When a company embarks on a Lean journey, there is a lot of learning that goes on. This includes managers. Some may have experience at creating a continuous improvement culture, but many do not. They may make some bad decisions that affect your job. How you approach him or her to talk about the problem you are facing goes a long way into determining whether your boss is on your side in solving the problem or if he sees you as a complainer who is part of the problem.
You need to air grievances with your manager.
How this affects you
Your boss’s decisions have had a big impact on your job. You want him to understand how they are affecting you.
Action to take
Don’t ambush your boss in the hallway with complaints when he is running off to an important meeting. Instead, ask to schedule a private time to discuss your concerns. Once that request is granted, plan ahead and be prepared with no more than two or three specific points that you want to address. Blasting your boss with a series of grievances will likely put him on the defensive and make him tune out.
During your planning phase, consider whether you just want your manager to know how you feel or if you want to present a specific action you would like him to take to resolve a problem. (Remember—don’t complain. Pure complaints seldom bring any resolution.) When you present problems and offer solutions to your boss, include supporting data. Speak your manager’s language in terms of workplace satisfaction, continuous improvement, safety, quality, and customer needs. Help him help you…
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Why this works
The Why this Works section is only available in print copies of Whaddaya Mean I Gotta Be Lean?.