Whose job is it?

My friends and I have these ongoing conversations about employees.  Leah is building her business and brand “Indulge” and Leslie is a Human Resources Manager at an engineering firm.  It all started with a quote that Dan sent me, that I shared with them.

What makes your employees excited about coming to work every day?  Figure this out and they will happily use their talents and passion to help the organization succeed.
“One comment I often make is that if I had 10 people – any 10 people – I truly believe I could get more out of them than any other leader because I start understanding them from an individual perspective and can get more out of their effort because I care.” – Jamba Juice CEO, James White

Leah – Ah employees…I am all for situational leadership (understanding how to motivate each employee on a case by case/task by task scenario) BUT
It’s funny, why is all the onus always on employers to constantly focus on them and make them happy? Where is accountability and ownership of job and task? Since when did employers become surrogate mothers?
Employees are adults who have chosen a career path. Right?
It is simpler than you think:

  • Apply for a job you want to do
  • If you are not fulfilled (after communicating with mgt,etc), explore other options. Do not take this negatively, I say this with respect and no hard feelings at all.The world would be a happier place if we all pursue and perform the jobs we like
    • Take pride in what you do, be responsible, be courteous, be honest
  • Be nice, it’s nice

As one of my own staff aptly put it yesterday in an informal chat, ‘why can’t people just come to work and do their job? Even if we don’t always like each other, just do your job….’

Maxine – Oh if only we were created equally.  It’s the same questions with the poor, the underprivileged etc.  Whose job is it to assist these people and bring them up to scratch etc?  Is it ours?

There are few assumptions
1)      Are all adults– mentally emotionally etc adults?
2)      Do all employees accept the notion of personal responsibility?
3)      Do all employees choose their careers – or did they choose the next pay check or do not want to sit at home
4)      Do all employees buy into the notion of a career path?

Interesting position and I agree that some of the work seems misplaced as the onus of the employer – what a lot of work.
As I write I am thinking that the selection process should be used to garner some of the answers to the above questions and these are issues to be covered during the orientation process (which includes the probation period when we do not hesitate to say Good bye to the employee).

Leslie – Work is just a microcosm of wider society… are our leaders responsible and take accountability, do ordinary citizens take responsibility?  How many of our politicians chose that career or just got pulled into it?

The thing is, we must – all employees and employers – provide the avenue to exit gracefully.  In the Caribbean, we hold on to non-performers hoping that they will get better, we shy away from the difficult conversations hoping that the person would leave.  What a disservice to the organization and the employee…


What do you think about it.  Is it the employers responsibility to motivate and care?  Has this approach worked for you?  Share your thoughts!

One thought on “Whose job is it?

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