Posts Tagged business psychology
Just a quick update.
Dr. Robert Mines (chairman and psychologist) and Dr. Dani Kimlinger (CEO) from the MINES Team were honored to contribute to an article by Bruce Shutan in this month’s issue of The Self-Insurer. The article is called Beyond Opioids and covers how EAPs, like MINES, and good benefit-plan design can help treat addictions and other substance use issues in an employee population as well as control overall health care spending.
The issue can be viewed here:
Check out other Self-Insurer publications here: https://goo.gl/2TjaUV
And check out other MINES publications here: www.minesandassociates.com/about_staff_publications.html
To your wellbeing,
The MINES Team
International Day of Persons with Disabilities and the ADA: The Legal Side of Psychological Wellbeing at Work
December 3rd is International Day of Persons with Disabilities, and this year’s theme is “Transformation towards a sustainable and resilient society for all”. Transforming workplaces so that they foster resilience among all employees is a worthy goal – one that both MINES and I share with real passion.
Fortunately, most employers now generally understand the links between employee mental health, productivity, absenteeism, and turnover. This is real progress. Unfortunately, only 15% of supervisors and managers are actually trained in how to recognize and respond to employees who may be struggling. This is a problem that MINES and I are taking steps to remedy through our work with our clients and by offering training and consultations to supporters of campaigns like Colorado Mental Wellness Network’s Mental Health Equality at Work.
Employers do not generally associate the Americans with Disabilities Act and Family Medical Leave Act with psychological or mood-related conditions. This knowledge deficit can be problematic because more often than not an employee will reach a point of crisis before exploring potential job accommodations. By that time, it is often too late to save the employment relationship and everybody loses.
This common pattern of “waiting until a crisis” may partly explain the recent surge in depression-related employment discrimination claims filed with the EEOC. These filings increased by 56% between 2003 and 2013, and the EEOC issued written guidance for employees with mental health conditions, as well as their health care providers, for the first time in December 2016.2016
I train supervisors, managers, and HR staff in how to create psychologically healthy workplaces, how to use accommodations as everyday management tools, and how to comply with the ADA and FMLA. Managers are always happy to learn about low- or no-cost accommodation tools they can use right away, instead of making their employees wait for a crisis to occur before requesting them. And, they are relieved to learn that the ADA does not require the elimination of essential functions – a common yet erroneous assumption.
One of the areas I partner with MINES on is training supervisors how to have the early conversation with employees who may be struggling. This is a skill that does not come naturally to most of us – managers don’t want to pry, say the wrong thing, violate an employee’s privacy, play the role of therapist, or step over a legal line of which they’re unaware. MINES personnel have truly mastered this skill over the years.
Another exciting area of partnership with MINES is providing highly specialized mediation and case management services for the toughest ADA and/or FMLA cases involving mental health conditions. Most ADA requests are not challenging to manage. However, some cases are so complex they require the expertise of seasoned psychologists to provide case management guidance and support. Examples include rare diagnoses, some types of personality disorders, and difficulty in finding the right medication or treatment plan. MINES plays an indispensable role in guiding these cases to a sustainable path forward for both the employee and employer.
Lastly, MINES and I collaborate in providing outsourced disability and absence management services nationwide. When we take on this role for our clients, we are truly in the best position to transform workplaces to foster resilience among all employees.
In closing, I hope everyone will celebrate International Day of Persons with Disabilities with us, by taking proactive steps to accommodate employees at all levels of cognitive, emotional, and social functioning.
To Your Wellbeing,
Judge (Ret.) Mary McClatchey
April 2017: Physical Wellbeing and Grief/Loss
Welcome to the April issue of TotalWellbeing! If you have been following TotalWellbeing you know that every month we focus on one of the 8 Dimensions of Wellbeing. This month we will discuss the effects that grief and loss have on your physical wellbeing. At the same time, we will look at how your physical wellbeing can be a crucial step in successfully working through the stages of grief. Everyone experiences loss and grief differently, but regardless of how you process your loss, keeping up with your physical wellbeing is important.
For a closer look at this month’s topic and helpful resources please check out The Path and The Connection below or check out our new infographic here!
Next, make sure to catch up on your MINESblog reading because we covered a few important topics over the last month. Our founder, Dr. Robert Mines provided his perspective around eating disorder awareness week which was February 26 – March 4th. Next, our team member Raena Chatwin explored how you can use imagination and exploration to find joy at work and in all that you do. And finally, to get primed for our talks about grief this month we put the spotlight on grief and the difference between healthy and unhealthy grieving.
As always, for more information please check out the links to the left or hit the share button to send us a message. To be notified when we post more resources and articles make sure to subscribe to MINESblog. See you next month!
To your total wellbeing,
The MINES Team
The Path: from your Emotional Wellbeing to Managing change
When you are feeling down, it can be hard to take the time to exercise or eat properly. However, it is even more important during this time to eat healthily and work out the stress so you can feel better. During exercise, you are given an opportunity process what you are going through and work through the emotions that come along. By focusing on your physical wellbeing during a time of grief and loss, you can ensure that you are not staying in bed and are sticking to your routine, which will actively lead you to be around others who can help you cope with the pain and suffering that comes with grieving a loss. Even if you don’t feel like doing much, try to exercise each day. Take care of your personal needs and eat healthy so that you have the strength to deal with your loss and your other daily responsibilities.
This month check out this link to see some easy exercises you can do.
|Tips for you:
Focus on your physical wellbeing and use that as a tool and motivator while you are navigating the stages of grief. Choose to use your exercise time to reflect about your loss and what you can take away from this loss. Check out this webinar for more about grief and loss.
The Connection: Get Involved
Wellbeing does not simply start and stop at the individual. Our community is connected to each of our own individual wellbeing in a huge way. When we are well we can better function within our community. We can help our fellow humans thrive, and in turn, when our community is prospering, it helps each of us reach our goals as individuals. So why not help our community so we can all thrive together? Each month we will strive to bring you resources that can help you enhance the wellbeing of those around you or get involved with important causes.
|Community Wellbeing Resources:
You probably know a co-worker, friend, or family member that is dealing with some type of grief. Take a moment to connect with them to see how you can support them through this time. Maybe even suggest taking the time to walk or work out with them to help their physical wellbeing at the same time. Or you consider running or walking in a marathon to support a cause and be around others who have or are struggling with their own grief and loss.
Don’t forget that PersonalAdvantage, an online benefit available through MINES, has tons of great resources for all the dimensions of wellbeing that we discuss here, along with some articles and assistance for Change Management. If you haven’t checked it out yet, or want to see what resources they have for this month’s topic check out the link below. You’ll need your company login, so make sure to get that from your employer or email us and we’ll be happy to provide that to you.
|If you or a member of your household needs assistance or guidance on any of these wellbeing topics, please call MINES & Associates, your EAP, today for free, confidential, 24/7 assistance at 800.873.7138.|
|MINES does not warrant the materials (Audio, Video, Text, Applications, or any other form of media or links) included in this communication have any connection to MINES & Associates, nor does MINES seek to endorse any entity by including these materials in this communication. MINES accepts no liability for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided herein, nor any additional content that may be made available through any third-party site. We found them helpful, and hope you do too!|
I just finished a thought provoking and assumption challenging book, Curiosity, by Ian Leslie. I hope you get a copy and read it in its entirety. This blog addresses some, and not all, of the important information presented in the book.
The tag line on the cover directly implies that performance is impacted by “the desire to know and why your future depends on it.”
Leslie describes three types of curiosity. “diversive curiosity” is the restless desire for the new and the next. Think scrolling through your cell phone apps such as facebook, twitter, emails, wordpress, and news feeds, while spending very little time on any one piece. The value of “diversive curiosity” is that it helps the exploring mind find the new and the undiscovered. Its ultimate value is helping us be curious enough to learn futher about a subject, to do a deeper investigationThe second type of curiosity is “epistemic curiosity.” It is a “quest for knowledge and understanding, it nourishes us. This deeper, more disciplined and effortful type of curiosity” is the focus of the book ( prologue, p.xx).
The third type of curiosity is “empathic curiosity.” This is “about the thoughts and feelings of other people. It is distinct from gossip or prurience, which we can think of as “diversive curiosity” about the superficial detail of others’ lives. You practice empathic curiosity when you genuinely try to put yourself in the shoes – and mind – of the person you are talking to, to see things from their perspective… (p.xxi).”
The relevance for psychology of performance in business is far reaching. Given the complexity of our business environments, advances in science and technology, and the exponential growth of knowledge. Organizations and individuals who are not curious will become obsolete or become further and further behind compared to those who embrace epistemic curiosity and life-long learning.
Leslie does us the same service Malcom Gladwell and other synthsis writers do by diving into the scientific literature behind the statements in the book. One area that is concerning is the role of core subject knowledge and the ability to be curious. Schools who teach process skills without content knowledge produce students who are less capable of the creative, cross-discipline insights and thinking required to solve the complex and diverse problems we are faced with. This body of research is counter to what has happened in many schools across the country. One has to have information in order to know whether one wants to be curious and learn more about it. Leslie’s handrail was “knowledge loves knowledge.”
He adds an interesting case study related to Disney and Pixar concerning then-CEO of Disney Michael Eisner and co-founder of Pixar, Steve Jobs. Leslie looks at an interesting quote from Jobs stating that as Pixar was the creative organization producing one money making film after another while Disney was the distributor, Eisner only spent a little over two hours at Pixar rather than learning how Pixar was doing what it did and taking it back to Disney. Finally, after Eisner and Jobs left, Disney bought Pixar. If someone is out-performing you as an organization or individually, being curious as to how they are doing that could be a good process to go through rather than avoiding it, resting on the status quo, or other reasons for not learning more.
Leslie discussed breadth versus depth in knowledge and the need for both. He uses the concept of a “foxhog” (p.152). “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing” (p.151). A foxhog is one who combines deep knowledge of a specialty with broad understanding of other disciplines. Leslie also pays tribute to one of my favorite business people and writers, Charlie Munger, who is exemplary in his pursuit of knowledge outside of his field and in learning useful mental models from other disciplines. From a psychology of performance point of view, Charlie Munger and Warren Buffet have performed at high levels in their field for decades.
In order to improve your performance over your lifetime, be epistemically and empathically curious, be a lifelong learner, apply what you know, and take action!
Please have a day filled with loving kindness and extend compassion and sympathetic joy to everyone you meet.
Robert A. Mines, Ph.D., CEO & Psychologist
The Olympics have officially opened! This is a wonderful opportunity to get an in-depth look at a number of psychology of performance variables and factors in addition to the sheer joy of seeing individuals and teams at their peak performance. Who could ever forget the USA Dream Team’s performance to win the gold in basketball? Rulon Garner’s gold medal win over Alexander Karelin in wrestling. Larelin was the defending gold medalist and had not lost in 13 years. Michael Phelps winning 18 gold medals and 22 medals over his Olympic career and coming back again this year. Historic moments such as Jesse Owens winning four gold medals in the 1936 games in Berlin. This was when Nazi Germany saw him as a lesser human being because of the color of his skin. Ethiopian runner, Abebe Bikila, won the marathon gold in 1960, barefoot. Emil Zatopek’s winning the 5,000 meter 10,000 meter, and marathon in the 1952 Helsinki games after being told not to compete due to a gland infection. He had never run a marathon before. Jim Thorpe winning the pentathlon and decathlon in the 1912 Stockholm games. The first female Olympians in the 1900 Paris games.
The actual list of mind boggling performances is almost endless. Over the next few weeks, we will get to observe upsets when the favorites were viewed as unbeatable, persistence in the face of pain from injury, and compassion and generosity of spirit. A great example of compassion in the moment of competition came when Canadian sailor, Lawrence Lemieux was in position to medal and stopped to help capsized competitors who were injured. We will see records broken and participants happy just to be there.
All will get to face the stress of competing on a world stage where terrorism threats are a constant worry, Zika virus looms in the background, and personal health and safety may be compromised due to water sanitation or local crime.
How they respond will be related to a number of psychology of performance variables and factors such as their mental preparation and resilience (beliefs, visualization, problem solving), their training (finding that fine balance to peak in their events at this time versus burning out before), their social support network (how their coaches, teammates, friends, family, and loved ones add positive (support, encouragement, role modeling winning behavior and attitudes, affection)versus negative energy ( distractions and nonproductive criticism), how their nutrition holds up, and what is driving them to succeed.
The stories will be unfolding! I hope you get a chance to watch and learn.
Have a day filled with equanimity and extend loving kindness, compassion and sympathetic joy to everyone you meet today.
Robert A. Mines, Ph.D., CEO & Psychologist
Transgender discrimination in the workplace is a significant problem. In fact, approximately 90 percent of transgender employees report experiencing some type of harassment in the workplace. Almost 20 percent of gay and transgender employees report that they were passed over on a promotion or were fired because of their gender identity or sexual orientation.[i] Over 60 percent of transgender employees make less than $25,000 annually.[ii] Shockingly, it is still legal in 32 states to terminate or deny employment to an employee based on their gender identity.[iii] About 40 percent of transgender employees are underemployed.[iv]
According to the Human Rights Campaign, there are still a number of employer-sponsored health plans which do not cover gender reassignment surgery. The average cost of a gender reassignment procedure is $16,000. Additionally, if the employer does not allow the employee to utilize leave for treatments leading up to and including gender reassignment surgery, there is an even more significant cost to the transgender employee.
What can you, as the employer do to support a work environment that is open and inclusive to all persons, including transgender candidates and employees?
- Champion support for an inclusive and diverse work environment at all levels of the organization with the loudest voices at the top!
- Offer non-discriminatory health plans! Work with your plans to ensure that you have removed exclusions for gender reassignment transition and hormone therapy.
- Be sure to include gender identity in your anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies. Consider zero-tolerance policies.
- Treat transgender employee(s) as an individual, offer them the opportunity to lead their transitional process with the organization including; communicating their name, pronouns, how they want to inform their colleagues, their timelines, and how they best want to be supported.
- Include gender identity awareness in your trainings whenever possible; consider your diversity, respectful workplace, and civility trainings as starting places.
- Incorporate gender identity and transition into your leave policies. Transitioning can be a lengthy process. Keep the dialogues going with your transgender employees. Offer time off and discuss support needs along the way.
- Support looks different to everyone! It might be handy to put together a supportive tool-kit for employees intending to transition. This toolkit may provide explanations about benefits for transgender employees such as health insurance, leave, and employee assistance programs. The toolkit may also include information about how to talk to managers and colleagues about the transition, restroom information, and a contact person to support them as well as their team. Your employee may or may not use the tool kit but if the resources are there, then they will be able to utilize them if needed.
- Consult with your Employee Assistance Program with any questions and support around transitioning employees, policies, language and resources. Support and help is available.
- Utilize education and support to work through any personal concerns you may have regarding supporting transitioning employees. Supporting al lemployees equally is a legal responsibility.
To Your Wellbeing,
Dani Kimlinger, Ph.D., MHA, SPHR, SHRM- SCP and Patrick Hiester, LPC
The MINES Team
[i] Gay and Transgender People Face High Rates of Workplace Discrimination and Harassment. Data Demonstrate Need for Federal Law. By Crosby Burns and Jeff Krehely. June 2, 2011
[ii] 37 Shocking LGBT Discrimination Statistics. Brandon Gaille. January 14, 2015.
[iii] The Transgender Community by the Numbers. Marie Claire. Kenny Thapoung
[iv] Transgender Workers at Greater Risk For Unemployment and Poverty. Human Rights Campaign. September 6, 2013
Psychology of Performance #54: Peyton Manning, John Elway, Gary Kubiak, Denver Broncos, “The Big Game” and Organizational Psychology Aspects
The “Big Game” is a great observational laboratory for studying two highly-successful organizations, the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers. Professional sports teams are transparent about a number of organizational issues such as succession planning, management strategies and tactics, leadership issues, toxic or impaired employees, employee turnover, team cohesiveness, customer loyalty and influence, leadership, social influence and modeling, focus and preparation, culture and identity, reliance, and expertise. This blog/article will focus on the Denver Broncos.
Culture and Culture Change
Two years ago the Denver Broncos were defeated soundly by the Seattle Seahawks. Executive Vice President and General Manager, John Elway, made significant numbers of personnel changes from the coaching staff to the majority of players. This was done to change the attitude of the team. Elway said “The team is tougher. “kicking and screaming” through mental toughness (http://www.denverpost.com/broncos/ci_29414693/john-elway-sees-tougher-broncos-this-year-through). The Broncos’ have the number one defense in the NFL going into the “Big Game”. They are clearly tougher than last year and performed at a higher level. In addition, the NFL does a better job than many businesses and organizations regarding performance. If you don’t perform, you are benched and will likely lose your job. Culture is defined as a shared set of assumptions as to how we do business (Schein). The Broncos have noticeably changed how they do business.
The executive team of the Broncos started out the year with an announcement that the owner, Mr. Pat Bowlen, had Alzheimer’s disease and would be stepping down from his executive role. This was a significant loss for the organization as he was well-known as a successful change management leader. The executive team re-organized roles and functions to continue the strategy and direction the organization was heading. The coaching staff was brand new with Gary Kubiak taking over as Head Coach and Wade Phillips coming in as the Defensive Coordinator. Together Kubiak and Phillips implemented a new offense and defense. This created a learning curve and inherent stress for those adapting to the new system. At the team captain level, Peyton Manning, DeMarcus Ware, and David Bruton, Jr. were voted in by their peers. The team captains provide important peer leadership and are role models for the other players. They are also significantly involved in the team chemistry and cohesiveness. Then there are the informal leaders such as Von Miller, all-pro-defense, outside linebacker. He displays an enthusiasm and maturity that may have been underdeveloped earlier in his career when he received a four game suspension. This year he has consistently performed at an all-pro level, provided leadership, and found inspiration from DeMarcus Ware (http://www.denverpost.com/broncos/ci_29454733/evolution-von-miller).
Peyton Manning had significant professional challenges this year. He is known for his preparation, performance (holds countless records), and winning record. This year he had a sub-par season due to factors such as injury to his foot. He was relieved and benched, watched from the sidelines while he healed, was made the back-up, yet came into win a game from behind and lead the team to the AFC championship and onward to the “Big Game” once again. He also had other adversity this season with allegations about HGH (human growth hormone). Through it all he displayed a professional demeanor in the media, contributed to the team during the down period, and came back to help the team win the championship. This type of leadership, role modeling, and performance contributed to the culture and attitude of the team. From an individual psychology of performance perspective, Manning exhibited an impressive degree of resilience as did a number of other injured players such as DeMarcus Ware, Chris Harris, Jr., and every other injured player this season who came back and performed admirably. What does it take to be resilient in your organization?
Focus and Preparation
Over and over in the media this season, various players were noted by their peers and coaches for their preparation and focus. The players were noted for staying late after practice to get more repetitions in, watching additional film, and rehabilitating their injuries so they could get back and contribute. If a starter became injured, the back-up player being ready to replace them and perform at a high level is imperative. Brock Osweiler was a good example of this on offense, coming in to replace Manning and lead the team to 5 wins and just 2 losses. He handled moving back into a second string role with professionalism and publically stated he wanted what the coach thought was best for the team.
Role of the Under Dog
The Broncos have reported feeling like they are not recognized as being as good as they are all season and have used that as motivation to prove everyone wrong. In the “Big Game” the odds-makers predict they will lose. What is interesting organizationally, and from a performance psychology perspective, is that the Broncos have set an NFL record for the most wins by 7 points or less (11 wins) (http://www.denverpost.com/broncos/ci_29451542/broncos-underdogs-super-bowl-50). This relates to Elway’s comments earlier in this blog about being tougher. They have a depth of experience overcoming adversity that no other team in the NFL has this year. The Broncos have the experience and resilience that will allow them not to fold or give up if it is a close game.
The “Big Game” is replete with examples of personnel management, personnel changes, succession planning, and development of personnel. In any organization, bench strength is important and when it is not there or developed, organizations falter. In professional sports it becomes glaringly obvious when a team has not drafted well or developed their younger players when a star is injured and the team starts losing. In business, it is just as important, yet sometimes not as obvious. Brock Osweiler stepped in and did a great job for the Broncos until Manning was ready to come back. Coach Kubiak did a masterful job of handling the public relations and internal team dynamics during this time. He managed expectations clearly when he announced Manning would be the starter for the playoffs, so that everyone could focus and prepare for their role. Finally, pro sports also allow a window into the impact of toxic co-workers or impaired co-workers on the culture, focus, and preparation of the organization (think distractions like your number one draft choice at quarterback spending a significant time last summer in “rehab” and then having social media pictures posted of him “partying” and then being benched by the coach. That team by the way, not in the “Big Game”).
Lessons Learned for Your Organization
- Culture is important. What are your rules of engagement? How do you do business?
- Expertise of personnel. What is the level of your personnel’s expertise in your organization? Do you need to train or upgrade? Are you assessing regularly? Keeping your “Superstars” fresh?
- Leadership, vision, and implementation. From your executive team down, is there alignment on the vision? Does your leadership inspire, model the behavior you want, and do they execute the plan?
- Informal leaders. Who are your informal leaders? Do they exhibit the behavior and messages you want your staff to follow?
- Role models. Do you have staff that are role models for the younger workers? Do they model what you want?
- Focus and preparation. Is your staff focused and prepared to execute your business plan every day?
- Group identity vs perception of the public. Does your organization have its own identity? Are your customers in alignment with the identity and support it?
- Resilience of team members. Are your leaders and staff members resilient? Do they bounce back from adversity in their professional or personal life? If not, do you have resources to help them bounce back such as employee assistance programs? If you have helped them and they are still under-performing can you help them “find their bliss elsewhere.”
To your Wellbeing,
Robert A. Mines, Ph.D., CEO & Psychologist
Daniel C. Kimilinger, Ph.D., MHA, SPHR, Human Resources and Organizational Psychology Leader
Schien, E. H. (1992). Organizational Culture and Leadership (2nd Edition).
Gen X’ers, Millennials, and Baby-Boomers. There are many names for the 3 largest generational groups in the workforce today, but no matter what name you call them it doesn’t stop the differences between these age defined demographics from being a top concern among Human Resources professionals and managers across the nation. Age diversity in the workforce is increasing, and while the reasons for this are vast and important, the real question we want to ask today is what is the best way for an organization to ensure their employees form a cohesive, cooperative team despite these generational rifts?
The Colorado chapter of the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) is asking that very question and MINES & Associates’ Human Resource and Organizational Psychology Leader, Dr. Dani Kimlinger, has an answer for them. She challenges those dealing with generational diversity in their workforce to embrace it. The different experiences, the varied problem solving techniques, and the unique traits that each generation brings to the table provides valuable opportunities for team building and learning. To find out more, you can check out Dr. Kimlinger’s full article.
While it won’t appear in HFMA’s newsletter until October, you can get a sneak peak right now by clicking here.
To your wellbeing,
– The MINES Team
I have blogged before about managerial hierarchy and accountability. It is worth another look at Elliot Jaques classic book, Requisite Organization, as new generations are coming into the workforce, technology has created the opportunity for virtual teams, and performance is still relevant for any organization to sustain itself. The following information comes directly from Dr. Jaques’ work. I encourage you to read his work in its entirety. This blog was generated out of the organizational psychology and human resources consulting MINES does with its clients. Time after time, accountability and authority are unclear in an organization’s structure. This often happens when marketing titles are given that imply authority when, in fact, there is none. Accountability for results may be unclear and personnel layoff decisions are made only to be repeated with the next employee group as the underlying system issue has not been clarified. This blog provides Jaques’ perspective and the results of over 50 years of his body of work.
Assumptions (Based on Organizational Theory of Managerial Hierarchy):
The basic business unit consists of a manager, one or more supervisors, and front-line producers. In the discussion to follow, “manager” is used to describe the role, accountability, and authority of both the manager and supervisor (a subordinate’s boss). In function, the manager is working on systems issues while the supervisor is working on quality assurance and work assignment(s). In the following discussion Manager and Supervisor are used interchangeable as the discussion is about hierarchy not role/level. Think about this discussion as related to an employee’s “direct boss.” In reality, a manager has a longer decision time span than a supervisor and has different functions.
Manager-Subordinate Accountability System
Accountability and authority establishes where people stand with each other. They determine who is able to say what to whom, and who under given circumstances must say what to whom. They establish who can tell who to do what, especially, in the managerial hierarchy, if one person is being held accountable for what another person does or for the results of what the other person does.
Accountability and authority define the behaviors that are appropriate and necessary in the vertical relationships between managers and their subordinates, and in the horizontal cross-functional relationships between people. The vertical relationships are those by means of which the work that needs to get done is assigned, resourced, and evaluated; and the cross-functional relationships are those by means of which the flow of work across functions gets processed and improved through time.
- What are the accountabilities of managers, or of individual contributors?
- What authority does a manager have in relation to subordinates?
- What authorities do employees who work together have in relation to each other?
Managerial Accountability and Behavior
It is absolutely imperative that organizational leaders be clear not only about their own decision-making accountability, but they must also make it equally clear for each and every manager below them in the organization. All of these managers must also meet regularly in two-way discussions about major issues with their immediate subordinates, in order to get their help in making decisions for which the manager alone must be accountable. In discussions between managers and subordinates, it is always the manager that is ultimately accountable for decisions. Even when the subordinate has more knowledge than his or her manager on a given matter and tells the manager what he or she thinks should be done; if the manager accepts the subordinate’s view then it becomes the manager’s decision. There will be times in an organization’s growth or life span when a manager may have multiple roles/levels that they are accountable for. The manager may be a level three, two, and one on a given day if the department or work group is small enough or does not have the resources to accommodate separate levels and roles. This is a situation referred to as “down in the weeds,” ”wearing many hats,” or “collapsed strata” (also known as time span within which one operates). This is not ideal; however, at times it may be the best we can do.
Who should be accountable for results?
Two basic principles:
First, all employees, including managers, must be held accountable for the continuous exercise of full commitment of capability (doing their very best) in carrying out the tasks assigned.
Second, managers must be held accountable for the results of the work and working behavior of immediate subordinates.
Definition of a Manager
A manager is the incumbent of a role in which s/he:
- Is assigned accountability for doing his/her best to use assigned financial, physical, and human resources (the human resources comprise subordinates under contract to do their best).
- Is accountable for deciding how best to get optimum short-, mid-, and long-term results from an assigned functional area (e.g., a production department, geographical area, or a customer category).
- Is accountable for maintaining a team of subordinates capable of doing the necessary work.
- Effectively applies all managerial leadership practices in relation to subordinates.
- Adds value to the subordinates’ work.
- Is accountable for providing necessary trainings, materials, and support to both supervisors and all subordinates.
- Says what they are going to do. They do what they say they would do and when they can’t (as infrequently as possible) they explain promptly. They expect others to behave the same way.
- Creates clearly defined goals because without clarity it is difficult to be held accountable
- Keeps consistent priorities.
- Documents agreements.
- Creates performance measures and evaluates progress or lack thereof.
In addition to managerial hierarchy, cross-functional relationships also need to be clearly defined.
My hope is that this information will allow you to evaluate your role and function in your organization and if there is room for improvement, to have a blueprint to help you and your colleagues proceed.
Have a day filled with compassion!
Robert A. Mines, Ph.D., CEO & Psychologist
On June 11th, members of the MINES team including Dr. Robert Mines, Dr. Richard Lindsey, Dr. Dani Kimlinger, Whitney Stone, Ryan Lucas, and Patrick Hiester attended Mental Health America Colorado’s 2nd annual “Improving Lives, Transforming Minds” event held at the new Green Spaces venue in Downtown Denver.
MINES was a prime sponsor of this event which honors important organizations as well as individuals that advocate for mental health awareness and support the research, development, and innovation that drives the behavioral healthcare industry. The event also focuses on the proactive efforts undertaken by MHAC including education, prevention, and outreach programs. Major thanks to MHAC and their new President and CEO, Andrew Romanoff, for all the great work they do!
Check out some highlights in the video below, or head on over to http://bit.ly/1Kah4MI for more great pictures and a rundown of the great people and organizations that made this event possible.
To Your Wellbeing,
– The MINES Team