Scott has been a faculty member in higher education for over 10 years. He holds an MBA in Management, an MA in counseling, and an M.Div. in Academic Biblical Studies.
Making the Most of Pressure
Although pressure at work isn't fun, the complete removal of stress, conflict, and pressure is actually counterproductive. Sure - too much of these things can make life miserable, but people who know how to remain professional during such times will realize significant (and sometimes unexpected) benefits.
You can hone your skills and strategies from the lesson Practicing Professionalism Under Pressure & Conflict. Then, take a look at the following scenario and answer the analysis questions.
Life Isn't Fair
Russell has worked for XYZ Transportation for nearly seven years as supervisor. The company hired him following their successful bid to be the exclusive provider of school bus transportation in the K-12 school district. About six months ago, the district filed notice of their intent to terminate the XYZ contract. Now XYZ was completing the final six months of the contract, and the situation was deteriorating.
The company and therefore Russell desperately needed their workforce to stay until the final day, since it still had contractual obligations to meet. Employees were anxious about their situations and looking for employment anywhere they could find it. Even worse than the uncertainty about the future was the indifference about the present. Why follow the rules when everyone was getting let go anyway?
- If you were Russell, the supervisor, during this transition, how will you help your staff through this trying time?
- Specifically, what will you coach them to do or not do?
- Would you incentivize good behavior, punish bad behavior, both, or neither? Why?
As you think about strategies for making this process as painless as possible, you might want to consider some of strategies.
When you're ready, take a look at the table below. Look at each line representing an option or scenario that the manager could use or coach others to use. After considering it, determine its appropriateness on a scale from 0 to 5, with 5 being entirely appropriate and zero being unacceptable. Be prepared to explain the logic behind your answers.
|1||Coach employees to simply stay positive no matter what||0 1 2 3 4 5|
|2||Remind employees that insubordination can still get them fired||0 1 2 3 4 5|
|3||Emphasize to employees that they should not take the non-renewal personally||0 1 2 3 4 5|
|4||Convince the company to pay for retraining employees who stay to the end||0 1 2 3 4 5|
|5||Conduct business as usual knowing that the pressure on employees will eventually resolve||0 1 2 3 4 5|
|6||Prohibit displays of emotion at work, but provide options for doing so in other settings||0 1 2 3 4 5|
|7||Tell employees that this will all work out, and that they need not worry about the future||0 1 2 3 4 5|
|8||Adjust the information you give so that only positive things are said out loud||0 1 2 3 4 5|
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