I’m having a hard time following the rules at work lately.
In my defense, the rules have changed, and I have yet to figure out exactly why, or what the new rules are. Come to find out? Having a good understanding of “the rules” - or what’s expected of me - is closely linked to how well I’m able to comply.
It’s not that I don’t like to be told what to do. (I mean, OK, I don’t like it, but I can handle it - especially for a paycheck.) And I don’t expect to agree with every decision my superiors make.
I just want to know why.
I remember, in the past, being told that a new set of paperwork would be required for all employees. It was a new system from what we were used to, and surely upper management was going through the trouble of training us on a new way of doing things for a reason. But when my colleagues and I asked what that reason was, we were simply told “because that’s what corporate wants us to do”.
I never did end up getting the hang of that new system, and my questions remained unanswered when I left that company several months later. I didn’t leave because of paperwork, but feeling like I was expending a lot of energy on meaningless tasks for no good reason certainly didn’t add to my job satisfaction.
In my current situation, I’m finding that I’m just not sure exactly where I should be spending my energy. Without a clear understanding of my bosses’ goals, it’s difficult to know how to best do my job. At this point in my career, doing my job involves quite a bit more than simply following a checklist of assigned tasks. There’s some independent thinking and decision making that I must do in order to perform my duties well - and that’s difficult to do when you don’t have a good sense of the bigger picture.
What I’ve realized is that a good manager doesn’t necessarily have to convince their employees that their vision makes sense or that their decisions are “right”, but it is worth taking the time to make sure everyone knows, at the very least, why.
Do you find it easier to do your job if you understand why certain tasks or procedures have been implemented?
Photo by db photography on Flickr.