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Hi Everyone! I'm new to MT and look forward to hashing out ideas about issues us managers encounter on our daily work.

I started O3 with my 10 directs in July. Overall they have been very successful. I've had to modify, reschedule and change them around based on everyone's schedule since my directs are part timers, some are in NC and others in GA, and one of our main services is to go on-site to our clients so I have a lot of directs out on the road at various times during any given week.

The problem I'm encountering is that my boss has approached me about the O3 meetings with my directs. He is skeptical of them as he wants to see results yesterday (high D!). Being that we have a lot of part timers, the schedule at the office changes too and some people need to leave early due to childcare or if we do not have a lot of appointments in a given day, he feels everyone should work faster and go home early. But when the schedule is busy, he feels everyone should work faster and go home early (as well, not a typo).

Flexibility has always been a hallmark of our business model, and an asset to our employees with growing families. He tells me that when he used to do the work himself he could do it all faster than the part timers. I told him to remember that he was (and still is) working for himself and that is a big incentive always. Besides, I think that the employees do a good job. I grant that yes, when the schedule is not as busy, they take longer to complete tasks and some move around a little slower.

He wants me to use the O3s as a way to tell people (firmly) to take longer lunches when the day is slower and to work faster all the time so everyone goes home early and he doesn't have to pay as many hours. I've told him we should bring it to the employees as a meeting with all to brainstorm solutions (twice) but he hasn't made that decision yet. I don't think he wants to do that. Not sure why.

As a manager, I am of course, in the middle of this situation and as a High C with S tendencies I can see both sides of the argument but I am not sure how to get to a solution viable for all. I could use ideas if any of you have encountered similar situations.

Thank you in advance!

JonathanGiglio's picture

Where is the incentive for employees to work faster? So they get paid less? So the boss/owner doesn't yell at them?

That doesn't sound like much of an incentive to me. I can understand if an employee wants to take off early and trade time for money, but for a boss to ask an employee to work harder to get paid less - this is not an alignment of incentives.

Now, here at Manager Tools, we don't manager our bosses.That said, you may to formulate a strategy to get your employees to be effective while keeping your boss happy.

Do you have insight into the company finances? Can you propose alternative cost cutting measures? I'm reminded of the parable of the orange. Two people want an orange, so they cut it in half and no one is happy. Why? Because one person wanted the juice and the other person wanted the rind to grate zest. Communication is key - try expanding the pie.

Regards,

Jonathan