Re: Inaccurate SMEs, take II

Subject: Re: Inaccurate SMEs, take II
From: Mark Baker <mbaker -at- OMNIMARK -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 17 Dec 1998 15:22:28 -0500

Geoff Hart wrote

>I'm not sure that I understand where we disagree. My advice was quite
>clear, I thought: try to resolve it "quickly and amicably" yourself.
>If that doesn't work, talk to your manager, but try to fix it
>yourself first.

We disagree when you describe reporting this type situation as "definitely a
resort". Reporting such situations is not a "resort" at all, let alone a
"last" one. It is a professional obligation. In the case described, both
productivity and quality were being seriously compromised. Under those
circumstances the first thing you must do it tell your manager.

><<It is up to the manager to decide whether the employee should be
>asked to try to solve the problem themselves or if the manager needs
>to get involved.>>
>In short, "trust us, we're managers and thus much wiser than you are
>about these things. Now be a good little techwhirler and go do
>whatever it is that you do. I'll figure it out for you." Rubbish.
>That's fine for neophytes; for anyone of adult maturity who's been in
>the workplace for a few years, it's ridiculous advice.

No. In short, the message is. "Inform us. We're managers and as such we are
responsible for these things." A manager is not a super-employee who is
better at your job than you are. A manager has a different role and a
different set of responsibilities from a non-managerial employee. Dealing
with problems that affect productivity and quality is one of the key
responsibilities of management. Being productive and producing quality is a
key responsibility of a non-managerial employee. Managers and employees are
obliged to respect each others roles and to give each other the information
and support they need to do their jobs. It isn't a question of your deciding
who is best able to handle this situation, it is a question of whose job it
is to handle this situation.

Nothing makes life harder for employees than managers who won't give them
the support and information they need to fulfill their responsibilities.

Nothing makes life harder for managers than employees who won't give them
the support and information they need to fulfill their responsibilities.

Mark Baker
Manager, Technical Communication
OmniMark Technologies Corporation
1400 Blair Place
Gloucester, Ontario
Canada, K1J 9B8
Phone: 613-745-4242
Fax: 613-745-5560
Email mbaker -at- omnimark -dot- com

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