"It is not in my job description"

Have you ever heard anyone say “that is not in my job description.” 

Believe it or not, if someone said that to me, I would respect that, especially if it was true.

Some leaders and staff I have come across have this notion that everyone should always be striving to go above and beyond and give 110%, which by the way is a notion I think makes no logical sense, yet I digress.  

The fact is, not everyone has the same work ethic, which is generally the reality of any workplace with some exceptions of course.

Would it surprise you to know that I’ve seen areas where 50% of the staff members were performing 80% of the work and the rest were just coasting along doing their minimum work if not less? 

Yet, in defense of those other 50%, I have also witnessed biases on the part of Managers or poor leadership meaning the Manager only gives the work to some people, does not work to build everyone up, plays favorites or enables workload inequity by taking the approach... “I’ll give it to Mary because I don’t think Bob is capable of doing this.”

This to me fosters mediocrity and can hurt the organization and the Manager’s reputation in the long run.

I will admit, early in my career, I have been guilty of doing this myself.

Be careful of this approach and behaviour, watch for it and make sure you are not doing this as a leader. 

I realize this is much easier said than done, yet the idea is to have this on your radar and be careful of this dangerous pitfall. 

I have had Managers tell me that they were quite upset at some staff members when they asked them to help, even going as far as saying they knew it was not in their job description but the staff should have still helped anyways.

By asking, the Manager placed the staff between a rock and a hard place and the end result was tension and a conflict. 

Personally, I don’t believe it is equitable to ask someone to do something that is not legitimately in their job description.

For example, I won’t ask an administrative staff to help me paint a room, even if the room really needed it.

I don’t make them the “bad person” for saying no, I simply would not ask them to do it thus avoiding them having to say no and avoiding the potential tension and conflict. 

Now if the staff members notice you are struggling with an issue or problem and offers to help, that is a different story and I’ll bookmark that in my memory I assure you.

Food for you thought memory.