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Just Do Your Job

Just Do Your Job

Lance Haun | Rehaul

July 16, 2010

I love all of the discussion centered who should report to which department. Whether it is a HR department arguing they should be reporting to the CEO and they should have a seat at the table to recruiters arguing that they should be in any department except HR, it gives me a broad smile. Someone is building excuses for performance deficiency.

Now some of my colleagues who specialize in organizational development will tell me that bad organizational design will ultimately lead to performance deficiency. I won’t completely dismiss that point but ride with me for a second because it is more than that.

Where I hear the excuse more than anywhere is when someone is going after HR or recruiting for not doing something they are supposed to be doing.

So I’ll ask why they aren’t following up with candidates in a timely matter, they point to an ATS and pine for a place under marketing where they can get respect and budget to implement a better one.

Or I’ll ask why employee relations is completely reactionary rather than proactive and they’ll mention that managers don’t respect them because they report into finance or operations so their hands are tied.

These aren’t organizational criticisms, these are excuses. If getting back to candidates is a priority, you get back to them. If employee relations is important, you make the call to be more aggressive. If you are absolutely getting no traction, you better be the squeaky wheel at every opportunity until the problem gets fixed. And until it gets fixed, you better be doing the best damn job you can do (even if it means working a little longer to compensate for it). And if it doesn’t get fixed and it is literally keeping you from doing your job, it is time to move on.

That other option is complaining about organizational dynamics while the work you should be doing is left undone. It shouldn’t be any option at all.

I’ve advocated increasing your influence in an organization. You should always be looking to do that if you want to change things up and be a disturbance (the good kind). But that doesn’t always entail changing organizational structure or moving up to that seat at the table. Building influence is often more than just the title (though, in some organizations, the title is important). And no matter if your organization loves or hates titles, you’ve got to do your job before you gain respect in your company.

Period. End of story.

We all struggle with politics and roadblocks at work. The good ones find ways around them and get their job done. Sometimes those good ones can push hard enough to make their job a little easier. Others leave, only to find roadblocks awaiting them at their new home. The rest complain and find a way to make them not getting their job done someone else’s problem.

Let’s see how well that works out for you in the long term.

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