Saturday, January 30, 2010

To See or Not to See...

I met with an organization the other day that was concerned about the performance of its supervisors and second level managers. According to the company, these supervisors and managers where missing deadlines, not participating in meetings, avoiding "people problems" in their direct reports, and generally showing no innovation. The morale throughout the company was poor. The opinion at the top of the organization was that the performance was the result of poor training. That's why they came to me.

The company wanted to hear my ideas for training. But before I started, I asked for a tour of the facility. During the tour, I asked them questions about their product, their processes, and anything else that struck me as we walked around...with the exception of training. What I learned was that the company had just recently announced the acquisition of another company in a different state. They told me, rather proudly, that they only had one meeting for the employees and that was about 5 months ago. I asked about what they covered at the meeting and they said that they tried to keep it simple and only gave out "what the employees needed to know." Specifically, the company told the employees that the acquisition should be complete within the year and that it "shouldn't" affect the jobs at this location. I learned that the meeting was not attended by the President of the company. Rather, the VP of Human Resources lead the meeting. I would later learn that there was not generally a good relationship between this HR person and the rank and file.

Do you wish to guess when the performance issues started to show up?

More tomorrow...

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