Happy Fourth of July from The Imperfect Org!

Just a really quick Happy Fourth of July to everyone!  Hopefully, this is a day off for you, a time to regroup from the toils of your organization and the organizational development process as it is for me!

Tomorrow is another day, another opportunity to come back and face all the issues that challenge us and our organization.

So please enjoy today, the 4th of July that so many men and women gave (and are still giving) their lives for this country! That we may have the chance, the freedom to appreciate time with loved ones or even the opportunity to regroup, today by ourselves.

So from everyone here Happy 4th of July!

“Lead your staff to a new organizational culture!” -The Imperfect Org

In this article “Lead your staff to a new organizational culture!” by Marcella Bremer talks about managers acting as leaders in an organizational culture, and turning into transitioning into three different roles as a manager:

  1. Mentor
  2. Facilitator
  3. People-oriented leaders

The article lists various strategies for the manager to follow to become the type of leader that an organization’s employees need. The article also briefly discusses the use of the Clan Culture concept and focus upon the employees by the manager.

How to manage conflict, bridge performance gaps effectively and engaging employees are significant challenges that managers face but creating culture change is even more of a challenge. This article will give the reader, the manager, a starting point to begin this arduous and tasking process.

For more information regarding this topic just click on the link:

http://www.ocai-online.com/blog/2011/04/Lead-Your-Staff-To-A-New-Organizational-Culture

Why Learning & Development is connected to Organizational Development (YouTube video) -The ImperfectOrg

This is a link for a Youtube.com video by David Smith that explains how and why Learning and Development is linked to Organizational Development. The video is moderate in length 12 minutes long but it details the many things that are common in Organizational Development and how it can be integrated into training (Learning And Development).

This author has combined a various group of graphs and diagrams that assist in presenting his view why different models and systems can assist core competencies in an organization.

Here is the video called : “Learning & Development = Organizational Development” please click the link here:

Happy viewing and learning from the Imperfect Org!

“Using Behavior modification methods to increase employee effectiveness”

Managers are almost always aware when their employees treat them as that parent who “nags,” harping about employees low-quality scores or performances. Since this is a common theme among various organizations, managers should understand why they are not getting the workplace results they believe their employees can warrant.

From a Behavior modification standpoint, managers can increase the desired behavior or workplace performance by identifying the gap between the current and preferred performance and behavior. Raymond Miltenberger characterizes in his book “Behavior Modification, Principle and Procedures,” that “Behavior deficit is a desirable target behavior the person wants to increase in frequency, duration, or intensity” (2008, p.5).   For example, a manager and employee may desire to increase the number of quality accounts processed in a day.

“The major goal of behavior modification is to replace undesirable behaviors with acceptable ones. An underlying theme is the belief that how people react to an object or event can be modified by learning”.

By introducing behavior modification in the workplace, managers create new avenues and tools to interject and bypass the undesirable performances and behaviors to get to achievable results.

Set expectations

The lack of well-established expectations are one of the main reason that employees and managers do not see eye to eye.

Waiting until employees make significant errors in performance or behavior is not the time to set an expectation.  Expectations are to be laid out like the foundation for a new home.  Believing that employees will follow the rules just because they know how to perform does not equate to the desired performance and outcome being carried out by the employee.  Before reprimanding employees for not doing what, you expect them to do, please save time and do yourself a favor and make it clear what you desire from your employees.  Hopefully, this will lessen the blowback if that difficult conversation is necessary for future conversations.

Do what you say you will do

As in most situations that include children as well as adults, it is necessary to not only establish expectations but the consequence as well.  Alone, a threat is not an indicator of behavioral changes to come.  Without consequence, change is not eminent.  Until it is applied and felt by an employee, they will consistently perform the behavior that you as a manager will most likely find unacceptable. Now, that is not an instruction to “crack the whip,” but it should encourage you to set consequence along with expectations plainly.

Measure Performance

“No matter your method, the process of behavior modification starts by identifying a behavior you want to increase and the circumstances around it. There must be a measurement of the desired behavior/performance, to receive a clear distinction between what is and is not acceptable.  To obtain measurable results, review and watch the performance for about three weeks before you begin to measure the desirable performance.  Carefully gathering data beforehand that will paint the picture of the type of performance or behavior your employee is rendering, and reveal the sort of behavior or performances that are not acceptable.  Once established, you as well as the employee will have clear indicators of the baseline (where you are starting from) and the progression towards the projected desirable behavior.

Celebrate wins — punish fails through Reinforcement

“A commonly used element of behavior modification is positive reinforcement or a reward system. An example of positive reinforcement is giving a child a hug when she does a good job or providing money for good grades. Negative reinforcement, which takes something away to reinforce good behavior, is also an effective tool to modify habits or other behavior”. An example of negative reinforcement is eliminating an employees’ ability to work from home (they must now come into the office) because of low-quality assurance and performance scores.

Celebrating the wins can come in a package such as an end of the year bonus, through gift cards, adulation, titles, promotions, days off, etc. Whatever it takes to motivate the sort of behavior you desire inside your organization (of course within reason) should be utilized to ensure that other employees recognize the consequence of desirable behavior.

Punishment

“Behavior modification can also discourage unwanted behavior through punishment, which can also be positive or negative. In this theory, the term positive refers to something added — such as a consequence. An example is placing an employee on a verbal warning for being late to work. “Negative punishment is when something is taken away, such as the removal of video games if chores have not been completed.”

Punishment is not an avenue to berate an employee.  However, the performance that is not up to par needs to be handled successfully to ensure more of the performance and behavior you desire.

Do you want to see more of that performance that you and your organization desire?  Well, begin to teach employees how to gain the attributes that are necessary to be successful through Behavior modification.

Retrieved from http://www.livestrong.com/article/105661-behavior-modification/

Miltenberge, R.G.  (2008). Behavior Modification, Principle and Procedures  4th ed(.). Wadsworth: Belmont CA.

 

 

“Positive Psychology” – Reinventing the wheel in your current place of employment.

Clear communication in large organizations is not easy to obtain, but it’s not a lost cause.

Many have felt it at one point and time or another, the disdain for the hierarchy or corporate ladder. To be seen or heard you must climb, obtain a notable title and then bam! You now have the mic.

But what if climbing the corporate ladder does not intrigue you? Or perhaps at one time, it did interest you, but after competing along with many others for that one glorious position, you decided your current position is “really not all that bad.” You may have even questioned, do I need that “upper management” pressure, anxiety, and stress?  Are the label and pay worth it?

Trends indicate that many employees leave an organization much faster than they did in the prior generations. Disgruntled, impatient, position oriented, or just looking for something new, many either change positions within their current organization or leave them all together.  Although that may be the “key to happiness” for some, it is not always a good idea for others.

If you can’t just leave your current position or role for whatever reason perhaps using Positive Psychology and staying right where you are may be a viable solution.

Positive Psychology is the scientific study of the strengths that enable individuals and communities to thrive. The field is founded on the belief that people want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, to cultivate what is best within themselves, and to enhance their experiences of love, work, and play”.

There are many ways to cash in on the benefits of your current employment, here are a few tips how:

Bring your education to the current workplace

We live in the day and age of education.  Just about anyone can obtain a degree at any time or any place.  It is almost that simple.  Therefore why not take that degree and put it fast to work, you may be pleasantly surprised. A creative art degree can be utilized in the workplace as well. I have witnessed individuals turn our work environment from dull gray cubicles to representing just about every season and holiday possible.  Something as simple as adding color to the workplace can do wonders with lightening the mood and spirits of staff members.  Therefore do not say, you cannot use that “basket weaving degree,” with a little creativity, you most certainly can!

Expert in your field

Being an expert in your area or field appeals to most people’s pride.  It is one of the main reasons they seek to move up in organizations.  But what about using that expertise and staying right where you are? Understandably enough, some move up for greater pay, but if moving up or pay is not an option, and you cannot leave your current role, why not use that time to become the most valuable and knowledgeable member of your team?  It never hurts to be that “one,” that everyone can go to for consistent, efficient, and accurate practices and information.

Paid Time off (PTO)

Are you a parent that has young children?  Are you single but love to travel?  Do you have an ailing spouse or parent, and thus your time off is valuable?  Well if so, please consider that remaining in your current position may be your best bet at having the necessary time off to achieve whatever your objectives may be.  Leaving your current role may also mean leaving all that time off you have accrued as a result of being with your current company for a length of time, so please think twice before leaving.  You may be gaining more pay, but fewer days off.  The extra time off (even for mental days) may be your best gamble.

Insurance

Nowadays it is almost impossible to drown out all of the talks that have centered on the “Affordable Care Act.”  There are many in government who would love to replace it.  No matter where you stand on this argument, if you have been employed for some time now, chances are, you have healthcare sponsored by your employer.  Taking off for that self-employment dream may leave you with an inability to manage medically.

Are you on medications that you cannot afford to pay out of pocket?  Are your children or spouse on your insurance and need healthcare benefits as a matter of preventive care?  Please stop to consider that leaving your current employer before transitioning into a new role may leave you out there with nothing.  For many individuals, especially in life or death situations, this is simply not an option.

Yes, you currently have a job!

Excuse my sarcasm (if there is any to my tone), but yes, you have a job.  Many people wish they had a job or they may be picketing for better pay, better insurance, and better hours.  Well if yours is not all that bad, you may just want to stick around a little longer.  Leaving your current job prematurely may result in you being out of work and someone else valuing the benefits you did not realize or comprehend that you had.  Therefore before signing off for what you don’t know, you may want to stick around for that in which you do.

Retirement/401K

Those who have been at a place of employment for a significant amount of time has a retirement fund or benefits.  Yes, those funds can be transferred to another company. However, it is possible that if your next employer is offering a retirement plan such as a 401K, they may not match as much as your current employer.  Therefore yet again, you could be out of more money because you will have to contribute more money from your paycheck that your current employer matches.  The difference between 2 and 4% adds up, especially if it’s being deducted from your paycheck. Does that defeat the purpose of leaving for you?  Well, it is possible that it can work in the long run.

If all of this sounds like garbage to you, think again.

Focused Meditation can center your thoughts and mind. Something as simple as focused meditation can calm you enough to see the brighter side of things and help you endure a little longer until it is feasible for you to make your move.  So breathe, meditate or whatever else you have to do.  You may find that the situation that you think is bad is not all that bad, once you relax and opt to find the benefits of your current job.

Question to consider:

How can you benefit by using the practice of positive psychology and remaining at your current place of employment?

Reference

Gateways-to-Inner-Peace. (2017). Retrieved from http://www.gateways-to-inner-peace.com/focused-meditation.html

Positive Psychology Center. (2017). Retrieved from http://ppc.sas.upenn.edu/

 

 

“Do no harm?”-The Imperfect Org

When was the last time you were given a set of instructions or protocol from an authority figure inside the workplace only to find yourself thinking, “Wait, that doesn’t seem fair to our customers!”
When you had this illuminating thought, what did you do about it? Did it scar your conscience? Did you question your manager or simply go with it, because hey, you were obeying orders right?
“Stanley Milgram…conducted an experiment focusing on the conflict between obedience to authority and personal conscience.  He examined justifications for acts of genocide offered by those accused at the World War II, Nuremberg War Criminal trials. Their defense often was based on “obedience” – that they were just following orders from their superiors (McLeod, 2007, para. 2-3).
Miligram, tested his obedience theories by having one participant (the teacher) administer shocks to the other participant (the student) anytime the student could not recall words from a list they were asked to remember. Unbeknownst to the teacher, the student (who was in on the trial), was not receiving shocks.
The teacher was encouraged to continue increasing the voltage in order to shock the student with each word the student could not recall. Despite the teacher feeling this was morally wrong, and despite the fact they were harming an individual (so they thought), they continued to shock the student, simply because they were encouraged to do so by the authority figure (the man in the white coat-the experimenter) who was supposedly recording the results.
(McLeod, 2007).
Results rendered
  • 65% (two-thirds) of participants (i.e. teachers) continued to the highest level of 450 volts. All the participants continued to 300 volts (McLeod, 2007, para. 16).
Why did the teacher, who visibly displayed discomfort with each shock given, and the student, (who cried out in agony, although he was not really being shocked) continue with the experiment?
 “People tend to obey orders from other people if they recognize their authority as morally right and/or legally based. This response to legitimate authority is learned in a variety of situations, for example in the family, school and workplace” (McLeod, 2007, para. 18).
Should organizations take an oath?
“Psychologists take reasonable steps to avoid harming their clients/patients…with whom they work, and to minimize harm where it is foreseeable and unavoidable” (APA, 2010, 3.04).
Should organizations take this oath?  To blindly follow a leader to the detriment of a customer is “doing harm”.  It is the perfect recipe for failure as customers slowly learn and pass the word about the company’s quality of service.
Does it matter the sort of organization you are employed with? My answer, is no.
My advice? Rally around your manager or team members to create the sort of organization you can believe in.
The next time you are tempted to follow company policy when you know, it’s ethically or morally wrong, think again. You will have a job one more day, but you have to wonder; “Should my organization take an oath”?
References
APA. (2010, June 1). Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/ethics/code/index.aspx
McLeod, S. (2007). The Milgram Experiment. Retrieved from http://www.simplypsychology.org/milgram.html

The Workplace – Is it really a job or a Revolving Door? -The Imperfect Org

No sooner than employees join the organization than they are leaving and walking right back out of the door.

Before this takes place, my observation has been that these employees enter the company, happy, hopeful, even to the degree of applying for other roles and positions, to hearing within two to three years they have had it and that day, is their last day.  Another employee “bites the dust”, and exits the “revolving door”.  These employees also seem to dote on their new job roles and higher positions with other organizations. I celebrate, then ponder just a bit.
So I ask myself, am I at a stalemate? Have I compromised? Have I worn out my welcome? Have I stayed too long?
I am genuinely happy when I hear of these employees finding something new and seeing the joy on their faces.  Pure elation.
But while hearing of their great news, my thoughts ponder and morale decreases each and every time I hear that another employee, that has only been employed there for 2.5 years, is now walking out the door.
And then I decide to settle my conscious with “self-talk” (1996, Stoop).
This is only my “current situation”. Possibilities are endless. My time will come.
Have you ever felt this way?
Stoop, D. (1996). You are what you think. Grand Rapid, MI: Revell.