“No-One Ever Told Me That”

I remember a Team Member who was diligent and consistent in her work. She was like a metronome, powering through with practical efficiency.

Now and again, I would get feedback her approach was too efficient and a dose of special consideration needed to be sprinkled on some circumstances. She needed to think about whether the rubber stamp applied to every ticket.

The team provided a white-glove service, and a sense of flexible common sense needed to be used more than occasionally.
Sometimes her efficiency caused her to use the wrong rubber stamp. The resolution didn’t always match the request. What the Business offers is complex, and so Team Members can’t be expected to know everything.

We know it’s OK to make mistakes.

We also know that there are acceptable mistakes and unacceptable mistakes. It’s very much up to the leader to ensure that the team member doesn’t make unacceptable mistakes. I’m hoping any leader avoids putting employees at risk of making irretrievable mistakes.

But when a mistake occurs and the response from the worker is, “Oh, no one ever told me that”, – that’s the worst.
And that’s how this team member responded to feedback about her workflow.

Sure –there will always be a process or a function that is not fully understood. I expect Team Members to seek understanding. People who respond with “no one told me about that” are a concern. The response implies an excuse, not an intent to accept that they need to learn something new. It shows a lack of personal accountability and an expectation that learning is provided to them rather than sought after.

I’m also sure this Team Member responds with a “no one ever told me that” because of embarrassment. She was embarrassed not knowing.

That’s a dangerous trait. Team Members need to be open to feedback. They need to be open-minded when questioned or contradicted.