Systemization vs. ‘Big Brother’ – Part III

“Systemization intrudes on people’s privacy, and calling someone out for every error they make in a company is not fair. After all, we’re only human!”

How often have I heard that argument!? Yes, even I (another human) make mistakes; and no, we’re not robots. But, it’s important that all of us are held accountable for errors/non-conformances in a business.

What I have found, after repeatedly hearing this particular argument, is that many of those who OPPOSE systemization (i.e. Quality- and Service-Control Systems, Daily-Routine Checklists and other systems that monitor employee’s work habits, like an absent/tardy system) are often the same people who love all-out social networking on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

It’s puzzling to me that these same people don’t seem to mind sharing personal information with the entire world via the Internet (every emotion, family problems, intimate pregnancy and birth details, abortions, tattoos, breakups, who they like and hate, and so on), but somehow they don’t consider any of THAT a loss of privacy!

It’s been my experience that those who balk at implementing quality-control systems become indignant when asked about errors they have made in the course of their work. That’s especially true if their co-workers are made aware of the errors when management seeks to determine the root cause of a problem and a right solution so it doesn’t happen again.

Thank God most humans are honest enough to want to solve—rather than excuse—problems that cause companies unnecessary loss of time and money each year. Through direct contact with employees, I have found that they really WANT a system to stop errors, and they want to work at a company that is diligently working on reducing chaos in the workplace.

Anytime you are trying to bring order from chaos there will be opposition, and you will encounter those who look for reasons to avoid systemization. Unfortunately, there are some workers who would rather expend energy covering up their mistakes instead of putting in the effort required to do the best job possible. They seem to count on the fact that it’s easy to cover up errors in a company riddled with confusion.

Philip Beyer, founder/president of Beyer Printing and Ebiz Products LLC in Nashville, TN, is a chronic entrepreneur, business systems analyst and consultant, author of "System Busters: How to Stop Them in Your Business," and an InterTech Award recipient for the design and development of System100™ business process management software. Philip speaks to business owners across the country on how to bring lean, sustainable order to their businesses.
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