It was quite this morning, so i took the opportunity to clean my office. I am a bit of a neat freak in my office..strange really as I am that way only in my office. On a bookcase shelf is a
gift that my staff gave me a couple of years ago (the picture is below) and it brought back some fond memories.
When I had a larger staff, we would spend an hour a week on common personal development issues. This focused around task planning, time management and communication skills. A few of the early sessions were based on concepts in the book Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy. This book served the team well as an introduction and foundation before moving to more advanced topics.
For many members of the department, I believe, this was the first time they had been exposed to these types of productivity concepts. That is not to say that they were unproductive team members, just that they required more management. As a result of all the weekly development and personal one-on-one sessions, I saw an improvement in every team member’s productivity. I find it funny/sad that some managers I have met in this industry still do not believe in staff development outside of the pure technical skills.
For my birthday that year, my staff bought me a nice cake and the below frog. I keep it as a reminder of some great people and times…
These training sessions were tough to get started as everyone was busy (and did not want to admit any kind of shortcoming) but I felt that it was important. Cold hard reality was that I gave them no option so they put on a happy face and showed up. I found that small group training sessions yield results if they are completed in an interactive-participant basis and not just focused on “getting through the material”. We kept it light hearted and upbeat. I tend to use my self as an example as it is less threatening to the staff and only use individuals as examples in rare conditions. Most staff, when they feel comfortable with the group and process, will open up and share issues they have come across. This is where the real magic starts to happen.
The links below are to my posting in the series “Time Management”.