Any Manager Can Bring A Pizza
I was talking with someone last week about the turmoil in their job. Her workplace has been flipped over tremendously as a result of new management taking over the day-to-day operations of a group home in the healthcare industry.
The manager in charge as well as their shift managers have cut back on staff and force-fed a schedule that provides less than adequate care to the residents and increased workload on the staff. In addition to other changes, the overall attitude of these changes has been communicated to the staff “We’re making these changes, and you’ll just have to deal with them.”
In recent weeks, there has been major exodus of staff. The management is not hiring or filling in the gaps in shifts. They are calling daily the staff on their off days to fill in the shifts. Many of the staff refuse to answer the barrage of texts and voice mails they receive each week.
The management, trying to save face, said that they would bring in food to show there support for the staff. This woman’s colleague, as she related to me, told her that they shouldn’t bother. “Anyone can bring in a pizza, even I can do that. We need them to roll up their sleeves and help us fix this mess.”
A leader knows what his or her people need at any given time. They know how to truly support the jobs at hand, and ensure that their people have every needed resource necessary in which to do so. They toil endlessly to get those resources and even become the resources, sometimes even by rolling up their sleeves, to care care of the day’s orders.
This is a classic example of what I call “Managing from the shotgun position“. Like the football play, they stand back away from the action and pass or hand off the ball for others to charge ahead with. They become removed from their people and what is really happening on the front lines.
As in the woman’s situation, staff become disengaged, distrustful, and then start to remove themselves from the organization. Those that stay become overburdened with what’s left in the field.
Customers, clients, staff, and vendors need leaders to be engaged and part of the team. They need to walk in the door and join in rather than ring the bell and hand off a pizza, hoping or expecting that all goes well when they walk away.
Managers make token gestures. Leaders bring lasting results.
Managers bring in pizza. Leaders bring in themselves.