Monday, June 22, 2015

It's on me

Recently at work we have had a rash of employees that fail to complete tasks as assigned. It is a very frustrating and perplexing situation. When these things happen I am the one that gets the call or complaint from clients. When these things happen  I am also responsible for getting it fixed. I have asked myself over and over why these seemingly simple tasks are not getting done to standard. I have come to the conclusion it is on me.

Our employee demographic includes many entry level folks. I work in the contract security industry and for a lot of our employees this might be their first full time job or the first job in the security field. What I am trying to say is they are not Tier One operators. But no one is asking them to be. When you assign someone to guard a pallet of bananas you expect a level of skill commiserate with the task. However when an individual fails in that task something is either wrong with them or wrong with the instructions.

After thinking long and hard I have come to the conclusion that essentially I need to forget all the corporate crap I have learned over the last 10 years and fall back on my many years as a Non Commisioned Officer in the US Army. I need to treat these folks like E-nothing privates. What I mean by that is they need detailed and explicit instructions for every task. That is on me.

Sun Tzu said: " If the words of command are not clear and distinct, if orders are not thoroughly understood, then the general is to blame." As a young  NCO I was taught the Army BE,KNOW,DO model of leadership. I will paraphrase it below.

Be- A leader of good character.You should be aware your core values and the core values of your organization
Know- The knowledge and skills sets you need to be a competent leader
DO- Leaders act and give purpose,direction and motivation to others.
I have not been doing the DO and that is on me. 
I need to step back reassess my operation and go forward with a better plan to communicate with my employees so they have the tools to accomplish the mission. With clear and concise instructions their work product will improve and that will allow management the time to be proactive rather than reactive.

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