Getting it right

Getting it right

Any thinking employer is already dedicated to the welfare of his or her staff. It is common sense to be so. Tolerance of the mental and physical stress caused by Covid-19 is a prerequisite for any boss who hopes to retain and retrain his people. All this is management gospel for 2021, 2022 and beyond. Good staff management has sometimes been lacking in the past, even the very recent past. We are in an age of understanding, of helping, of – above all – caring. Long may this last.

What is management getting for this additional effort and consideration? Are staff more loyal? Some are, for sure. I don’t think the majority are. I think they are less loyal than in the past. Are they more innovative, popping up with ideas to improve the performance of the organisation and of themselves? Some are, I grant you. I’m afraid the creative tsunami we were hoping for is still a long way off. So – in many cases – is the effort to generate it. Silicon Valley demonstrated that it is possible and many young people thrive on genuine innovation and discovery today. Sadly, that doesn’t apply to most of the regular employees.

You notice that I say ‘most of’. You will find me qualifying many statements that I make. I do that because I have genuinely creative and innovative people around me. Their suggestions bounce in regularly and they care deeply about the work they do. We are all fortunate, of course, in that we are helping people – something that is self-rewarding anyway.  But even with that satisfaction there is always the danger of complacency. Every day I say to myself that my shower is not just for the body. It must be a time of reflection to cleanse the mind, too.

Are the regular employees being extra careful about the details of what they do? Are they taking responsibility for excellence? Do they find reward in a  job well done, however boring and repetitive it is? Do they show interest, curiosity and concern about the organisation they work for? Do they treble check a statement to make sure it makes sense? Are they getting it right?

If you ask yourself these questions, and ponder a little to give more than superficial answers, you will see many things that could be improved, I’m sure. Let’s start with the details. After all, you are the boss and you do not proofread every statement that goes from your office, you don’t deal with the details except in an emergency. You depend on your good staff to do that.

My observation is that the answer, too often, is ‘no’. The excellence we strive for is being lost to slip-shod work, lack of creative thought, indifference to the needs of the organisation’s customers. There are many exceptions, as always, of course. To those living the exception, I congratulate you. You have seen that the best cure for most of our problems is dedication to something worthwhile. To those who fall short of these demanding standards I say this. You are trying, possibly struggling, maybe dealing with a boss or colleagues who make life difficult. Difficult, but not hell. Hell is the invention of our own minds, the prison of our own imagination, the noose of our own destruction. Revitalise your efforts, get help if you need to. Only the very secure ask for help.

So I suggest we have a dedicated day when we pay particular attention to detail, when everything is going to be right. And I suggest that the day in question be Today.

Because Today is a special day for getting it right.

And Today is always today.

Good morning

John Bittleston

What do you think of a Getting it Right Day – Today?