Do they know the standards for the task?
One of my friends was transferred from Washington to Philadelphia. He found a convenient train and was regularly in his office and at work by 8:20 a. m. every morning. He noticed that other folks were there ahead of him. After about six months, he asked on of his colleagues--who he know lived on the same railroad line as he, why she didn't take the same train he did. After all, he said, it gets you to work comfortable before 8:30.
She looked at him steadily and replied, "Dick, in Philadelphia, we start at eight."
Do not assume that persons know the standards to which they must perform because you do. Do not assume that what seems obvious to you is obvious to them. Do make sure that standards are clearly expressed and readily available, and you will find that most persons will strive to meet them.
Also, do not overlook sources of standards. I have often had persons tell me, "This company has no standards," yet, when we start looking, we find standards all over the place. They are disguised as safety rules, as operating procedures, as policies, as rules of conduct. Sometimes they are even found in advertising slogans! But they are standards, for any statement that tells how to perform is a standard, whatever label it might bear.
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Copyright 1997, 2001 Frank W.