Saturday, November 28, 2009

Don’t Tell HIM or HER

If you ever climb the corporate ladder, try to remember what it’s like on the first few rungs.

Here are some trends I’ve observed in large companies in many industries: Companies fire workers but still want all the work done. Fewer employees handle more duties and increased responsibilities but have less time to pay attention to details. Management strategy still encourages delegation but there is no one left to delegate to.

High quality productivity and improved morale could probably result in more profitability, but who is going to tell top management that productivity and morale are suffering because there is too much on our plates?

There are so many things going on in some workplaces that no one has the time to focus on any one thing; quantity trumps quality. Back in the day – and I’m talking about less than ten years ago – workers had what is now considered an obsolete luxury: time to do things carefully and correctly.

Sure, there was waste in the past. We could all have done more and done it faster. Haven’t we gone too far the other way now?

But who is going to tell upper management? Do you want to be the person who tells the regional or national managers that we’ve got too much to do? You’ve got your own job to protect so you are likely to pick your battles and that isn’t one you can win. Your local managers might get the point, but they have their own jobs to look out for so they’ll pick their battles too. The regional and national managers? Same thing.

It is like they forgot what it is like down here. Or maybe not. Maybe they’re just picking different battles.

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