As a Manager, Be Open to Changing Organization's Culture

By Michael Cowley  
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: Tips for Building a Better Maintenance TeamPt. 2: This Page

Now, the interview process is complete, and the applicant is a full-time employee. We have been running along for several years, but things do not seem to be as good as they could be with your team and organization. What do you do now? The next important component for developing a great team is being able to locate lost opportunities in the team's overall performance. Focus on these items:

Work audits

  • Can you measure objectively how your team is performing?
  • What kind of performance measures or scorecards do you have in place?
  • Can you measure productivity, quality, and timeliness of assignments?

Customer surveys

  • How do the people you serve feel about your team's performance?
  • How do outsiders feel about your team?

Personal performance appraisals

Managers should perform an appraisal on everyone annually, and more frequently for probationary employees. They should be done before raises and promotions, as well as after any significant change in performance.

Changing Behavior, Culture

Now you come to the stage that most people agree is most challenging — changing the organization's behavior and culture. You need to lay out a path and vision for taking your team to the next level. This is challenging because your ability to be the best leader you can be will determine your success.

Remember, it is your job to provide the direction, training, and motivation needed to make these changes a reality. You need to set the vision and create a new, exciting future for your employees. Consider these strategies:

  • Lead, don't follow. Set the example, and be the example.
  • Go before, not with or behind.
  • Set the vision.
  • Be part of the solution, not part of the problem.
  • Communicate the vision and culture. Live, eat and breathe it.
  • Set the goals for the organization.
  • Operate with discipline and accountability.

Team building takes time and dedication. It will not happen overnight, so lay out a master plan, make assignments for who is going to do what, follow-up and review often — do not let it become the program of the month — constantly update your vision, and always strive for non-stop, continuous improvement.

Finally, expect a great deal from your people, but when you get what you expect, reward them.

Michael Cowley, CPMM, is president of CE Maintenance Solutions. Cowley provides maintenance training, coaching and consulting services to facility and manufacturing organizations nationwide. He is a frequent speaker at national facilities management conferences.

Agree? Disagree? Have something to say? We want to hear from you. Visit myfacilitiesnet.com/MichaelCowley, and "Start a Conversation."

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  posted on 4/25/2013   Article Use Policy

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