Heera Training & Management Consultants

eNewsletter February 2007

Dear Everyone,
Hi! And how are you all? Firstly, thank you very much to all those who sent me new year greetings. Thank you too to all those who wrote to say that they enjoy reading the newsletter and look forward to it every month. It is very much appreciated. One of the mails I received contained the picture below and was titled, “Not my Job”. I really liked it very much (thank you Allan Lai) and wish to share with you the management ramifications.  One look at the photo and we are filled with feelings of exasperation that this sort of thing could have taken place. It tells us three things about the employee who was responsible for the drawing of the white line.

  1. He has a poor attitude which is, “I will only do what I am paid for and nothing else”.
  2. Instead of solving problems, he circumvents them to the detriment of road users. Not only did he do a bad job, he also inadvertently informed the whole world about it.
  3. He is obviously a de-motivated employee who may have self-esteem problems. He is only focused on serving his personal interests at the expense of the goals of the organization.

But on reflecting, isn’t this common in many organizations, i.e. this concept of “I will only do what I am paid for and nothing else, irrespective of whether it affects organizational performance”. And before we smile and point fingers at others, please be aware that some of us may have this attitude unknowingly. 

There are a few things we can learn from the above picture and situation:
Lesson 1. If you fall into this category of employees and think that you are adhering to your job description and nothing else, then your days at the organization or any other organization will be numbered. Please remember, that your company pays you not only to do your job well, but to also not make other people’s jobs difficult. Think of working as a ‘TEAM’ rather than as an individual in your individual silo.
Lesson 2. When you do not help to solve other employee’s problems, you in turn create problems for yourself. In the above scenario, when the guy responsible for removing tree branches comes and does his job, then the person responsible for drawing the line will have to make another special trip to that particular section to re-draw the line. In trying to make his job ‘easy’ the first time by circumventing the problem, he inadvertently created more work problems for himself in the future.
Lesson 3. From an overall perspective, it is unlikely that the individual who drew the white line will have a successful career. Organizations today, want employees who are pro-active and who work with the mission of trying to make the organization more successful. They want energized employees who work with a highly collaborative spirit. Employees today not only have to do their jobs well, but also synergize and make other people more efficient in their work. Individuals and departments who have a ‘silo mentality’ will be a liability to any organization.   

Thank you very much for taking the time to read this. I really do hope that I have enhanced your management knowledge by a little bit. Until my next newsletter, take care and I do hope you will all have a great month ahead.

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Heera Singh
Principal Consultant
HEERA Training and Management Consultancy
HP 0126083708