Social Services, Inc. (SSI) has Management Guidelines its Managers
follow. Equally importantly, all SSI staff members are given copies of the
Guidelines. This enables them to know what they can expect in their
interactions with SSI Managers. We have discussed most of the information
included here elsewhere in this book. I am including the Guidelines here so
they are available in this summary form and to make it more convenient to
quickly refer to them.
central goals of SSI’s Management are:
understand and further SSI’s mission as adopted by SSI’s Board.
understand and implement the policies of SSI’s Board.
define and maintain a rational, flexible Organizational Structure within
which SSI staff members function with a minimum of Management
provide clear, consistent Direction for SSI staff members, assuring they
know and understand what is expected of them, what behavior and actions
are acceptable and which are unacceptable.
maximize Personal Control for each staff member over his (or her)
SSI-related environment and activities.
As SSI Managers work with each other and
with other staff members, priority is given to:
– Emphasizing a helpful, supportive approach to relationships and
– Emphasizing working with staff members by accommodating to special needs
and interests and by facilitating resolution of problems.
– Emphasizing concern for and interest in the activities, successes, and
problems of staff members.
– Emphasizing talking with staff members, reciprocal assistance, and
mutual problem solving.
– Emphasizing acceptance of staff members’ beliefs and values, receptivity
to their thoughts and ideas, and sensitivity to their feelings and
– Emphasizing giving staff members the benefit of the doubt without blaming,
accusing, or threatening.
– Emphasizing keeping commitments to and agreements made with staff
Resolution – Emphasizing identifying, understanding, and working
through conflicts and tensions among and between staff members.
Approaches and Behavior:
the guiding principles and emphasize the management priorities shown above in
all of their SSI management practices. Within these principles and priorities,
management practice within SSI focuses in twelve areas as shown below. Under
each area are the knowledge, approaches, behavior, and management techniques
expected of SSI Management staff members.
Supporting and furthering SSI’s mission
Understanding and valuing SSI’s mission.
Valuing SSI’s staff members and activities.
Seeing SSI’s goals as personal action steps.
Being responsive to the needs and interests of
Participating on the Management team
Understanding their roles with others, where and
how they fit-in.
Working within the scope of their
responsibilities and authority.
Following SSI’s policies and procedures.
Seeing how their duties or responsibilities
relate to other areas of SSI.
Understanding SSI’s budget, financial reports,
and other management data.
Respecting the confidentiality of Management
discussions and problem solving activities.
Supporting Management when they or other staff
members are unhappy with policies and decisions.
Not passing their frustrations and negative
opinions along to others.
Bringing leadership to their levels within SSI
Bringing the same energy and commitment to the
job when things are not going well as when they are.
Accurately understanding and valuing their
skills and limitations.
Being well-organized and prepared when handling
Handling tasks in a timely manner.
Taking personal responsibility when they see
something needs done and no one is doing it.
Pitching in and working a little harder, doing a
little more when necessary.
Investing most of their time and energy in
getting the job done.
Focusing primarily on what is working, on what
is going well.
Focusing their and others’ attention and energy
on how to get ideas to work and away from why they will not work.
Not holding themselves out as the standard for how
other staff members should think, feel, and behave.
Assuming staff members believe what they say and
do not intentionally misrepresent anything.
Understanding staff members seldom complain when
there is not a real problem.
Staying open to the ideas and suggestions of all
Seeing and understanding problems and ideas from
other staff members’ points of view.
Defining tasks and assignments
Making sure a job needs done and is worth doing
before having anyone do it.
Making sure a job can be done before holding
staff members accountable for it.
Providing clear structure and direction for
Helping staff members understand how their
responsibilities fit in with SSI’s goals and expectations.
Building on staff members’ abilities and strengths
instead of focusing on their limitations or weaknesses.
Giving staff members reasons or explanations
Clearly defining and communicating their goals
Being clear about what they want or expect from
Being sure staff members know why tasks need
done, why they are important.
Making sure staff members know how to do what is
expected before holding them accountable.
Retaining general accountability when delegating
tasks and activities.
Not delegating responsibilities requiring their
Not delegating a task and then trying to manage
Delegating both operating responsibility and
Delegating as much responsibility and authority
as necessary to get the job done.
familiar with and knowing how to use outside resources to benefit SSI
and its stakeholders.
familiar with and using all SSI resources.
Understanding and appropriately using informal
procedures and processes within SSI.
familiar with and accessing the knowledge, skills, and abilities of
Making sure work and responsibilities are
Distributing work and responsibilities based on
staff members’ strengths and preferred areas and away from less strong areas.
Not taking advantage of staff members who cannot
Not taking advantage of staff members who are
especially good-natured or cooperative.
Supporting staff members
Not holding themselves out as necessarily the best
judges of how the SSI environment is for staff members.
Advocating for the needs and interests of staff
members within the context of the needs and interests of SSI.
Trusting staff members to act in the best
interest of SSI and its stakeholders.
Giving staff members as much personal control as
possible over their SSI environments.
Giving credit where and when credit is due.
Being sensitive to the motivations and interests
of staff members.
Being sensitive to the feelings and opinions of
Valuing the varying styles and personalities of
Being patient and tolerant with staff members.
Anticipating problems and opportunities.
Dealing with problems and conflicts as soon as
they become aware of them.
Being slow to confront or argue.
Fitting the intensity of their responses to the
seriousness or importance of the problem or incident.
Being assertive but tactful.
Asking staff members to help solve SSI-related
problems instead of simply trying to get them to accept Management’s solutions.
Dealing more with the problem and less with the
people when staff members are upset or unhappy with each other.
Being flexible and willing to compromise.
Not dealing with staff members in win-lose
Accepting shared responsibility for assuring
staff members get their interests met.
Remembering and owning what they have said,
agreed to, and what they have done.
Working to minimize any use of power and control
and to increase their influence.
Seeing each of their decisions as an opportunity
to improve outcomes for clients or staff members.
Trying to understand the what and why of
problems before taking action.
Evaluating the costs and benefits of actions
before taking them.
Making difficult or unpopular decisions and
being accountable for them when they believe the decisions are necessary.
Being prepared to handle staff members’ being
upset or unhappy with them at times.
Understanding there are ordinarily several ways
to get the job done and usually not a best way.
Attending to details without getting bogged down
Understanding the 80% rule: not until 80% of
staff members are doing a task correctly 80% of the time should they expect
Giving staff members clear, frequent, and accurate
Spending as much time telling staff members what
they are doing right as what they are doing wrong.
Assuming staff members are trying to do well,
are trying to succeed.
Assuming staff members do not know how, do not
think it matters, or are being prevented from succeeding, if they are not being
Teaching staff members to work more effectively
instead of pressuring them to work harder.
Corrective action with staff members
Being quick to praise and slow to criticize.
Holding staff members responsible only for what
they can do and can control.
Handling it as a training problem when staff
members cannot do what is expected.
Handling it as an attitude problem when staff
members will not do what is expected, being sure not to confuse will not and
Seeing attitude problems as management
opportunities and intransigent attitude problems as Management failures.
Complimenting publicly, criticizing privately.
Making sure staff members knew what behavior was
expected, knew how to do what was expected, could have done what was expected,
and actually did not behave reasonably and responsibly, before recommending or
taking corrective action.
it short, limited to their immediate point, and ending by affirming the staff
member’s value and abilities, whenever taking corrective action.