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Managing With Respect ©

A Model for Success Based on Real World Experience

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For Business Students
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“Whether you are presenting an employee with a bonus for producing extraordinary results or terminating someone for failure to meet job requirements, it can ALWAYS be done with respect. Respect is the fundamental foundation that can, and should be used to support all management activities. Managing With Respect © is a boundless and timeless concept. In other words, no matter what the environment (resources and skills scarce or plentiful, business booming or in the ditch), you can depend on this concept in managing all circumstances and resources to meet your objectives. You don't have to change your management philosophy or style; you don’t have to appear to be transparent or lose credibility to affect changes necessary to build, maintain or revamp your business.

Managing With Respect © teaches an objective approach that provides a consistent base from which to start, operate, measure, revise or transform everything in your business. The stability and applicability of such an approach allows for success at all levels and over time, can even help increase trust, overall performance and innovation within your business relationships.”
Illustrative Example:

"As much as possible, I will inject my personal experiences into this work to illustrate how the model and principles work in “the real world.” You may not always agree with my assessment, but there is no better teacher than experience, so I offer these cases in the hope that many readers will relate to them.

Call center (also known as Customer Service Center and Help Desk) management is a challenging environment indeed. But there is no better environment to show how using the
Managing With Respect model can help provide a solid base from which to build effectiveness and high performance.

For five years, I managed people and projects needed to bring an internal 24x7 corporate “help desk” organization from a problem report and dispatch function to a problem “resolving” function that was a much more valuable resource to internal IT systems users and second level support teams. We had to start by building the base of knowledge. Agents that staffed the desk were capable, but had never been required or held accountable for resolving even the simplest problems. Using computer based training modules, formal classes and our own technical and application support teams; we scheduled mandatory learning activities to raise the level of expertise.

organization needed to pull the training schedule together might illustrate this Managing With Respect principle well enough, but even more important to us was organizing the results. You see, not only were we raising the level of expertise to raise the bar on support services provided, but we also had to become a more efficient organization (i.e., less people). So defining the criteria to be used for determining who would stay and who would go had to be done with a great deal of thought and consideration for both performance in the “classroom” and other skills and abilities that could contribute to our success.

You might think that all of this activity, conducted in a relatively short period of time, would create a very negative environment with low morale. I’d be lying if I said there weren’t some bad feelings, but our planning and execution was supported by a solid foundation of respect and this absolutely helped everyone through the process. We began by clearly communicating as much as we possibly could about the mandatory education, expectations for attendance and completion and the fact that some would not “make the cut.” From a metrics perspective, we had all the data we needed from tests conducted within the training sessions. In addition, we implemented monthly one-on-one performance evaluations to provide both objective and subjective feedback to each and every employee. This frequent and brief yet thorough communication provided employees and management a common document and forum for discussion that illustrated fairness within a difficult process.

The results were quite good for both business and people and this experience allowed me to test the soundness of the model and principles. I’ll talk more about this environment in the upcoming chapters as there is much more to be learned."