The Weakest Link?

If you’re familiar with the latest television lineup, you’re also well aware of a popular trivia show’s famous admonition: “You ARE the weakest link: Goodbye. ” Prior to this statement of doom, participants work individually, with their efforts also enhancing the group reward. At regular intervals, group members decide who isn’t performing up to standards, and after a few well-placed barbs, the offending team member is required to take the WALK OF SHAME and leave the game. Of course, the drama is enhanced by the up-close-and-personal interview immediately following the contestant’s departure. There, for the most part, the contestant whines about the other players and the injustice in the votes that eliminated him or her from the competition.

This scenario plays out daily in workplaces around the a point. Employees work together and eventually, they determine there is a team member who isn’t pulling his weight. The grumbling begins and there are a few well-placed barbs to try to stimulate the worker. But this is where real life differs from the workplace. Instead of “voting off” a teammate, employees wait for the supervisor to take some kind of action to correct the offending behavior. And they wait.and wait.and wait.

To compensate for the lack of supervisory action, workers often follow the same pattern as the game show contestants. They form alliances, they make snide comments, or they start looking out only for themselves. The “Every Man for Himself” doctrine becomes obvious. And suddenly, the spirit of the game/work changes from a friendly competition to a battle for survival as each contestant/employee changes focus.

It’s time to turn around the weakest link in your organization by turning to your strongest link for help. The challenge many organizations have, however, is that their supervisors either don’t have or won’t use the skill sets needed to be effective supervisors. Whether it’s basic training in coaching, evaluating, and disciplining or just a matter of holding all levels of supervision accountable for taking appropriate action, the key to improved morale and productivity lies with your managers. When supervisors do their jobs, the Weakest Link IS eliminated.the right way.

For more information on Supervisory Training Programs, click here.

Posted by Pam Wyess in Managing and Coaching.

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