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------------------------ POP QUIZ! --------------------------------
Meetings are one of the key tools for teams to get work done in their organizations. Reflect for a few moments on what you have learned in
this chapter; then ask yourself the following questions:
1. In what ways do your employees find meetings useful in your organization?
2. What do you do to prepare for meetings? What do you expect from others?
3. Howdoyoucommunicateyourexpectations to meetingparticipants?
4. How do you ensure that meetings achieve the intended goals?
5. Do you have too many meetings, too few, or just enough? How could you improve?
Discipline and Corrective Action
IT'S A NEW WORLD OUT THERE . . . Discipline and . . .
How it helps managers correct employee performance.
Discipline isn't a dirty word.
Focusing on employee performance instead of personalities.
Dealing with performance issues versus misconduct. How to discipline employees.
Looking to the future.
Every manager dreams of a workplace where every employee does the job he or she was hired to do and does it well. Of course, in the real world, your employees will make mistakes, and some will sometimes exhibit poor attitudes. While everyone makes the occasional mistake, when your employees make repeated, serious mistakes, when they fail to meet their performance goals and standards, or when it seems that they’d rather be working anywhere but where they are, you will need to discipline your employees. Why?
First, employees who aren’t doing the job cost your organization more than do the employees who are. Poor performance and poor attitudes directly and negatively impact your work unit’s ability to be efficient and effective.
Second, if other employees see that you’re letting their coworkers get away with poor performance, they will often follow suit, decreasing the morale and performance of your entire work unit as a result.
In this chapter, we explore the importance of dealing with employee performance issues before they become major problems that can impact your entire organization. We’ll find out why it’s important to focus on performance and not personality and discover how implementing a consistent system of discipline can work for you.
WHAT DOES DISCIPLINE MEAN TO YOU?
What does discipline mean to you? What does discipline mean in your organization? Is discipline a positive experience in your organization, or are employees always on pins and needles, afraid that they may be the next one to feel your wrath?
The Management Bible
THE BIG PICTURE
John Thomson Chairman, Thomson Industries, Inc.
Question: Are there times when patience can make a big difference in a challenging situation?
Answer: Definitely. One time we decided to acquire a product group from one of the largest manufacturers in the world—General Motors (GM). We had heard rumors that they were going to try to spin it off, and i always said that we should be in that business. Finally, our president came to me and said, "I'm getting nowhere; what do I do?" And I said, "Well, I would write to the chairman of General Motors and ask him if this is in fact true." And he said, "Well, I'll never hear from him." So we wrote to him, and someone further down the ladder responded to us. Eight months later we got a call from a large New York investment banking firm saying that the product group was going to be spun off by GM and asking if we were interested in a package. We got a packet and found out that we were one of about 100 respondents that had expressed interest in buying this group—from Fortune 10 companies to small, private entities. It took close to 10 months to negotiate the contract and negotiate the deal, but we knew we weren't going to win in a bidding war. But we tried to put our team together and have the patience to work with GM, which was quite frustrating. And we waited and waited and competitors dropped out or were eliminated by GM or by Solomon and, at the end of the day, we ended up winning the right to purchase this particular product group from GM. Right down through the last week, a Fortune 10 company tried to pressure GM into selling to them. And GM said no—that we were the right fit. And they were obviously trying to buy it by intriguing them with more cash. So the patience paid off.
Question: How does growth impact your team?
Answer: I'm proud of how the company's grown, and we are becoming a global company. We have operations now in Singapore and Malaysia and England. One of the things I'm particularly proud of was a real team effort. It spawned out of the acquisition of the products group from General Motors. Our team was able to figure out and put together a concept that no one else was able to develop and bring a product that was priced way out of limits down to where it was a viable contract for General Motors. What started out to be a three-year contract has run 10 years now, making actuators for their antilock braking system. And out of that, we became a supplier of the year for General Motors for three consecutive years so far. General Motors has 30,000 suppliers, roughly, and they choose approximately 150 per year out of the 30,000 on which to bestow this honor. We are one of the 30 that have won it three times in a row out of 30,000 suppliers. That was a total team effort from start to finish, from inception through winning the award.