Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Managing Work - Variety Is The Spice Of Life

For some reason that is often puzzling to me, Managers with direct report employees often pigeon hole their staff members related to the specific work they are requiring them to do.  Many Managers only see work in neat little defined boxes, predicated on job descriptions and titles.  While job descriptions and grading are necessary for hiring purposes, they should not become a straight jacket making it impossible to assign other duties and tasks to particular employees.   Job titles and grade levels can be an even bigger problem as employees often get hung up on their status visavis other employees.  As long as money is not being taken away, what difference does it make what job title, or grade level an employee is given.   

And, then there is the whole problem of reporting relationships.   Who can, or cannot work for who.   In some cases, life will just end if a direct report relationship changes.   So much so, that this Blogger CEO has often said ultimately everyone works for me because my name is on the bottom of their paychecks.    In order to be successful in business, we need employees that can multi-task and that are flexible related to their job duties.   We also need Managers that understand how best to use the human resources under their management. 

All employees within a department should be cross trained to do multiple jobs.   And, while there is something to be said for specialization, there is also a lot to be said for variety.   As the saying goes, "variety is the spice of life".   Variety can make work more challenging, interesting and fulfilling.   All Managers have to work at managing the work to best use the skill set of their direct report employees.   This also means dealing with different personality styles to make the best use of an employee's talent. 

Many employees aspire to management, only to find it once achieved, very frustrating.   The reason it can be frustrating is that people are messy.  This reality is only made worse by Managers that are rigid and unable to deal with managing the work by working through other people.   Some battles are worth fighting; while others are a waste of time related to getting the job done.  Most important, work must be fulfilling to retain employees.  Notice I did not say fun because there are lots of tasks that are not fun.  This CEO Blogger believes that variety is the answer to creating a fulfilling work environment.   And, it is management's role to make work fulfilling to achieve personal and company success. 

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