Hello MT and followers,

I'd like to request help in crafting a message regarding the relative value an organization places on people time. I recall hearing Mark talk about this eloquently in a podcast years ago, though I haven't been able to find his message in my MT website search. 

What methods have people used to share this message in a way that avoids offening people? 

For some backstory, I've heard some third party feedback that individuals are drawing a conclusion that their time is viewed as less valuable than my own, from a couple recent choices I made regarding a set of interviews.  I want to be able to communicate our org places relative values on our time, while we also see each individual as highly valuable and important to our team. 

We values ideas/feedback regardless of who they arise from, while also ascribing relative value of people's time. In practice this means we evaluate ideas and feedback from interns and from senior team members, and spend time responding to them all. We also value the CEO's time more highly than any others time in the org, and that scales between levels/roles in the company (reflected in both salaries and bill rates). 

I'm also curious if the MT crew and community approach this differently than I've described, and if they do, why.

Thank you for your time,


SeaGal2015's picture

Hi there,

A couple of thoughts sprang to mind. Keep in mind it's hard to judge without more details:

1. I hate to generalize, but are these Millenials, by chance? Of course, not all Millenials behave that way but it sounds a bit entitled to me, frankly. There's a great book out there called Managing the Millenials that I highly recommend. Nobody should be questioning your time decisions as a manager, unless they are blatantly affecting everyone's schedules and/or are a very drastic change out of the blue - in which case, it seems like you could address it quickly and move on.

2. Speaking of, I'd address it in your next team meeting. Nothing too long or intense, just, "Hey guys, I know that recently I had to shuffle some things around to interview a candidate and I apologize that it affected everyone's time. That's not how I like to do things but it couldn't be helped. I'll be rescheduling X meeting next week to make up for it. Thanks for understanding." BOOM, done. Don't mention it or apologize for it any further. But obviously, don't make a habit of cancelling things on them. If you're doing that, it could also be why you're hearing this.  

3. About idea sharing: how effective is your idea submission process? I ask this because my company just revamped ours, and it's working well because it's a.) extremely simple, and b.) management is bought in from the top levels down. It's good you're responsive, but are many ideas perhaps getting thrown by the wayside without much feedback as to why? It seems your organization encourages ideas, though, so that might not be the issue here.

Honestly, it's always hard to hear that employees are saying unfavorable things about you but it's going to happen. I feel like the best thing you can do is address it in your team meeting and leave it there. Not everyone will like or understand your management decisions, and that's not in your control. One of our ICs is currently not speaking to me because I didn't include him on my project team, and for good reason: he's insubordinate and constantly contradicts directors (he feels he should be one of them) in spite of repeated coaching. He's not my direct, so I'm done coaching him and done working with him unless absolutely necessary. He scowls at me in the halls; oh well! 

adelbalso's picture

Thank you SeaGal for the feedback. It's great to hear other managers approaches!