Helping the Medicine Go Down

I am constantly amazed at the amount of inconvenience and under performance people are willing to put up with.  At any given time in an organization there are performance issues being neglected or ignored.  I’m not referring to issues that are temporary.  I’m referring to significant systemic issues that will persist and eventually become unavoidable.

One example of this is temporary vacancies.  Every organization had a vacancy, has a vacant position, or will have vacancy.  Its a fact of life in a large organization.  People come and people go.  It often seems that supervisors would rather act like the vacancy does not exist or let other people pick up the extra workload rather than develop a coverage plan until the position is filled.  I can’t explain why this phenomenon exists because it goes against my nature to let this kind of issue go unaddressed (which is why I’m writing this post).

These types of issues performance issues persist because the perceived consequences of ignoring the problem are less than the benefits of resolving the problem.  However, there are hidden consequences to these types of issues.  Ignoring a problem undermines morale.  It creates conflict.  It causes people to question their upline supervisor.

My job title is Organizational Performance Specialist.  My background and training is in performance improvement.  I have a master’s degree in instructional design.  My employer hired me to identify and address issues like this.  My job is not to intervene and fix the problem.  My job is to come along side the stakeholders and work out a solution.  The first step is for the stakeholders to realize something is not working and must be addressed.  My advice is to stop and take your medicine.  Its not always pleasant.  It might even make the problem seem worse but in the long run its the right thing to do.