Employees: Do What is Right, or What is Common?

By Scott Griffin How often are we confronted in our daily lives where we can do something right versus what is common? When employees do something “right” in our business life, I am referring to what makes you not only feel good inside for a “job well done,” but also having a satisfied customer, client, or boss as well. Doing what is right also opens possibilities in a win/win situations in that you feel good at the end of the day and the client is happy not in your work, but that you took the additional time to add a little more personal interest in their satisfaction. Unfortunately, in today’s economic atmosphere with cuts in budgets, staff, time, and other resources the last thing that we think about is doing what is right. We are just trying to survive getting through the day! This sometimes leads to taking shortcuts, not spending a little more time with a client, or passing some tasks off to different departments or personnel. Considering that many companies are cutting back the question can become... Why can’t we, as employees, cut back as well? In fact, many employees do cut back - cutting back on response time, quality, and any other services that we normally provide. We fail to give our all, our best, to the organization, the client, and to our fellow co-workers. Soon our new “lowered” standards become “common” at the expense of everyone else, including ourselves. Work standards begin to match everyone else, just doing the minimum though out the day while not getting fired in the process. This now becomes standard or “common” criteria while it appears that others are trying to push the envelope a little further in hopes of doing even less. This sets the stage where “common” becomes a new standard and of lesser value not just to the organization but to the clients as well. Companies and organizations usually pride themselves in quality, price, and/or service that they can provide to their clients while retaining and attracting new clients. Clients, in turn, usually do business with these companies for that very reason. However, what happens when there is a downturn in the company or the economy? When everyone is working towards the new lower “common” does quality and performance suffer? Many employees are now asked to double-up on their tasks. We are often tasked to do more with fewer resources. If your work standards become “common” to other competing companies then why should a client stay with your company if they could receive better services or product elsewhere? So, I ask you: "Has the current economy made us start to skip doing what is right and just do what is common?" Share your opinions below. How can we get employees to want to do what is right, when current circumstances make them feel obliged to do what is common? Scott has an MBA in Information Security from Keller Graduate School of Management and is currently employed within a local government agency. His professional experience ranges from Private Sector Corporate to Federal Government agencies. He can be found at http://www.linkedin.com/in/scottcgriffin.

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