Initiatives and Bureaucracy (from a worker bee’s point of view)

A lot of companies have a disconnect between what management and workers think is productive.  Management focuses mostly about how they can do their job better.  This makes sense but it needs to be thought of in the context of the workers they are managing.  In order to do their jobs better (or make their jobs easier) mgmt comes up with new initiatives (probably with the help of high priced consultants) that sound great in an executive conference room. This results in new initiatives being piled on the workers without thinking about the 20 other initiatives they are already tasked with, not to mention the job they were actually hired to do.  This is why initiatives fail and productivity gets reduced.  From the workers’ view it feels like the man behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz is somewhere continually making their job tougher.  Workers mumble, “I can’t get my job done with all of these initiatives!”  Management wonders, “Why isn’t my job not easier with all of these initiatives in place?” This continues on for a while until it reaches a breaking point and then you need another consultant to come in and wipe the slate clean…and start the cycle over again with some new initiatives. 

Management should focus more about how to make their workers’ jobs easier, not more complicated.  People want to do their job and do it well (if you’ve hired the right people).  How can you better empower them?  New initiatives should have the dual goal of not only making management more productive but also making the workers more productive.  Coming out with a new initiative? Make sure it replaces or at least encompasses two other existing initiatives. Also, make sure there’s a concrete schedule and workers have the right tools in place to accomplish the initiative.  The workers will respond by working harder and being more productive. 

Posted by Taylor

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