The Know It All Supe: What To Do?
Q: What would your way be to approach a deal with a General Supt. that honestly does not have the field experience or knowledge to do his job. But honestly believes that he is the shit. I am straight forward finding no reason to sugarcoat anything.
A: Sounds like it is an ego problem that is blinding him to the need for his own growth. One path with those types is to choose inquiry, not confrontation. Ask him for ideas on things that are clearly over his head. Ask him for technical assistance that he cannot provide. Get him to acknowledge (without being an asshole about it) that he needs input, as well as your direct assistance. Make sure that when he does take input, thank him for it. Tell him you respect him for being open. A lot of times that kind of behavior is defensive and insecurity and its your job to “manage-up” even if it feels like dealing with a kid.
New Hire Buy In?
Q: We run a small crew of 8 to 10 guys normally. We typically are working 20 or so jobs at any one time so we move man power a lot, sometimes daily. Our steady crew works well as a team and sometimes guys need to pick up on a job where another guy has left off.
We are looking at work in the near future that will enable us to double our crew. When we bring more guys on out of the hall I would like to on board them so they fit well with the team to move job to job and pick up where another guy left off without any belly aching.
Any particular advice on how to ensure new hires will work well in this type of team environment? The double sized crew will probably be for 6 months or so. I guess the issue is to get temporary help to “buy in” and work well with our “steady team”.
A: Great question. You need to set up a uniform on-boarding process. Get your foremen and lead men together and agree on the following;
- How do we set expectations for all new employees upfront and how do we involve everyone in the process? First day. First week.
- How do we get existing employees to not exclude, judge or push back on the “outsiders”? Letting them share in the process will accelerate learning curves of new hires.
- Remind foremen that they have to be the “coach” not the “doer”. Their job is people first, not hands on doing. New employee coaching is their task – not being the craft guy in charge.
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