A conglomerate’s purchase of a small food packing company in the southern U.S. was beginning to look like a losing venture. Ten top managers were sent to the site, but production issues persisted, with staff showing no initiative or perceived interest in resolving long-standing management issues. Touring the site, Dr. Maddalena noticed the majority of employees were women with minimal education. When approached, they avoided direct eye contact and offered little response to questions while they adjusted and cleaned their work areas. With low turnover at the site, many of the women had never worked anywhere else and had formed strong friendships among co-workers.
Keeping the plant open, improving bottom-line results and maintaining a stable workforce.
Give the workers a greater role in the production process.
DR. MADDALENA’S SOLUTION
“Partnering with the on-site management team, we created a training program appropriate to the skill level and interest of the women who might be encouraged to move into leadership roles. A free seminar was offered on Saturday mornings for six weeks. Only three women attended the first session, sitting in the back of the room, some with their chairs facing away from the front. We continued: each week a few more women attended. As participants began to respond to the program content, they learned to identify and apply natural leadership skills. Gradually, a core group of women consistently attended the weekly programs, Coaching to address issues involving friends who are co-workers and develop a self-confidence to explain their plans and actions. After six months, the first woman was promoted to Team Leader: a company first.”
Morale and productivity showed continual improvement. The company’s culture changed as the women demonstrated a new approach to management. The seminar was taken over by a local college extension service, making the program available to men and women from this company and others.
Encourage those doing the work, to lead.
The term ’empowerment’ may bring a grimace to some employees; everyone knows that it means more work. Sharing the power means being accountable.
Why do some staff members embrace the idea of greater accountability and others reject it? More importantly, how do you encourage those who seek safety by avoiding responsibility to accept greater accountability?
MTM will guide each person to explore the benefits of being accountable. Through training, workshops and an open forum, your staff will learn how they can achieve their personal goals and satisfy work demands more effectively by taking an active role and showing commitment to success.