When top leaders don’t care, why employees will? My first couple of weeks on a new job are always dedicated to learn about the culture, processes and identify the opportunities and challenges of the place. Every business unit has its own KPI’s and regardless of how good or not, the department is performing against those KPI’s always is critical to have the people support to be able to improve. People will not be engaged with any improvement process or support any changes if they are not treated with respect and see an honest desire to change the status quo, not just “make the numbers”.
Sometimes, you don’t even need to be a problem-solving expert to get better results. What you need is to be consistent with your message, you need to talk the talk but more importantly, walk the talk. If you are enforcing housekeeping rules or clean as you go mentality but you walk over trash and don’t even say something to somebody to clean it up, you are delivering a contradictory message. A better message will be if you pick it up yourself or help the people who will come to do it.
When you stop to say hi to your operators, try to know them and talk not just about what they are doing but about how they are doing it and how they feel, you show them that you care about the human being. If you approach them for positive enforcement and not just to say that they can do something different they will listen every time.
If you are consistent with your message and how you act, your team will learn to do the same, you will lead them by example. If you show that you care, they will care. The contrary is also true, if you don’t care about what is going on, they will not care either. You want to change attitudes and behaviors? start with your own, show your commitment and priorities and your team will follow you.