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I am currently the HR/Accounting Manager at a manufacturing plant. I provide the financial statements, product costings and production metrics to the owner.  Both the owner and I see there is a significant negative performance on the part of the managers and supervisors.  The owner and I talk about it but don't reprimand or give consequences. I am not in a position to tell the other managers they need to be on probation or terminate them for poor performance since they report directly to the owner. 

I've saved the company a huge amount of money but all other department does not seem to care about cost savings and efficiency.  The mindset is just not there.  All of us even went to Dale Carnegie class!

I need to get the right people on the right positions with the right mindset with everyone on board - including the owner.  If you've read the book Good To Great by Jim Collins, you know what i'm talking about.

Are my expectations high or is it just a frustrated feeling that will come to pass (which I doubt)? Since I work here, I want to make it a better place by going to the next level.

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James, Kudos to you for looking for a solution to this.  If you're committed to solving this problem, I think the first thing you need to have is buy in from the owner to solve the problem.  As you mentioned, you don't have the authority and those good intentions won't pay off if the owner hasn't specifically given you the authority to attack the problem.

If you can't get the owner to support you, how will it be effective anywhere else in the organization?  So, there's starting place.  Can you proactively get the owner to see the value in fixing this issue?

I would appreciate if you would call or email me about this.  I have some tips on how to approach the owner about this and would be glad to share with you, but it's kind of difficult to write out.

You can email me at greg@rhythmofprofitability.com and we can arrange a time to discuss.


Update - fast forward April 2017.  I've come to realize that without executive buy-in, I can only implement small process and procedures. With the current workplace environment I'm in, nothing has really changed a bit except my team's integrity and standards with regard to process and work ethics. I have taken further steps back with my responsibilities but still pursuing compliance. Strategic objectives are out of reach but there was some positive returns - work comp injuries and frequencies went down 45% from last year through changing safety behaviors by periodically doing safety incentives. Other implementations include eCommerce online order entry by customers and providing transparency. 

Don't you hate it when you know the solution to problems you aren't allowed to fix?   I don't know what you can do to get executive buy in if they aren't looking to change.  Being that  you are on the HR side maybe you can propose some initiatives to improve culture or performance, etc.  LEAN is a popular theme right now.  What are your customers doing to stay competitive?  Are you ISO certified?  Does your CEO like the idea of being featured in a national industry magazine - maybe you can propose a story worthy initiative.  

Any process that I can control within the department is doable. Having educated, competent leaders and managers are what we need. Internal structure, accountability, process improvement, having a leadership mindset, vision, mission statement and clear objectives are other few factors but it has to come from the top.


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