Progressive companies help their people progress
Ian, the finishing and shipping superintendent for a paper mill in northern Ontario, Canada, told Session 8B of the Leadership Development Lab (LDL):
"Six months ago Donald moved up in the line of progression from Capper to Truck operator. He trained as a Truck operator for the standard 6- week period and even after six weeks of what I think of as pretty thorough training, he was still having trouble in certain areas of the job. Instead of freezing him in the line of progression as a Capper, as we normally do, I decided to work with him to give him all the available opportunities I could find to help him learn and master the job.
I know he is a good worker, he was born and raised in the area and he has a young family and a big heart. Knowing his character and strong work ethic encouraged me to go the extra mile for him. I put him with my most dependable and consistent Trucker for a period of four more weeks. All along the way I was monitoring his progress and working with Donald and his trainer in certain areas as required, making sure he thoroughly understood each part of the new job. After I was convinced he was fully capable on each component, I then moved him on to the next task. After four weeks he was ready to go on his own as a qualified trucker. He has now moved into the next line of progression as an Assistant Weigher, so over a period
of six months Donald has progressed into two lines of progression.
Not only did his fellow workers notice a difference but so did Donaldís wife. She explained to me that he is more relaxed when he comes home from work, and not nearly as anxious as he had been before while getting ready to go to work.
The lesson I learned from this experience is to trust my instincts and go the extra mile with employees who have earned my trust that I can believe in. My mother taught me that if you change one personís life for the good, you have changed 20 or more. How true that is.
The action I call you to take is think about any employee problem situation and review all the possible options of how you can make it work before you give up on any employee who has potential. Be willing to break the mold and go the extra mile when it is called for.
The benefit you will gain is you will feel good about yourself and you will gain a sense of trust with your employees. You will create a loyal, high performance team."