23 Jan 2018 What I’m Doing Versus What I should Do
When logisticians are confronted with this question, it is legitimate for them to question how they manage their team and use their time. Often, we realize that there is room for improvement. On the one hand, we allow the current situation to continue and possibly deteriorate, or on the other, we can take a step back and question ourselves. Basically this observation will be based on these three aspects: 1) the relevance, or absence of process causing this situation, 2) the technological tools in place, or not, allowing me to measure the performance and finally 3) on the team in place and its motivation to change and correct the situation.
It is common for logistics managers facing all the constraints of the world to start offsetting themselves for work that is not theirs. Rather than asking themselves what they do versus what they should do, they get bogged down and do not finally, find a work pace that will allow them to grow.
In order to start a change, it would be quite interesting to step back and start building an approach based on the following elements:
1. Building a team that will be motivated to change and will want to maintain that pace.
2. Then develop an information infrastructure that can ensure progress by measuring performance and making the necessary corrections.
3. Finally and just as important, set up a team that will be motivated by the recognition of performance. This recognition will have to be immediate and based on a continuous presence of the leader who will maintain this wind of change.
The solutions for the first two elements are quite abundant and the methods to put in place are numerous. The third point is crucial and more difficult to do because resistance to change is colossal. Let’s discuss some points:
The immediate structure
How many people should we manage directly in our structure? This is to be able to spend time with them every day to accompany them, coach them, review their objectives, represent them with other departments, define the technological support tools they need, compose and define the teams. According to the fact that a member of the team should meet daily with his supervisor, the answer would be from 4 to 7 people maximum. That said, these 4 or 7 people will in turn manage a maximum of 4 to 7 people and so on up to the workers. Thus, with only two hierarchical levels a director can manage and influence 50 people working under his orders. Note that this structure can be applied to all companies from the president level down.
What amount of time should we spend with each member of our team? At the beginning of a major change, one to two hours per day for each person on the team is required. First, let’s not forget that this person will have to receive the change, understand it, accept it and eventually transmit it to its structure. The director of this structure must be a champion and possess and master all the necessary arguments. In addition, through effective measurement of progress, immediate feedback will be required which in turn will take an enormous amount of time for the manager to accompany the change. The leader will, if required, do and demonstrate the work itself to be convincing.
An assessment of progress
How often will we measure the progress of the project? An important element in judging the relevance of the change approach, is to be able to measure the progress of the performance of the process or the change itself. At first, it will be necessary to reflect on the relevant measure and on the means to put in place to achieve it, then it will be necessary to define the frequency of measurement and communication to the team members. The more frequent the measurements are, the more the positive feedback associated with the results of the change will be strong, relevant and engaging.
Ultimately, what will be important is to take a step back and ask yourself the following question: Do I compensate for the employees of my team, not motivated, not competent and not knowing why they should change so I’m not doing my job, or should I change my approach, and do my job, get closer to them, accompany them and show them their progress, thereby creating a pleasant environment, filled with challenges by promoting the individual and allowing them to grow.