Every day in work places across America, employees send signals to their leaders.  These signals or indicators, as a beating heart, provide the pulse of a company, and directly affect the overall health of an organization.

            On any given day, leaders are faced with the challenge of variation.  Where there are groups there will be gripes.  I’ve never worked in an organization where everyone was completely satisfied with everything.  There are always signals and indicators!   Some of these include:

Shifting attitudes
Quality of Customer Care
Product Quality


Many displaced employee attitudes come as a result of problems within the work process. These problems are often outside of the employees’ ability to control, and directly affect how the employee does his/her job. Many times these problems can be remedied by listening to useful input from employees who are directly involved.  My question is:  Are you listening, or better yet, are you hearing?  There is a difference.  One listens but takes no action to resolve employee concerns—the other listens and takes action to remove obstacles so the worker can feel successful.

I’ve had the opportunity to witness various management styles throughout my work life.  I’ve worked with and for them.  There were those who managed by way of fear and threatening behaviors.   You’ve seen this person.   This is the manager who likes to display anger by kicking over garbage cans, throwing things, yelling at subordinates—you know the type.  These managers keep a cloud of fear over their employees as a means of control.  It’s my way or else!  This is the type of management style that breeds distrust and leads to a fragmented work force.  Employees find it difficult to cooperate with one another for fear of repercussion by their so-called leader.  The fear-based management style is not conducive to excellence, nor can it be because any success generated out of fear is short term.

Short term results are those generated by employees doing just enough to get by and stay in good graces with the boss. These employees are not inspired by their leader to give the extra effort, or do their absolute best.  In the end, the leader, along with the employees, customers and suppliers, all lose.

There were also those who managed by way of care and respect for the individual. You’ve also seen this person.  This is the manager who leads by example.  This manager knows that the human resource is the most valuable asset the company has.  Therefore, they make sure that employees are educated in every aspect relating to the requirements of the job.  They stress safety and teamwork.  They create cohesion and utilize performance evaluations in a manner that uplifts and strengthens the workforce.  This manager recognizes and rewards employees for their contributions to process improvement.  Employees find cooperation with one another useful in generating best practices.  The care and respect management style is conducive to excellence.  Employees want to do their best and give the extra, because they know that they are valued, respected, and listened to.

Are there gripes in every organization and business around the world?   Of course there are!  The point is a caring and respectful manager has the ability to use those individual gripes the way a conductor uses individual musical notes to create a harmonious overture.  The manager, as conductor, sets the tone. 

Here are a couple of practical guidelines for creating cohesion and setting the tone:

Prepare your team by offering the best Example, Education, and Equipment.
Have an Open Door Policy and an ‘Idea for Improvement’ box addressed to you as Manager.
Follow up on improvement ideas generated and implement best practices.
Reward employees and celebrate their success.

These four steps will set the tone, and lay a foundation for success.  I choose to be a leader who ‘sets the tone’, not one who is ‘tone deaf’.  

For more information please contact:

Ruben Colón

H2H Excel (a service excellence company)



Ruben Colón currently resides in Houston, Texas. Core Competencies:  Relations and Quality Excellence FacilitatorBackground: Marine Manufacturing and HealthcareManufacturing Experience:Healthcare Experience:Professional Memberships: Toastmaster’s InternationalCurrently pursuing a career as a service excellence coach and motivational speaker.
Article Source