Sunday, February 28, 2010

bench3

Responsibility Should Be Shared To Achieve World Class In Any Work

‘Managers give orders; workers only do as much as they have to’ Surprisingly enough, many managers prefer simply to issue orders and have staff do just what they’re told. Why? Because the power flatters their ego, it takes less time, and they feel they’re in control. Some staff prefer it too – they don’t have to think, they don’t have to accept any responsibility, and if you’re only doing what the boss told you, then you keep yourself safe and out of trouble.

The problem with that is that staff act powerless when the boss is not there, and they don’t take initiatives to solve problems or to do it right for the customer at the time. In fact, they don’t think about customers, they just do what will keep the boss happy. 

They know he is there all the time, they have to live with him every day, whereas customers they may never see again, so why bother? At times also, staff will do what the boss orders even when they know it is wrong, either just to be able to say ‘Ya boo!’, or because they know they have the protection of saying later ‘Well, that’s what you told me to do!’ 

That’s a terrible waste of time and talent. You’re never going to reach world class if you treat employees like automatons who just take orders. You have to use all the developable talent they’ve got. 

Strong advice is: don’t let staff push all the responsibility on to the boss, even if he is willing to take it, and they want it that way. Determine to train your staff well, give them all the information and materials they need to do a good job, and show them clearly what a good job looks like. After that, insist that staff take responsibility for the work they do, ie its quality and its quantity. Overtly, the basic philosophy should be: ‘We’re not going to treat you like children. 

We’re going to treat you like adults, but in return we expect you to act like adults. That means we expect you to work effectively by yourself without having to be supervised into it.’ That act by itself will release a lot of formerly wasted managerial time. Some staff will be apprehensive at first, but later as they realize you are actually trusting them more, they will begin to appreciate being treated like a sensible adult and won’t want to go back to the old ways.

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Haja Peer Mohamed H, Software Engineer by profession, Author, Founder and CEO of "bench3" you can connect with me on Twitter , Facebook and also onGoogle+

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Anonymous
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February 28, 2010 at 6:34 PM delete

When managers say they already know what their objectives are (without having them written), try this little test. Ask them to write down what the company’s or department’s top three priorities are. Give them a few minutes, then list their suggestions. We guarantee you’ll get two flipcharts full of different suggestions.

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