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I’ve want hire a new supervisor in a three person office and I am considering breaking one of the Manager-Tools’ pillars of management, temporarily. Specifically, I am contemplating not teaching the new supervisor about O3 meetings. I would appreciate advice from the MT community.

I taught and encouraged the previous supervisor to host the O3. The staff revolted. There was a clear lack of trust between the supervisor and the other employees. It seemed the O3 made things worse. I think there were several reasons for this: 1. The employees were very untrusting from the beginning. My firm was the third company to buy the business within the last three years; 2. I do not think the supervisor read this situation correctly and thus information obtained in the O3 was used in ways the employees found threatening. I believe the supervisor had good intentions, perceptions where clouded by the obvious lack of trust and misunderstanding. I used the MT method to “coach” this employee when I first started seeing these problems. It appeared to get better for a short period of time.

Observing a return to the dysfunctional situation, the deteriorating performance of the business and the severe lack of trust for me, the supervisor and my organization, I “encouraged” all but one of the staff to leave. I replaced these individuals with very positive, hard working folks who I believe to be the right people to build the business around. Within the last few weeks, I began to observe trust issues surfacing between the new staff and the supervisor. I believe the remaining employee is partially behind this turn of events. However, the supervisor was not helping the situation and, in fact, was fanning the flames with his erratic behavior. I “helped” him leave.

Immediately, business picked up and staff began working together, communicating and contributing to each other’s efforts. We are in the business of service even though we practice medicine. I believe the current staff “gets it.” I’m very pleased with the performance of the last few weeks. I want it to continue.

I want a supervisor in this clinic since I’m removed from the location and want a point person who is accountable and responsive to me and the parent company. But, I fear naming a supervisor and encouraging them to begin the O3 will cause another revolt considering the history.
I’m not sure breaking a major MT tenet is appropriate. Has anyone in the MT community experienced a similar situation? What did you do to obtain results?

Your advice and feedback is most appreciated.

juliahhavener's picture

New supervisor - with O3s and lots and lots of coaching and feedback. The only way to fix the trust problems is by open communications.

RichRuh's picture

O3s are about relationship building and communication- which is exactly what your group needs.

--Rich

thaGUma's picture

If your staff revolted once with the old supervisor, it could be worth investing some time and sit in on initiation meetings to help undo the damage cause before.

TomW's picture

I would bet M&M would tell you the only time not to do O3s would be if you worked by yourself as a sole-proprietor.

I think O3s, coaching, and feedback from you to the new supervisor would help. I also think you might want to maintain O3s with the other employees for a little while to make sure you know what the new supervisor is doing until they are up to speed.

Like Julia said, the answer to trust problems is usually communication improvement... assuming that all parties are acting in good faith.

Was the revolt with the previous supervisor related to the reason you needed a new one?

Mark's picture

Sorry, but no agreement here. The problem sure as heck isn't the O3s...they're just a meeting. That's like saying I don't want my paycheck at all, because it isn't big enough.

The problem was a lack of professional behavior among supervisors, and also to some degree staff.

If you've got the right people there now, do the right thing by the right people" O3s.

Keep us posted!!

Mark

mauzenne's picture

Follow-up your subordinates O3s with some skip-levels ... You should get a good sense of what's going on there.

Mike

wildcat's picture

Mike:

I think the skip level is the key!

I know breaking a fundamental tenet is never the solution. So, the next question is what other applications exist that help me avoid this temptation? I agree. I think the solution is the skip level.

While I think I knew this was the way to go, I think I discredited the skip level because of its requirements of me. In other words, I got lazy. This comes back to management as a discipline, or the power over self.

This is a good lesson of which I need frequent reminders.

I appreciate the forum for helping me see this. I'll keep you posted.