Management Monday #1

Warehouse management teamwork

Well, I am once again switching up my blog schedule.  I used to have Munch n Move Mondays, but let’s face it…on Mondays I often don’t munch or move much (other than coffee and standing for long hours for my classes).  So, I never had anything to say.  Really, I should probably name it marathon Monday and just list the things I have to do each Monday, because it seems never-ending.  But, enough of that…the blog schedule:  I decided that I am having some MAJOR issues managing people and things.  It isn’t the first time.  I think I’ve kind of been thrown into this managing thing without much in the way of training or advice.  I have TA coaches under me to manage, but in addition to that small group, I also have to manage all the extraneous stuff – paperwork; travel planning; students; relationships between the TAs and the students; relationships between the TAs and other TAs; relationships between students and other students; my grading; the myriad of extra activities in which I’ve chosen to be involved.  And that is just at work.  At home, I have my husband’s travel and work away from home schedule; the bills; all household paperwork; cleaning the house; paperwork; medicines for my daughter (and now my dog); feeding my daughter (and myself and the dog); relationships with my family members; relationship with my husband; relationships with friends; scheduling fun things to do for myself and my family; scheduling holiday travel; planning for visits to family; purging stuff from the house; repairs.  It has become all too much for me.  I am exhausted.  I feel like a failure in LITERALLY every area of my life right now.  I have a headache the size of a watermelon and I feel like I haven’t really truly enjoyed a full 24 hour period in ages.

So, I’ve decided to focus on Management on Mondays.  It may be management in the traditional sense of the word – managing people at a work place.  But, it also may be time management or stress management.  It may be work/life balance management.  Email management.  Hell, I may even talk about weight management just to harken back to the Munch n Move Mondays!  But, probably not.

For the first post, after the day I’ve had, I feel like I need to focus on people management.  My life sees people come and sees people go constantly.  I have TAs that coach for me for two years.  I have some people who stick around to help out, but most move on after two years.  So, I really need to put some more effort into training my peeps fast so they can get working with students quickly and without much supervision (because I can barely stay on paperwork as it is, let alone if I am micromanaging coaches all the time).  But, I’ve found that each person requires a different level of training and a different focus when it comes to training.  But, now I’m thinking that maybe that isn’t true and maybe I just need to micromanage a bit from the start to allow them more freedom in the end.  Because right now, my team is in a major meltdown.  We’ve gone from something like 26 team members the first week of school to MAYBE 13 team members now.  Some of that is typical attrition.  But, some of it is just that no one seems to be having a good time or bonding or even really enjoying the experience this year – students and TAs alike.  So, I’m thinking I may have to take this post-mid-term chance to shake things up a bit.  But, what to do?

From the little reading I’ve done, I would say that our team members lack a feeling of engagement.  So, I think I’m going to do some research this week on how to foster that and then figure out how to make sure the TAs are included in building that engagement.  I will fill in here next week with the ideas and what I’m implementing.