You won’t get a bad performance review for doing the right thing

I have built a career on the lost opportunities of others. The fear, hesitation, reluctance, laziness, narrow-mindedness, and indecision of others has allowed me to net a reputation as the “go to guy” the “problem solver” and the “guy who gets things done”. I don’t consider myself the hardest worker and although I am intelligent enough to write software I was rarely the smartest person on a project.What inspired me to write this was recently I had an employee who was faced with a tough decision. Without going into detail, the crux of the matter was they had been presented with a better process that put us both in better compliance with government regulations while streamlining their work. I can’t tell you how rarely a process can be made more efficient where government regulation is involved. However, to move forward with the new way would mean communicating to our business partners that we would be making a change. Everyone was happy with the status quo and we are in an industry that needs change but is reluctant to embrace it. The employee was reluctant to ask permission from our business partners.

My solution was simple. I told them to do something I had done many times myself. Don’t ask for permission, do it. Don’t hide it. Send a message that says we are changing our process, explain why, and then do it. Put everything out in the open so no one can make accusations. I assured them that I would back them on this decision. That was the point I told them “I’ve never gotten a bad performance evaluation for doing the right thing”. Granted, I have made people upset, I have angered upper management, but if your work is good and your actions are pure no one is going to complain too loudly. What will they say? “How dare they make us better and save money? What nerve!” Sometimes your actions may mean someone else has to start doing their job. Don’t feel bad about that. I’ve overturned a few apple carts in my day. Shining a little sunlight on an inefficient process can reveal all sorts of things, which is why some of your co-workers avoid scrutiny at all cost.

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Posted in Advice, Career Management, Work
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