I have been in charge of a technical repair of 16 including a team lead.

Before I took over the team in october 2009, they had well doucmented teamwork issues. Not sharing work with members out of work, not passing off repairs to the next shift, and being negative about team processes. Several of the team members gave the previous manager a lot of push back on these very issues. With the favorite phrase being "we have all way done it this way"

i have been reading manager tools for a while, so when i first took over I didn't make in drastic changes.

I just learned the products and how the team worked.

But the whole time I spoke of teamwork, individual skill development and balancing the load of work within the group.

At the same time I began to identify some of the personnel who are against teamwork. (and think they are irreplacable, ) I have began to crosstrain other techs to work in thier area. These trainees have been met with resistance, but they know I will support their training 100percent.

My goal is to show all team members, that any one can be replaced.I'm not trying to fire anyone, just trying to get them to fall in line.

There are 3 techs that have no interest in sharing work, i have even gave them feedback on hiding work from others.

I explained my strategy to my manager and he was in agreement.

Am I heading in the right direction,? I just don't want to be held over a barrell by these DR's like the former manager.

Also these DR's are the veterans of the company, with an average of 20 years experience.

Everyone knows this is a challenging group, we have a unwritten rule, that no new manager will be assigned to this team.


grayr4's picture

From what you have said you seem to be progressing along a similar path that I to one that I have taken - I work at a unionised site and have approx 120 people in the team. I was bogged down for a while trying to get the team moving and thinking in ternms of doing the right thing for "the business" which should = "doing the right thing for the team". In order to move this on I started having group sessions with cross sections of the team where we discussed how and why the team needs to work differently. This enabled us to start to discuss the real issues -> fear of change, distrust of management etc... Once the real issues are on the table, the team (not you on your own!) can start to address them.

It took approx 6 months of meetings every 2 weeks to get this moving, now I'm starting to get small teams emerging and really pushing the business forward and making real financial savings for the company.

You just have to keep gently pushing and find the real issues at hand -> the "we've always done it this way" is not an issue, it's an excuse.

Maybe gather some experience facilitating before these sessions or get in a good facilitator from your peer group as your meetings are fraught with "land mines" to start off.

Good luck.