a vested interest in the outcome. Encourage them to be problem solvers not problem creators.

    Lastly, study. Learn a little about what your charges are doing so that you can converse intelligently with them. It will make them feel as though you are genuinely interested in what they are doing and not just covering your own butt.

    Some folks are lucky in that they are natural born leaders. But anyone should be able to learn leadership skills. You were chosen to lead them. So lead.

    I am confident you will figure it all out in due time. Examine and learn how to apply your own style of leadership to any given situation and you will be just fine. Never underestimate your employees because as soon as you do, one of them will have your job.

    Good luck to you.
    BaldEagle
    If you can't be bothered to come see me while I'm alive
    don't bother when I'm dead!
    Question: Lived here all your life? Answer: No, not yet.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard Wolf_22's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    1,700
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    "Can you explain to me why this is taking so long? This project is overdue."
    We had a pseudo meeting the other day inside the computer lab that they were working on, and I asked them this exact same question and they couldn't give me a straight answer because they don't know themselves. The predicament I'm in too is that we've already hired out amount of people to work with us, and these guys were the ones who "knew most" about the networking/server stuff.

    ...but it can be helpful to make the employees feel like they are part of the solution not the problem.
    Your right. I try to make them feel like they're doing a great job when they do good things. For instance; when they get done with a project (or at least do better on one), I'll tell them that they're doing a great job, and I'll try to shoot the wind with them for a few minutes. I'll then tell them again that they should be proud of themselves and to keep kicking butt...

    Personally, I don't feel that I should have keep my door open to supplant trust in them. If they have a problem with me keeping my door shut, then that is simply something that they have to deal with. I'm not they're to hold they're hand here. Besides, it's not like they can't send me an email, come knock on my door, or ask me to come to them if the need arrises. You shouldn't be able to just walzt into your supervisor's room.

    Be their leader not their manager. They are adults, they can manage themselves and should be trusted to do so at least until they prove otherwise.
    I would say that one of them has proven otherwise because the very first day that we began work, one of the guys that appears to be having issues with the computer lab called into our information technology office and impersonated myself when he called. I had to give this guy a verbal warning due to this.
    ...And I disagree with you saying that they're adults...

  5. #5
    SitePoint Addict Troy1960's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    GA
    Posts
    320
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    So what is a leader?
    What’s a leader? A leader is defined by someone who has the ability to gain willing cooperation of others to accomplish a common goal. Leadership is all about the “willing” part. John Maxwell says, people have to know you care before they care what you know.

    Go to Amazon and order a book now. You need to get good perspective of what's going on. I suggest John Maxwell. First off people don't like change. You say your a new manager and secondly I'm assuming you've only been in this role for a short period of time. No matter what people say, they want structure. They want to work in a place where the rules don't change from day to day. The want to know that their boss is approachable and is willing to actively listen to any problem that may be going on. Listening is not nodding your head why your still typing away at your computer. Then again you need to show them that every problem they have they don't need to come running to you. Empower them to make decisions that can be made on their own. Don't scare them into thinking that if they make one bad choice on a whim that they'll get another write up. Teach them though when they have a problem they need to bring their solution with it. If Billy Bob next to him is bothering him have him suggest to you what you should do about it. If a client needs calls and need a solution and he needs your approval allow him to suggest the solution.

    One thing that you said was "I'm the boss, and I said so" that mentality is the worst mentality to have. Going around telling everyone your the boss is a lot like a lady going around and saying, I'm a lady. Obviously not if you've got to remind everyone.

    You need sit down and map out what your going to try to do. What are your goals for you and your team? They got to know that your on their side but at the same time they can never get too comfortable around you.

    When it comes to projects your people have to get them ready in time. Timeliness is no doubt important. With your projects you have to make sure your team has enough time to finish them. Put up a project tracking board or have your team members e-mail you daily to figure out what they have completed in that day. A daily e-mail is far more effective than walking in their office every ten minutes saying "whatcha doing, whatcha working on?" Follow up is extremely important. They have to know that they need to communicate project statuses to you and your going to make decisions from there.

    I hate meetings more than anything in this world, you know why? Because there not effective. People don't pay attention. One person goes on and on about how we're going to improve. The meeting leader will discuss basic information that everyone knows they are suppose to do anyways and they will talk about them like they are brand new ideas. No one gets motivated and two days later everyone is back to the same ole stuff. Now to contridict myself you need to have meetings within your organization. This shows that you want to have an open forum about what's going on. Have everyone report what they have done within their AORs (Areas of Responsiblity) (Create one of these if you don't have one already and post it on a communication board) Everyone from the janitor to the CEO has to be mutally accountable. The rules apply to everyone. When the CEO comes in late to work because he knows that he's the boss what image is he putting out there? That the rules don't apply to me.

    I suggest doing DAPs on people. Developmental Action Plans. Be direct. If they suck, in private, tell them hey you aren't doing good. IF there awesome hell tell them in front of everyone. With a DAP you should list five items that they suck on and five items they do good on. Give them a timeline to finish and clear up the items they suck on. When those five are now a habit then give them five more. Try to dap your employees once or twice a month. Be direct. People like honesty and people like knowing where they stand. We've all worked at a place that we felt like we did a good job but no one ever said anything. Knowing you matter will change your mindset. Knowing your important makes you arrive to work five minutes early and get started. Thinking you don't matter makes you dread going to work. Spend five more minute watching tv while your putting on your shoes.

    What you want to be more than anything is a player-coach. You want to help score the points but at the same time you want to coach and develop the staff around you to do well. You've got to throw out the rule that you need to treat everyone the same. You in fact need to treat everyone differently. People are dynamic. Different things motivate different people. People just want to be appreciated. When your folks do a good job let them know. Catch your people doing something right. You talked about writing them up when they mess up. When would you ever think about writing them up when they do something good. Make that a part of their permanent file.


    Every organization just needs more PRE-PLANNING. I live by this saying,

    "Timelines and step by step expectations. Everything starts yesterday!! Today it should be perfect!"





    Gunwallet.com- Digitally backup vital gun information.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Enthusiast BaldEagle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    37
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You have received three responses that in general seem to be attempting to drive you in the same direction. There is a caveat here, a caveat there, but for the most part I think we all agree at least in principle. I do not wish to belabor the issue but I do have a few questions. How were they managed (lead) before you? Did that person allow them to act as they are now acting? Were they considered a problem prior to your taking the reins? As Troy already stated, change is hard for creatures of habit, especially if they do not see the benefits that are attainable due to that change. Of course your leadership should fill in the blanks for them. It may take a bit of time, hopefully not too long. It will be important that they see your changes as a good thing for them and not just for you.

    As for your door, I meant not to imply that you swing your door open and allow them to have unabated access to your private work space. As long as they know you have an open door policy they will most likely come to accept it being closed if that is your desire. You can have the door open and still command the respect due your position by insisting on and enforcing the rules of office etiquette.

    I will commend you on your handling of the impersonator. Had it been me, he would be be in the basement refurbing computers as we speak. His actions were completely disrespectful of you as a person as well your position of authority. Cannot and should not be tolerated. I would probably be too harsh. A verbal warning was probably the right choice for the first offense.

    In some ways your dilemma seems to be exacerbated by the fact that you may have personnel unequipped to handle the jobs they were thrust into. If this is the case, then you might want to knock on your supervisors door and have a little discussion with him/her.

    I cannot tell you exactly how to get this group to respond. You can be lax or you can drop the hammer on them. You have to decide what will work for your situation. In fact both approaches might be necessary. You may find yourself shifting gears from time to time, just don't make it your style, but instead make it a solution to a particular problem.

    Lastly, I do not know you, nor do I know exactly how your employees feel with regard to this matter. It appears to me that perhaps your style tends to lean toward authoritarian. Perhaps a bit harsh. I am not trying to suggest you are a tyrant. Authoritarian styles can work given the right circumstances. If this is your style, you can almost always expect a certain amount of unrest within the group, perhaps not as a whole put there will certainly be pockets here and there. I may be way off, as I am basing this on a few stray sentences and incidents of which I know I do not have the complete picture. Evaluate your own style and ask yourself, "Why am I not effective?" It just may be that as they must change so must you as well. Not only do you have to create the best team possible but it is also your responsibility to groom them for advancement into management positions. What type of manager would you want to work for? Be honest.

    In the end, I am just some guy rambling on about things for which I probably have no business advising you on. You cannot go to your boss and blame failure on me. Likewise, I should not receive credit for any success you enjoy. What actually occurs falls squarely on your shoulders. Ironically your fate is in those kids' hands to some degree. I believe you know how you should treat them, what you seem to be seeking is the fine art of balancing styles with personalities. It will come with time and experience.


    Just as a side note: Troy spent a great deal of time addressing organization and accountability. While it may not be your savior, the lack of it will most certainly lead to your downfall.



    {EDIT} In some ways I envy you, at the same time I'm glad I'm not you right this minute.
    BaldEagle
    If you can't be bothered to come see me while I'm alive
    don't bother when I'm dead!
    Question: Lived here all your life? Answer: No, not yet.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard CLKeenan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    1,266
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    wow- this is some great reponses (baldeagle and troy). Great reading material. Thanks for that.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Zealot
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    SF
    Posts
    110
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Smile

    With a degree in Business administration, minor in MIS and Psychology, also had chance to be in a leader position, even thou it depends on the culture of your company, I personally thing you need to do a few more thing to be effective.

    1, Most company wants to maximize profits, but again depends on the corp’ culture, but most would want to get the work done. If you can’t get the work done, they are wasting your company resource and you know what to do.

    2, Interpersonal skill is important, u need to communicate with every single one of them, you also need to have meeting with all regularly. Need to know why and understand what’s the root problems to have solutions.

    3, Lack of recognition is 1st why people leave work in America, so make sure you recognize their hard work and award, but not abusing and wasting resource

    4, Follow the need's pyramid, high pay or higher over time pay may not be what they really want, hence communicating s important.

    5, Using soft and hard system approach.

    There are a lot more reasons, but for now, that’s my 2 cents...
    Maternity.com Ultimate Source for Expecting Parents and Parents

  9. #9
    SitePoint Addict
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Grand Junction, CO
    Posts
    292
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If your employees are looking at porn and stealing from you, then you need to fire them and hire good people.

    Managing isn't about making people do their work. It's about letting them do their work. I'm not entirely sure what you're working on, but consider what a programmer needs for a project - comfy desk and chair, fast computer, air conditioning, coke and little debbie snacks, version control server, etc etc. If he had everything he needed, he'd be happy as a clam hacking away. All these things that get in the way of him hacking are problems that you need to solve. Your job then is to solve all these problems that get in the way of letting him do his work.

    edit: Of course that's assuming that your employees would get their work done if they had everything they wanted/needed. Your first job is to find employees like this, and fire all the ones that aren't. Then you go about removing their obstacles.

  10. #10
    Umm. PHP Guru....Naaaah jaswinder_rana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    canada
    Posts
    3,193
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Can you tell
    "What is the reason, employees say, to not finishing the project on time?"

    was it a problem on your side? if no, then be a bit harsh. If yes, try to rectify it.

    Now, i dont have much knowledge about these deep matters, i hate management and marketing etc bad but true.

    But, if i was working somewhere i would like my manager to be a BIT friendly. And as far as open door thing, if you are there then i dont know why you should not open the door. Ofcourse it'll be closed if you are not there. If you consider your office, where you work as a manger, your private space, then why not they should do the same and work on their leisure and i think that is what they are doing. Not finishing projects on time.

    People follow their leader. So, if you do something, which you think is right, then why should others not do. Changing yourself is first step before changing others.
    ---------------------------
    Errors = Improved Programming.
    My Site

  11. #11
    SitePoint Addict ikabon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Philippines
    Posts
    231
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    i think you are in getting-to-know stage so you can work out your differences then once it was worked out you'll have a better chemistry as a team. just my thoughts.

  12. #12
    SitePoint Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Poland, Gdansk
    Posts
    63
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Let us start from the beginning. Perhaps due to localisation differences I do not understand everything:

    1. Are your team members employees or are they volunteers?
    2. Anyhow, have they ever been through similar project before? Or indeed, they know how to refurbish computers in basement and same as you do not know much about networking.

    Question of the open / shut doors - here there is possible compromise: 90% of working time doors should be open, 10% may be closed, if you are really unable to concentrate on problems.

    I manage small team and for me there is no problem to work in common room together with people, but one of the team members will HAVE TO close doors, if want to think over any more complicated thing. And this is the 10% in separate room with networked computer. It is a reasonable solution to get the work done and without complains about exploding head etc.

    Good luck :-)
    Basia

  13. #13
    SitePoint Wizard Wolf_22's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    1,700
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by ikabon
    i think you are in getting-to-know stage so you can work out your differences then once it was worked out you'll have a better chemistry as a team. just my thoughts.
    I think your right.

    Question of the open / shut doors - here there is possible compromise: 90% of working time doors should be open, 10% may be closed, if you are really unable to concentrate on problems.
    I somewhat agree with you too.

    The thing is that the people that work with me are interns of a campus I attend. These interns are "managed" or "supervised" by yet another "lead" intern; me.

    I feel that we've had a rocky start because:

    1. We have been moved from an office to another.
    2. We have undergone supervisorory changes.
    3. We have undergone departmental dislocations (being shifted from one department to another; we WERE a part of the "Office of Information Technology", but are now a part of something else that I still have yet to fully understand... ).
    4. Have 4 new interns with 2 veterans covering up to 60 local agencies.
    5. Have very little experienced professional assistance due to vast budget cuts.
    6. Have little supplies and weak infrastructure as it took us up to a month of getting 2 email accounts setup with privileges to our "main" database.


    So as you can see, we've been through a lot. Despite these foul-ups and hurdles, we're still getting a lot done...

    For example, we've had a program created at a local agency where we accept donated computers and parts, refurbish them, and then distribute them amongst the underprivileged. Since the previous semesters, nothing was getting accomplished. However, since I've taken the helm, we now have a moderate amount of bi-product happening. I'm not trying to "blow smoke up my rear" or anything, but I have done a good job with my team I feel. I'm also very proud of them. It's just that sometimes it gets pretty hard when my own supervisor neglects us at times (not to mention occasional issues with my team).

    As far as the whole door situation goes though, I see both sides. I can understand why someone might think it prudent to maintain a flow within the office that says "Hey! Come on in!", while I can also see the side that says "Yeah, I'm kinda on the phone... Come by again later...". Me, I prefer a closed door, however since I'm open to suggestions and comments at any time, I've told them that despite my door being closed; I'm always open. All they have to do is knock.

  14. #14
    #titanic {float:none} silver trophy
    molona's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    from Madrid to Heaven
    Posts
    8,024
    Mentioned
    211 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf_22
    ...I've told them that despite my door being closed; I'm always open. All they have to do is knock.
    Even if that's the case, if it was me I would feel that my boss is there for me when I need him, that I am interrupting something important...

    None of my bosses closed the door, unless something very important was going on and they needed to concentrate to find a solution. It just makes you look unaccessible, no matter what you say. It doesn't help to build trust.

    It may look silly, but it says a lot about your style and what it says is not good, even if you are the most helpful person on Earth.

  15. #15
    Umm. PHP Guru....Naaaah jaswinder_rana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    canada
    Posts
    3,193
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I agree with molona. A Boss's locked door suggests, keep away, dont bother me no matter who you are. Stay out of bounds.
    ---------------------------
    Errors = Improved Programming.
    My Site

  16. #16
    SitePoint Addict Troy1960's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    GA
    Posts
    320
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Keep that door open as much as possible. Doesn't sound like you have a safe in this office nor do you have any money. If there is something of great value you don't want bothered then lock it up somewhere else this way you can keep your door open. Office work should be completed in early morning or late day fashion. This way you can be active and work at other workstations and move throughout the facility.
    Gunwallet.com- Digitally backup vital gun information.

  17. #17
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    2
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Unfortunately, I think you have been put in a bad situation by the people who are above you. There is a variety of different types of influences or power that managers can have including expert power, positional power, and power that comes from how much respect people have for you. Position power often means very little as far as motivating employees. As you said, you have very little expert power in this situation so the very last thing I think you should do is criticize your people for something you dont even understand. This will only cause them to become more upset. I think your only chance is to develop better communication between you and your workers. I think your biggest mistake is having your office door closed at any time. They need to be able to come to you to ask questions, report problems, etc.

  18. #18
    SitePoint Zealot Christiano's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Belfast, North of Ireland
    Posts
    153
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    An anonymous overservational questionnaire would suffice in letting you get into how they view work. Meaning, the questionnaire would cover how they like working for the company and what they like/dislike about the work place.

    If you get valuable feedback then act upon it and assess the results. I hope this works out, though.
    Innovative Design and Development Services
    Design: XHTML - CSS - Photoshop CS - Flash 7 - Illustrator
    Development: Java - JavaScript - PHP - MySQL - .NET - Struts 2

  19. #19
    SitePoint Evangelist
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    485
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf_22
    I'm in an internship where a manager is nominated every semester of the year. I was nominated last semester, interviewed, and promoted.

    So now I'm the manager, and I am in charge of 5 people now not counting myself. Since I've started this, it's been a real pain in the rear. Since we do a lot of work for non-profits, it's hard to be with my team at every minute making sure they're doing their work. I've had some of my team members complain about how my office door is usually shut, and I've had others complain about how they don't have the keys to their office doors. I've told them that the reason I've committed to both is due in part of:

    1.) Anti-theft
    2.) Operational Integrity
    3.) Communicational Awareness/Retention
    4.) Simply because "I said so".

    While this has been/is an issue amongst some of the team members, it's also worth noting that we've had problems with setting up a content filtering server (proxy to block out porn and whatnot). Since we've started work at a local agency, we've spent about 3 weeks trying to get a computer lab setup with this filtering mechanism; it's taking too long.

    I'm not sure if it's because of overall difficulty of the project for my team of interns of if it's because they are juicing it for what it's worth simply so they don't have to worry about other projects (like working in a basement refurbishing computers).

    My question is this:
    Is there a way to get on them (verbal warning?) without feeling like I might be making a mistake? Personally, I know close to nothing about networking, and I know very little about server-rights administration. SO, how am I supposed to get on one of them for not getting a project completed if I'm not sure that it's really them to begin with (because we all know about the halo affect: they always work when I'm over there supervising them...)? They always tell me that they know how to do it...

    Any help from some professional management here is very helpful. I'm thinking that I'm just going to have to play the bad/mean manager card to get things moving.
    supervising /managing is easy... but sound principles are rarely followed.

    first off, treat others the way you want to be treated. do you like it when you feel you have a legit concern and your boss says, "b/c i told you so?" why don't you like that? is it disrespectful?

    do you like it when you aren't trusted and your boss assumes the worst about you? no? so why do it to other people?

    understand that your job is like their job - a j-o-b. you *are not* better than your team. you *are not* higher than your team. your job is to manage their team, not get off on some ego gratification by being mr PHB. i *know* everyone else does it wrong, "just b/c they say so," which is why when i manage people we kick their behinds with results.

    engender pride in your team. give LOTS of positive feedback that's deserved. ask for a status in a nice, professional, respectful way. ask for input from your team. let them know everyone prospers or sinks together.

    let them know that business is what matters and treat folks fairly and equally. i had to write up a good friend for doing something wrong - just like i wrote up folks i wouldn't consider "good friends."

    *never* write up people unless you *know* and can *prove* they've done wrong. then wirte them up *every time*, consistently. you would be plenty mad getting written up for something you didn't do, wouldn't you? you wouldn't respect a person who did that to you, right? that person wouldn't be worthy of respect, would they?

    do you want to be worthy of respect or do you want to be one of those people that disgusts the people that do the work?

    almost all managers are poor motivators b/c they think about themselves first, second and third... and likely have no time left to consider anyone that works for them. when you treat people like pawns in a chess match, they know it.

    how about treating people well and trusting them until they *prove* they can't be trusted?

    how about rewarding good behavior and met deadlines? how about encouraging people to reach peak effectiveness and bragging about your team in front of your boss - so they can hear (as long as it is deserved - don't be phony).

    follow the golden rule and you will be okay. ignore it and become a bottom feeding PHB. it *really* is that simple. working on a team and kicking b*tt and taking names is an awsome experience. i hope you get to enjoy it one day - but it won't happen unless management can motivate out of sincerity.

  20. #20
    SitePoint Addict Troy1960's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    GA
    Posts
    320
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    *never* write up people unless you *know* and can *prove* they've done wrong. then wirte them up *every time*, consistently. you would be plenty mad getting written up for something you didn't do, wouldn't you? you wouldn't respect a person who did that to you, right? that person wouldn't be worthy of respect, would they?
    If you write me up I know it's because your trying to get a paper trail on me to fire me. Writing someone up every single time they mess up isn't not the answer. Communicating every single time a mistake is made is a better answer. A manager is quick to write up an employee when they mess up but then again how many times does the one in charge make a bad call or error? When a team makes a mistake does the manager write up everyone, including themselves?
    Gunwallet.com- Digitally backup vital gun information.

  21. #21
    SitePoint Wizard CLKeenan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    1,266
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm a marketing intern at one of the top 5 web hosting companies in the world. The only person who has a fulltime office is the president; even two of the co founders dont have their own offices. My boss is the Marketing Director and he is in the cubicle right next to me. As an intern I'm working here for the learning experience just as much as the money. I would hate having to knock on my boss' door everytime I had a quick question. It really hampers productivity and the sense of a community if everyone is locked up in their own office.

  22. #22
    SitePoint Evangelist
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    485
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Troy1960
    If you write me up I know it's because your trying to get a paper trail on me to fire me. Writing someone up every single time they mess up isn't not the answer. Communicating every single time a mistake is made is a better answer. A manager is quick to write up an employee when they mess up but then again how many times does the one in charge make a bad call or error? When a team makes a mistake does the manager write up everyone, including themselves?
    you bring up excellent points. i assumed some things that might not be self evident given the state of the average PHB.

    1. the offense is worthy of write up in the first place. i'm not saying write up every little minor incident. sorry for not making that clear. common decency and reasonableness are key.

    2. the write up process should *not* be a dressing down. rather, it should be a building up. during the process, reiterate the tools/processes necessary to be successful. i told everyone i wrote up that 1. their job wasn't easy and they need to respect it, 2. everyone (including me) makes bad decisions every now and then - the smart folks learn from them, 3. you are smart, so learn, 4. consider this a strong cup of coffee - a wake up call, as it were. 5. respect your job.

    i quickly learned that the least likely person to make a future bad decision was the one i just wrote up. that's why i started taking my whole group aside when a bad decision was made (to not properly respect their work) and i told them flat out - "i'm not worried about the person who made the bad call, i'm worried about everyone else."

    we worked the night shift and, after 6 months, our error rate was 1 in about 70,000. this was about of our company's average and our company was better than the industry average. the sane employees loved working for me. they *knew* i was on their side, but they also knew there were rules. as their supervisor, i'd take out their garbage to support them and keep them productive. they knew they were the best and the enjoyed being the best.

    yes, you need to know what a writeup offense is and then communicate it to everyone up front. you need to provide them tools and processes to be successful. you need to support your people. you need to build them up - even when forced to write them up.

    i only had to write up one person twice - and he was totally out to lunch due to personal problems. ordinarily, he was a fantastic worker, but his head was not in his work - and that spelled disaster for this kind of detailed work.

    of course, you have to support your people, too. the day supervisor accused one of my employees of doing something bad and, since it was a writeup offense, he expected a writeup. i investigated and proved his investigation was shoddy and that it was likely his shift made the error, so i didn't writeup my employee (low probability she did it, but possible). i cared enough to investigate right, my counterpart didn't. of course, i reiterated the importance of keeping focused w/o blaming her for this error.

    you are correct, if people don't sense that your are a decent, up front person, writing up people will likely do net damage. since so many folks aren't too decent, this is the norm.

    but, make no mistake, if you are decent and treat people the way you like to be treated, you can still do it by the book and be very, very successful.

    one group i worked with was probably the best in the world at what they did - and that's on the night shift. when we left at the end of the week, we held every single production on every line 50% of the time (the other 50%, we held every record except one) and no other shift did that once in 6 months. iow, we did it 13 out of 26 weeks while our 3 competing shifts did it ZERO times total. not only that, our wrong part error rate (1 in about 70,000) was around 10-15% of their error rate - even though they were substantially less productive. yes, we mostly had to fix their errors - and we still spanked them. we gave them effectively no errors to fix and, yes, we still spanked them.

    i changed shifts, took 2 guys with me (out of 8 associated with generating production), and increased production 15% in 2 weeks. in dollar terms, that's about $20-25 MILLION in marginal revenue per year.

    to the credit of my old shift, my new shift *never* again held every single production record again... and to the credit of my new shift, my old shift never held every single production record again. my new shift was #1 in productivity and my old shift was a very close #2 (remember, i did take 2 guys from my old shift).

    then again, i was the *only* supervisor carrying out the trash so my guys could be more productive.

    btw, i wrote up more people than every other supervisor combined (we didn't start out at 1 error in 70,000 on either shift - it took work).

    i only had to let one guy go b/c he couldn't think straight due to personal issues. he knew he was responsible and was sorry he let everyone down.

    doing it right works when your head is right.

    like i said, not too many people have their head right.

  23. #23
    SitePoint Addict
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    281
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I don't want to lead you the wrong way, but if the people you are looking over are not following rules then just cutting heads.

    Raise your voice a bit, tell them "GET TO WORK AND STOP WHINNING ABOUT MY DOOR BEING CLOSED"

    stuff like that

  24. #24
    SitePoint Wizard Wolf_22's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    1,700
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have to admit that they aren't complaining about it much anymore. They've been doing a great job lately as I saw some of the work they've completed.

    I'm a marketing intern at one of the top 5 web hosting companies in the world. The only person who has a fulltime office is the president; even two of the co founders dont have their own offices. My boss is the Marketing Director and he is in the cubicle right next to me. As an intern I'm working here for the learning experience just as much as the money. I would hate having to knock on my boss' door everytime I had a quick question. It really hampers productivity and the sense of a community if everyone is locked up in their own office.
    Personally, I feel it's these "quick questions" that hamper productivity, but sometimes these questions just simply have to be asked; which is why I told them to simply knock or send an email or even call my office phone if need be. Lastly, don't let me come off as jaded... I don't ALWAYS have my door closed. It's just that I prefer to have it closed when assignments have been handed out and when they are busy things or on-site.

    I don't want to lead you the wrong way, but if the people you are looking over are not following rules then just cutting heads.

    Raise your voice a bit, tell them "GET TO WORK AND STOP WHINNING ABOUT MY DOOR BEING CLOSED"

    stuff like that
    I would love to do something like that, but I don't think it's needed. Honestly, I was thinking about rigging my door with a claymore... Maybe that will help...
    HAHA!

  25. #25
    SitePoint Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Poland, Gdansk
    Posts
    63
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have read your second post about the whole organization turmoils around you and your team.
    My main suggestion is: relax. Do your job best you can, help and protect your people and write down each step, you have moved forward in all this mess, just to have prepared material for final report. Half year would pass away and the most important is not to be forced to visit psychiatrist afterwards. The team before you has not completed their plans, perhaps your team will not finish everything, perhaps everything will not be finished even two years later, wether you are good or bad project manager. Of course, you may work on your project management and interpersonal skills, and it will be your pure profit from this job.
    Relax and good luck :-)
    Basia


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •