Handballing an employee won’t solve anything

Ever worked in an organisation that instead of dealing with the dysfunctional behaviours, or poor work of an individual and holding them to account, we handball them to another team or department. We might decide to ‘restructure’ the department or reduce headcount. Yeah nah. Let’s not do that anymore. 

When we do this, we are sending a message to our people that poor behaviours or an inability to do the role, well enough, is going to be swept under the carpet. It also enables these behaviours.

In the past few years, we have enabled poor accountability. Because of our compassion, we have been concerned about our colleagues’ well-being. We wanted to avoid adding to their stress. And if we are honest, we’ve placed our discomfort from having these conversations as a greater priority over other people’s evolution.

So instead, we talk about people, not to them. It’s no longer helping. You or them.

When we don’t hold others to account, in a way that builds trust and respect, we limit our ability to be an amazing culture, a high-performance culture.

Helping teams and workplaces rise to a better way of working is a role we all play. Complaining about people and leaders won’t get us there. Conversations that are candid and kind will. 

Let’s stop handballing people and issues to others. Let’s step into how we create better cultures. It starts with us.

If you lead teams or organisations and want to talk about how we can help you build a culture where your people love being at work, shoot me a note. I’m always up for a chat.