Resistance vs Management

Kathy left a comment on my Posting and Traffic post, saying “I started off being the only one posting to our library blog. Then management decided that everybody contributing to it would be a good idea, so they put out a schedule. People were resistant, and kept “forgetting”. Now it’s back to…just me posting..”

Instead of the volunteer problem in the last post, this time the problem is two-fold:

1: staff not doing what they’re supposed to do
2: managers not doing what they’re supposed to do

Let’s use the reference desk as an example again. Managers – would you let people say “Nah, I’m not going to show up at the ref desk today. It’s just not a priority for me.” Um, no. That person would be booted out the door pretty fast, I’m guessing.

So what’s happening here? Honestly, it could be any number of things, including:

  • managers don’t really think it’s a priority
  • managers think someone’s assigned to monitor it, but no one really is
  • someone really IS assigned to monitor it, but isn’t doing it
  • someone’s not reporting the problem back to the managers
  • there’s no follow-through with staff, as in training, prodding, reminding … and talking to his/her manager as a last resort
  • probably many more possibilities here!

But really, the problem and the solution lies fully on management. Those “resistant” staff? That solution’s easy. Assign the work, then monitor it – just like any other part of the job.

Managers – do your job. And write a few blog posts, too, while you’re at it. Model the way for your staff. But do YOUR job, that of managing people and resources, and see what happens.

pic by eflon

  • Kathryn Greenhill

    I had a great example of this with a 23 Things program I facilitated. Management decided to make it compulsory. I disagreed, but said that if they were doing the follow through and got the bums on seats, then I would run with it.

    The result? A great illustration to the staff of which managers supported learning and which didn’t. Who had the tech skills and commitment to model what they requested of staff, and who didn’t.

    The manager who did enforce attendance, and did so through modeling learning and putting on extra sessions aimed at her staff but which anyone else was welcome at – ended up with 80% engaged, switched on team focused staff with fantastic job skills and 20% of the staff very angry that they were being forced to do something that the rest of the library staff were not.

    I am not sure that such a clear snapshot of who cared and who was apathetic was the aim of making the program compulsory….but the lack of follow through from all mangers certainly brought it into sharp relief.

  • Dgraham

    David Lee thank you for bringing this post forward. Kathy, I feel your pain. I am in a similar situation.

  • Davidleeking


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