I recently invited my team to take part in a straw poll. I wanted to understand what frustrated them; what got in the way and stopped them doing a great job.
I learned the reasons why my team is frustrated. They told me their four top gripes. This is what I heard.
- Inadequate ProcessesThe team is frustrated with rules. Rules and processes that make no sense. Digging a little deeper I realized this wasn’t about rules per se but how the rule book stops progress. Here’s the rub: the business has to make big savings. It needs to do things completely different. But we are distracted by trivial bureaucratic policy and procedure. Progress isn’t made because employees fear breaking the rules. So the team is frustrated because it cannot innovate. Its attention is diverted from what is really important. When management creates barriers to progress it cannot expect outstanding results.
- Limited Opportunity to Develop Skills
My team loves to learn. And they’re damned good at what they do. Even so the team is frustrated by the limited opportunity to develop new skills – skills needed to propel the organization forward. The team is frustrated because they are not in control of their development. Bureaucracy isn’t attentive to people’s feelings or potential. Bureaucracy determines what people should do. Bureaucracy focuses on weakness not strength. The team is frustrated because it cannot be exceptional at what it does. The organization won’t invest in the right skills. It fails to develop exceptional people. When management creates barriers to progress it cannot expect outstanding results.
- A Lack of Decisiveness or Commitment
When progress is made opportunity beckons. But bureaucracy always misses opportunity. Bureaucracy is indecisive and lacks commitment. The team is frustrated because their work is sometimes undone by indecision. The business undervalues their hard work when it doesn’t take advantage of the new found opportunity. When management creates barriers to progress it cannot expect outstanding results.
- Failing to Take Responsibility
The team is frustrated when progress isn’t made. When their work is done others use it to produce results. Or choose not to do anything. When management creates barriers to progress it cannot expect outstanding results. These are 4 reasons your team is frustrated with your leadership. Yes, your leadership! The team looks to you to take command, remove barriers, and lead by example. I’m doing something about it. Are you?
Martin Webster is Systems Support Manager at Leicestershire County Council. He has over ten years project and programme management experience. Martin’s professional interests include project management, leadership, and strategic information systems planning. Read more at Martin Webster, Esq.
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