|Benefiting From Planned Teamwork|
|By A. Allen-Jones, MPA - PHD Candiate in Organizational Leadership|
Institutions have a steady pattern of dealing with daily obstacles. Each day administrator’s battle budgetary, employee, and inmate issues. At times those tasks can seem overwhelming, and at times, is often spent wondering if the battle is undefeatable. Studies have demonstrated that the correlation between administration and employees has a direct affect on inmate behavior. ((Zupan & Menke, 1988)). This article will discuss a method of administrating geared toward making the best of administration and employee relations; essentially using common goals to broaden the scope of the effectiveness of any correctional institution.
Long before labor organizations existed, there was a prehistoric managerial practice of unquestioned delegation. Administrators, seen for the most part as “ boss’, or “ those guys” seemingly were prohibited from forming a leveled relationship with employees. Division existed hundreds of years ago, and today they continue to do so. There is an inhibited manner to leave a divisional line between administration and employees. While some may argue that middle management, “supervisors”, “commanding officers” are caught between the administrator-employee struggles; any unit of management seems readily categorized as administration.
Do not view challenges as immediate obstacles. View challenges as hints, or leads toward determining the direction of repair administrative and employees needs to pursue. Issues that arise, rather introduced by administration, or employee, seem to hold their own merit. In as such, the challenge with issues appears to be more of a failure to recognize them, and evaluate their similarities
Where to Begin
The question of repair often teeters on whether any party knows where to begin. Correctional mediation is no difference. There may be struggles within like units, and it is at this point that leaders have to step forward. What is vitally important is to have a clear understanding of leadership. No matter what the field, administrative leadership should not be associated with a need to exercise fearful, or aggressive behavior, but rather leveled thinking, empathy, and a willingness to evaluate all options. The reality has to stay with an administrator’s role. Employees are not granted the ability to take decisions that will govern all aspects of an institution. Administrators have to recognize that the position mandates recognition of a demand for leadership, and it has to be enacted. Practicing, empathy, leveled thinking, and openness to evaluate ideas, does not simultaneously invite a practice of loose management.
Employees who explore taking on leadership roles must do so similar to administration. The position has to be well defined in the retrospect that what actions are taken will have a direct affect on all employees. The employee leader should refute requests to manipulate the leadership role, but should stay on task by leading employees to a common goal. Administrators should always be cautious of placing any employee who fails to demonstrate common goal practices in a leadership position. Failing to be cautious in this nature has the potential of breaking down, and ultimately defeating efforts to reach common goals. Much like dominos falling, institutions that allow negatively focused employee to become leaders, will watch their efforts fall like dominos.
The Good News
There is some extremely good news for administrators, even those who seemed to have little to no grasp of leading their facility toward consummated goals. Some institutions that appear to have a rather positive working environment, mediocre rapport, and acceptable morale, may find that they are on the path of Common Goal Success (CG Success). Other facilities have daily reminders signaling they have an “administrative mess”, at their facility. The similarity of the two above described facilities is that each has the same ability to be successful in identifying, establishing, practicing, evaluating, and succeeding in their common goal initiative.
The Initial Plan
What is great about common goal curriculum is that it does not beckon on beating down a budget, nor does it mean that any facility must look to spend hour after hour meeting on the “plan”. Too many times, administrators associate change with “big steps” and “aggressive employee resistance”. CG Success is an intelligently paced curriculum introduced by administrators, but identified, established, practiced, evaluated, and celebrated by all involved.
The first step of inviting CG Success into your facility, is dedicating to an administrators that there will be a commitment to it. There is no need for any facility to engage in CG Success if there is a disguised agenda to its implementation. Administrators must lead, and invite, both steps are key to getting all those who desire a positive and effective working environment.
As administrators, set down and be honest when listing the problems within a facility; to do otherwise is to taint CG Success, and any efforts will likely to be short-lived, or fail. Once administrators have created the list of inhibitors, a CG Success plan has to be established. Before going out to employee, administrators must first stand united, strong, and committed to a common goal. Administrators are the leaders, being a Common Goal oriented administrator mean building an effective and efficient facility.
Editor Note: A. Allen-Jones, is a corrections veteran and holds a degree in Law Enforcement Administration. A. Allen-Jones is the owner of Security Interventions.
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