During a recent breakfast chat with a leader of a 30-person service company I was posed the following question, “How do I get my supervisors to keep their members off their cell phones during work hours?”.  I laughed aloud and then retorted so what?

As the conversation continued we both agreed that the personal smart phone had advantages and disadvantages in the work place. The ability to be able to immediately contact an employee to deal with an urgent issue was one for the pro column, adversely the constant interruptions of social media and messaging can disrupt one’s train of thought and concentration.

So, with permission I offered a little coaching on the issue and began applying the innerOvation method to problem solving:

  1. Clarify -what is the real issue(s)? We quickly came up with a list of issues including: slowed response to answering the business telephone, not noticing a new client/customer entering the workplace, daily metrics/reports not complete due to, reportedly, a lack of time (but plenty of time to post the geese landing in the employee parking lot on social media). Your list might be different but, still a list to issues significant to you.
  2. Strategize-What are the expectations regarding each item on your list. Are the expectations clear to your employees? Have you communicated your expectations clearly?
  3. Plan- How do you communicate your expectations to your employees? Do you list cell phone use as an example both in a positive and negative way?
  4. Act- Implement your plan to communicate expectations.
  5. Realize – Did you get the desired change you were looking for? What adjustments are needed? Time to celebrate success or pivot and retry?

Although a simplified review of what has become a contentious issue in the work place, the Clarify, Strategize, Plan, Act, Realize method continues to be a proven model for success with our clients.