MOM - Manufacturing Operations Management

MOM - Manufacturing Operations Management

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Kenneth

What do you do with a quality conscious productive employee that has spurts of disruptive behavior?

Production Manager at Standard Register

  • Comment (28)
  • August 11, 2012
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  • Stephen T.

    Stephen

    Stephen T.

    Leadership/Behavioral Coach and Productivity Consultant

    Hi Kenneth:
    I have a few questions:
    1. How long has the employee been showing disruptive behavior?
    2. Exactly what is this behavior and how is it affecting productivity, his/her peers and you?
    3, Have you spoken to the employee about this in the past? How many times?

    When an otherwise productive employee acts 'out of character', the cause may be totally unrelated to work, although it may be something at work as well.
    You need to sit down with the employee and in a completely non-judgmental, non-punitive way describe the behavior, explain it's not like him/her, and ask the employee 'what's happening?'. You need to listen (more than talk) in order to determine the cause. This will help you determine if it is a coaching performance issue or a potential counseling situation.

  • Kenneth F.

    Kenneth

    Kenneth F.

    Production Manager at Standard Register

    Thank you for the response, Stephen. We are dealing with a long term employee that has a history of disruptive behavior. This person has worked for various supervisors and managers over the years and now reports to me. I would be embarrassed to describe the types of behavior in this forum. We have had multiple discussions in the past several months after which the behavior recedes only to come to life again weeks later. We believe based on the long history that we are also dealing with some instigators that are contributing to this situation. Any thoughts?

  • Stephen T.

    Stephen

    Stephen T.

    Leadership/Behavioral Coach and Productivity Consultant

    Repeated long-term problem behavior requires some other actions and consequences tied to tight timelines.
    Also, how is his behavior affecting others and productivity?
    However.......If you just took this employee on, then your relationship with him should be 'fresh' with no bias from others. Maybe you'll click with him where others didn't.
    If some things are not for this forum, email me at sta@sympatico.ca. with contact info.
    We can discuss this (no charge, of course).
    Stephen

  • Bob L.

    Bob

    Bob L.

    Production Manager at CSI Closure System International

    Kenneth,
    If this was one of my employee's I would try to understand what was creating these disruptions, why are they happening. Ask for the employees help in resolving it. Let the employee know what they do well and why you appreciate them on your team. However there are consequences for unsatisfactory behavior, and let them know what those are. In the end document your discussions and follow up. If improvement isn't made, significant and sustained, progressive discipline must be applied. Good luck.

  • Bryan W.

    Bryan

    Bryan W.

    "Open to Opportunities" Operations Manager (Manufacturing)

    Kenneth,
    Bob is correct, if you have spoken to the employee numerous times and the poor behavior always returns, then progressive discipline is the only route you can take. After all, the bottom line is an employee has to take personal responsibilty for their owns actions.

    I had an employee with apparent identical issues. I found there to be internal "instigators", but also an outside personal influence that caused behavioral issues and eventually led to poor performance, sporatically. Many discussions ensued, but throughout affecting the team negatively.

    As a manager, you don't like to see a seasoned employee self destruct their own career, but you have to think of your organization and your team. They're either an asset or a liability.

    End solution was the last discipline step prior to termination before they started walking a straight line, but by then, it's a thin line.

  • Stephen T.

    Stephen

    Stephen T.

    Leadership/Behavioral Coach and Productivity Consultant

    Kenneth: Bryan's comments are excellent
    I've seen many 'problem' employees become superstars with the right manager. Sometimes it's as simple as paying more attention to 'consistently catching them doing things right'.

    However.....if you feel you've tried everything (that can be a very big if), then you can move down a very short timeline from performance coaching to progressive discipline.
    It really is a pity, but you have to think of the other employees and the company.

  • Ralph B.

    Ralph

    Ralph B.

    Plant, Operations & Welding Engineering Management Professional

    Kenneth,

    Your patience with this individual may be jeopardizing operations.

    Your running a business, not a long term behavioral therapy center.

    If the individual has accumulated sufficient warnings and failed to correct his behavior, manage the situation and cut him loose...

    I mean no disrespect, but his co-workers are probably amused at your inaction.

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