Seems simple right? All too often in the fast paced, high pressure world of business, where the bottom line is king, these niceties can get thrown right out the window.
A client of mine was sharing something that happened to her recently. Her company instituted a new employee communication program, in which upper management held a series of one on one meetings with every employee. Well, actually it was more like 2 or 3 on one, depending on which department you were in, apparently - Director, Assistant Director and Manager meeting with one employee, in her case. The pattern starts here!
Anyway, during the meeting they discussed her attitude (which was good), her performance (ditto) and her hopes and plans moving forward in the company. They also talked about what THEY could do for her moving forward- what kind of support, assistance, etc she wanted to recieve -from the company in general and her supervisors in particular. At the end they all signed an agreement that essentially restated what they had discussed; that she would continue to work hard & show good morale and attitude, and that they would provide the specific support she had requested (I'm not going to go into too much detail here as I don't want to get her in trouble).
As I'm sure you can guess from the title of this blog post, things didn't work out exactly as planned. She held up her end of the bargain, which, to be honest, was pretty easy. She's a good worker and a great person, so working hard and having a great attitude just comes naturally for her! The problem came when the company was called upon to come through on their promises.
They didn't come through on a single one. They actually made some of their failures to comply with the agreement seem like her fault- she was even reprimanded for not reminding them to provide her with the weekly updates she had asked them to give on a looming company-wide restructuring. An "update" is something you provide on your own. Otherwise, you're just "answering a question"! She knew they weren't taking the whole thing seriously when she never got a copy of the signed agreement after the initial meeting. When she asked for one it took management over a week to track down the document and forward her a scan. The bottom line : employment is a relationship, and integrity is vital to any relationship. Do what you say you're going to do, when you say you'll do it, the way you said you'd do it. Easy enough.
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