Nobody comes to work to do a bad job


We need to get under the problem.

Have you ever said to yourself, I am going to do this badly? I imagine not, no matter what you are doing whether it be work or not. My belief is that nobody chooses to do a bad job, I am sure there are a million reasons why someone might be doing a bad a job but here are my top 10.

Knowledge – You may have someone working with you who is still learning the job or someone who has worked at a different setting and has always done a certain thing in a certain way. Check the knowledge, it could be as simple as they don’t know, after all we only know what we know.

Confidence – your member of staff may know exactly what they want/need to do but lack the confidence to deliver. It could be they are working with someone super confident and it makes them feel a little intimidated or it could just be they have not practiced enough. Either way you need to find a way of increasing confidence, maybe allocate a mentor or create a less threatening environment for them to practice, maybe a small group.

Ability – If you have never driven before, you start with lessons, then you learn to drive until you pass your test. If we only needed a little bit of instruction in order to be competent at something, why do we take so many lessons? We all need to practice things several times before we become competent.

Wrong shop – See my previous blog (The Wrong Shop) not everyone is cut out for every job, we all have our right shop but sometimes we need to go through the wrong door several times before we find it. It is not bad to be in the wrong shop but it is bad not to recognise and deal with it – have the conversation.

Peer pressure – we all accept that children occasionally do things they shouldn’t because they are pressured by other children, I believe the same is true for adults. Is someone performing badly because of workplace relationships? Could be that another colleague is putting pressure on because they have lost confidence, motivation or simply they don’t want to be shown up. Observe your member of staff in context of the environment and other relationships, you could find the reason lies there.

Understanding – You want something doing in a certain way, you believe you have been clear in your instructions however a certain person constantly does it wrong. Begin with checking the level of understanding, not just ‘do they know what you want them to do?’ but ‘why?’, this is critical if you want someone to buy into your rationale. Ask them to explain to you why they are doing a certain task before you ask how they believe it should be done.

Resources – within this I am including time. Your instructions are not being followed. Could it be that the piece of equipment is being used by another room, there are no forms left and nobody has printed more or that the person simply runs out of time to complete the task? Each of these is easy to address and could solve a frustrating problem.

Motivation – has someone worked in the same room, done the same job for some time and needs a change, a new challenge or more responsibilities. There are many reasons why someone loses motivation, have the conversation understand the reasons and find a solution, it could be they are now in the wrong shop!

Distraction – we only know what we know about people by the things that they tell us, we certainly all face personal challenges during our lives and we all deal with those challenges differently. Could it be that your member of staff is dealing with a personal issue that is distracting them from doing a good job? Sit down and talk; understanding what is happening will enable you to support that person, develop a plan and hopefully get things back on track.

Common sense – it is a fact that common sense comes in all shapes and sizes just as people do. Some people were blessed with slightly more common sense than others. Don’t assume everyone will follow your logic; they will follow their own truth and act through their own thought process. You may need to state the obvious because it may only be obvious to you.

In summary, next time you find yourself thinking that person is just doing a bad job, stop and consider the 10 possible reasons and ask yourself – why would they do that?

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