Making New Responsibilities Stick
“We’ve tried to implement change, but some individuals won’t accept their new responsibilities.”
Does this sound familiar? A typical scenario involves a new management structure, new roles, and some key responsibilities that should have been devolved to more junior employees but remain stubbornly “stuck” with their managers. As a result, managers struggle to cope with their workloads, while staff are underemployed and not actually performing the full scope of the jobs they are employed to do.
Letting go of familiar tasks and responsibilities can be as challenging as taking on new ones.
· What if they mess it up – I’ll still get the blame?
· It takes too long to teach them – it’s quicker to do it myself.
· Perhaps they’ll do it better than me...
Any business that wants to make money knows that work should be devolved to the most junior employee who is competent to do the task. Managers who do work that their teams should be doing are neither effective nor efficient.
So if you are finding yourself stuck with work that won’t go away and stay away, here are some steps you might consider:
1) Make sure the employee knows this is now their responsibility. Discuss it verbally and, if necessary, confirm in writing. Make a personal resolution not to take the task back yourself!
2) Provide appropriate training or coaching on how to complete the task.
3) Have a written procedure or worked example for your employee to refer to initially, until they have more experience.
4) Be clear when the employee should refer an issue back to you, and also spell out the steps the employee must take before they do.
5) Put clear reporting arrangements in place, so that you have regular reassurance that the employee is on track, and that any difficulties or issues are brought to your attention in enough time for you to help the employee take corrective actions.
6) If, after appropriate training, support and experience, the employee still does not perform the new task adequately, consider using capability procedures to help the employee improve their performance.
If you would like support managing change in your organisation, give me a call on 0790 2903086.
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