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UNDERCOVERCOACH


Stranger things have happened; the person may have been feeling uncomfortable for some time, wondering what to say and perhaps dropping hints that might not have been picked up. In a culture where people are rather shy about such matters you may need to listen for every hint and nuance. So option number one for your consideration is:


1 OFFER THEMA NEW DEAL – IF YOU CAN –WITH LOWERWAGES FOR DOING LESSWORK.


If a pay cut sets a tricky precedent and the worker is willing to work a full week then you might consider reverting to a series of improvement projects that the person can do in order to fill up the hours s/he now has available since they declined the new tasks, or declined to do some old tasks that now have to be done in a new way.


Any project work the person does would need to have real merit. For example the improvement projects would have to:


1 Be relevant or connected to the work being done by the team


2 Add value to what the team does and/or the way it does it


3 Be seen to be of real value - by the employer.


I believe that any project work a person does - is done best - if the person concerned thinks up the project. So perhaps you could start by asking the person what they would like to do.


Perhaps they could be asked what they think needs doing or what they have always wanted to try out but have been too busy to do in the past. Also a little testing or experimentation, a few inspections or examinations, some reviews or evaluations here and there, can often be of real value.


VISIT OTHER SITES OR PLACES TO CHECK OUT ‘BEST PRACTICE’


Many times over the years, when I have asked people what they would like to spend more time doing at work they indicate that they would like to visit other sites or places to check out ‘best practice’. It should be emphasised that best practice might extend to the policies and rules that others have in place.


Many say they want to spend more time surveying opinion or listening to customers and colleagues in other departments so that they can factor their thoughts into the way their work is being done or scheduled.


Then there are things that always need doing like stocktaking, inventories and safety checks. Individuals have told me that a specific responsibility for something, or a specialism of some kind, usually brings more meaning to their work. So option number two for your consideration is:


2 OFFER THEMTHE OPPORTUNITY TO DO A SERIES OF IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS.


I suspect a number of different improvement projects would need to be generated and evaluated against agreed criteria.


If the person cannot think of many project ideas then management could give their point of view on what they would like to see improved or just the things that they would like to see done that are not currently being done.


It is important to get the person’s


commitment to do an improvement project especially if s/he did not think of it. A good few projects will be needed so that there are other improvement projects waiting as and when the early ones are ‘put to bed’ by the individual.


THE PERSON IS ENERGISED AND MOTIVATED


Three things might happen as the improvement projects gradually diminish in number over time. First, the person is energised and motivated by the responsibility of the improvement projects or specialisms and starts to take on the tasks previously resisted. With the outcome being that s/he stays on the workforce in a full-time capacity.


Second, some of the work generated by the projects extends into a full time job with an ongoing workload which the organisation values in the long term as well as short term. The outcome again being that s/he stays on the workforce in a full-time capacity.


A MEANINGFUL LEGACY FOR THEM TO PASS ONTO THEWORK TEAM


Third, the individual, after a time, can see that their personal contribution, over the full term of their employment along with their more recent project work has developed into a meaningful legacy for them to pass onto the work team.


This is important to many long serving staff because it gives them the feeling that their contribution will not be lost, wasted or forgotten when they do eventually leave full-time employment.


By this point in the arc of their work experience they should already be coaching and mentoring others, perhaps the younger, less experienced team members. In this way they can be actively involved in passing on their legacy and enjoying the respect and admiration their contribution to the work has earned them.


It might even be possible, after they retire, to retain them for a few hours a week as a coach and mentor to the work team or someone who can help out at busy times of the year doing work to a good standard. So option number three for your consideration is:


3 OFFER THEMTHE CHANCE TO HAVE A MEANINGFUL LEGACY AND A USEFUL ROLE AS THEY APPROACH THE END OF THEIRWORKING LIVES.


I firmly believe that if we listen closely to people who seem to be resisting change we will learn which options, or combinations of options and assurances, will work best for them. You never know maybe you will be able to change some of them from ‘old fogeys’ to ‘golden oldies’.


The UnderCoverCoach has been helping people in UK industry to get better results for over 25 years. If you are facing a ‘change’ situation at work and you think it might help to speak to someone, you can contact the Coach by e-mail via duncan@greenenergypublishing.co.uk


There will be more from the UnderCoverCoach in the next issue.


Wind Energy NETWORK


17


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