Responsibility is a significant concept, but in the workplace, it gets a whole different meaning. Having specific people responsible for particular tasks is more than crucial, and people always encourage it. Let’s see why that is.
Why it is vital
Joseph Stalin, a revolutionary and ruler of the Soviet Union, once said that every problem has a first and last name. The meaning of that was that in every case when we discover a malfunction or things that have been done incorrectly, there is a person responsible for that. Most of the time, problems are related to the fact that someone has been careless and inattentive. Some people are held responsible for particular tasks and it is they the ones we should address when things go wrong. Stalin is known for his harsh methods to ”fix” problems, but apart from that, let us focus on how this perspective can help us. The fact that there are no problems that a person is not responsible for their creation gives us the power to fix them. So, why does it sometimes help to put the blame on people?
This actually works in two ways. To start with, having warned people there will be consequences in case they mess up makes them take their job seriously and be more focused. In other words, it is the fear that many times works this way. To underline this argument, let us take the example of law. If prison was not an option after a person murdered another human being, perhaps there would be more murders and acts of violence in society. One might say that killing should be avoided even if the law was not against it, and we would definitely agree. However, the negative motivation of jail is again a motivation and should not be underestimated. Fear often works in a way that protects us personally and as a community in many cases, and this is proven historically.
At the same time, fear is not always a consultant. In many cases, people will mess up just because their fear causes them intense stress, and they finally perform worse than they would if they felt freer. So, suggesting that every action has its own consequences should be done in a clear yet not frightful way because this way, it can have the opposite results.
The second part concerns the fact that sometimes we have to make drastic changes before it is too late. Knowing the exact person who is responsible for a particular issue will allow you to remove these people from this task. The fact that you will do that may be cruel, especially if you are the type of person who does not want others to dislike you. Still, it will quickly allow you to move on and place someone more capable for this job. This way, you remove the problem and allow yourself to meet the next person that can provide their services and be beneficial to the community.
How to demand it
At this point, we should remember the value of written words. Responsibility should be written. There is absolutely no reason to try searching for the guy responsible if you do not have written contracts. The value of a signature is more than great; up until now, it can take people to court. The fact that people can sign even electronically proves how vital a signature is in so many cases. If you want to have successful partnerships with people at your workplace, encourage written confirmations of what they hold themselves responsible for. It is a formal way to seal a deal that has never proved problematic. You do not have to ask that strictly; just clarify that, for typical reasons, you would like a written version of what has been established in words. People who will accept it are real professionals, so it is a nice opportunity to distinguish the real professionals. In any case, if you want to have a serious approach, do not hesitate to be clear and kind about this.
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