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Merv

Team Building

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Am in a relatively toxic workplace that produces good results despite being poorly managed for decsdes.  So some egghead has observed the high absenteeism and general dissatisfaction and decided to act by allowing time for extended lunches or go to the movies etc.  

Problem is people refuse to buy into it by not attending and criticise those who do. Decades of bullying doesnt disappear with s few insignificant bribes.

Personally I'll just eat the free burgers and act like i care👍

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In my old job the moral was rubbish. 

Then our boss took 12 months off, we got a new boss and everything turned around. 

He was awesome.  Actually talked to the team. Rather than never being around and blasting everyone when the smallest Susie happened. 

A team can improve so fast with the right leader. 

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3 hours ago, Merv said:

Am in a relatively toxic workplace that produces good results despite being poorly managed for decsdes.  So some egghead has observed the high absenteeism and general dissatisfaction and decided to act by allowing time for extended lunches or go to the movies etc.  

Problem is people refuse to buy into it by not attending and criticise those who do. Decades of bullying doesnt disappear with s few insignificant bribes.

Personally I'll just eat the free burgers and act like i care👍

IF it is toxic, turnover would also normally be high. IF so, that is when exit interviews are very valuable. Usually employees that are leaving give some very rich feedback, and if it is about the leadership, hopefully you would expect those higher to act.  Nothing worse than working in a piss poor environment. 

We had some bright spark once who decided everything would be fixed by having a weekly bar-b-que for staff to interact and to promote team building. Unfortunately, everyone just came out to grab there sausage in bread and then retreated back to sit at their desks. 

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37 minutes ago, Peter said:

Rather than never being around and blasting everyone when the smallest Susie happened. 

I'm not familiar with that expression 😉

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36 minutes ago, Prince said:

IF it is toxic, turnover would also normally be high. IF so, that is when exit interviews are very valuable. Usually employees that are leaving give some very rich feedback, and if it is about the leadership, hopefully you would expect those higher to act.  Nothing worse than working in a piss poor environment. 

Unfortunately it's usually the 1 up manager that gets to do the exit interview. He's not going to pass any message up.

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2 minutes ago, Ex-Hasbeen said:

Unfortunately it's usually the 1 up manager that gets to do the exit interview. He's not going to pass any message up.

I would have thought this was an HR role? or maybe their only important role...

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47 minutes ago, pieman said:

I would have thought this was an HR role? or maybe their only important role...

our other important role is sacking people....thats my favourite thing to do. bring a box pieman...

It is a HR Role normally as i wouldn't trust a manager to pass it on, nor is the employee likely to open up.   I also always tell the employee that i will not share it until they are out of the building. 

For example, i had two resignations this month. The exit interviews have been the catalyst for my director to finally look at the General Manager's behaviour as well as improving our benefits package. Nothing like being woken up by someone leaving who the director didn't want to lose.   I have also put an indicator for turnover into this Managers KPI's now.  

The other 'important' thing is to do 360 degree performance appraisals on managers as well as employee surveys, though generally even it is negative, convincing the powers that be of the potential consequences is difficult.  

Edited by Prince

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1 hour ago, Prince said:

our other important role is sacking people....thats my favourite thing to do. bring a box pieman...

It is a HR Role normally as i wouldn't trust a manager to pass it on, nor is the employee likely to open up.   I also always tell the employee that i will not share it until they are out of the building. 

For example, i had two resignations this month. The exit interviews have been the catalyst for my director to finally look at the General Manager's behaviour as well as improving our benefits package. Nothing like being woken up by someone leaving who the director didn't want to lose.   I have also put an indicator for turnover into this Managers KPI's now.  

The other 'important' thing is to do 360 degree performance appraisals on managers as well as employee surveys, though generally even it is negative, convincing the powers that be of the potential consequences is difficult.  

I'd never have guessed... 

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Culture and leadership are funny things to watch.  Seen a great culture lead really strongly by a great owner of the company - employees with bad attitudes had no hope.  Seen a great culture ripped apart from one bad decision in management appointment.  Seen great leaders become utter failures against stronger cultures.

Never underestimate either and don't make the mistake of thinking you need to wait for something to turn it around.  Could be your chance Merv - step up and become leader by proxy, the name badge and the paycheque will surely follow soon after

 

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8 hours ago, Prince said:

IF it is toxic, turnover would also normally be high. IF so, that is when exit interviews are very valuable.

Never had an exit interview at any of the companies that I've left over the past 20 years or so.  

 

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You really cant win.  After a recent lunch, one person who refuses point blank to participate in any gatherings, made a complaint for not being included.

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2 hours ago, Cottoneyes said:

Culture and leadership are funny things to watch.  Seen a great culture lead really strongly by a great owner of the company - employees with bad attitudes had no hope.  Seen a great culture ripped apart from one bad decision in management appointment.  Seen great leaders become utter failures against stronger cultures.

Never underestimate either and don't make the mistake of thinking you need to wait for something to turn it around.  Could be your chance Merv - step up and become leader by proxy, the name badge and the paycheque will surely follow soon after

When I got my job, there were 3 of us in Qld, all at the same level. I had previously been the junior of the 3 by far (they were both Engineers & I'd come from the technical ranks). Management decided to let us run as a group with no real team leader. That lasted a year, then they asked who wanted the role, with no payrise. I took it.

A few years later, and the team has grown to 12 with the increased workload, and the official placement & payrise followed. I've picked my whole team myself now, and the managers of the other regions all envy my team. I'm also now the lead regional manager (both others were regional managers well before me) and do the National role when the GM is away. 

The moral to this is what Cottoneyes has said. Take the role & the paycheque will follow. And culture is just as important as the leadership. I picked the team based on what I needed, and what I wanted the team to be like. 4 of the staff were formerly working for me in design areas, and I knew their work ethic. Every other starter got through after extensive conversations with their previous bosses. 

Edited by Ex-Hasbeen

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Simon Sinek is a great read / watch to get some ideas on how to turn culture around.  I've seen alot of his ideas put into a sales team in the past which really turned the culture and then the results of the team around 180.  He's just one of many, but I find his message seems to get through quite clear

 

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13 hours ago, Merv said:

You really cant win.  After a recent lunch, one person who refuses point blank to participate in any gatherings, made a complaint for not being included.

I'd performance manage them out asap.

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This is why I have contracted for the past 10 years ... I am Employee of the Month, every month.

As to morale and team building, in my latest role, we have done 2 outings .... one was a colleague who had a (fairly run down, but safe) boat on the Thames and we took it for a spin to the pub. Another was a guided walk-through of Highgate Cemetery .... I have never seen more people connect as subtly as they did, even in the pi$$ing rain. 

Sometimes it's the left field options that bring people together....  

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in some circumstances it may work

find it hard to believe a bullying.toxic culture that has been built up over several decades can just disappear with a few little bandaid fixes.  Most the managers arent supportive of any team building fear of repercussions if something were to go wrong.

 

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We're throwing tend of thousands at this. I told the powers above me that we would be better served paying the same cash into operationally essential equipment that we are dangerously short on.

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From my perspective, every leader needs to find what motivates each individual and use that to improve culture (along with many other things). You would be surprised that most people are NOT motivated by $$ when they are really challenged on this question.

I have had staff that thought they were they for the $$ (which to a certain degree we all are), but after really digging, they would much prefer to start late on a Thursday and finish a bit later so they could drop the kids at school once a week (that was very easy to implement and cost the company $0). Others were motivated by being included on discussions affecting team performance, having a longer lunch break to allow them to exercise etc. Really easy to do, and culture improved.

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Daughter had a company staff development day y'day run by a former fighter pilot.  They were all given an aircraft type (she got an A10 Warthog, which is a tough as nails ground-attack jet) and they had 60mins to plan an attack.

I'm proud to say she was the only A10 pilot who did not get shot down 😲

 

 

 

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