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Russell Walker, Member, Manager, Australia

Sometimes your staff will know better than you!

One thing I have learnt over the years as a worker or a boss is that: just because you are the boss, doesn’t mean you will always be right. Our best knowledge is usually on the floor, the people at the coal face. These are the people that are there every minute of the organisations operating hours; they not only know the product or service provided, but much more. We back in the office, shielded from where usually the real work is, see what they see very differently: we see it how we think it should be or how we want it to be. I worked for an airline at the airport for many years, and whenever there was change, someone thousands of miles away would plan that change. In all these changes the local staff were never asked to be part of the planning, in one case, a reasonably major construction was carried out in the baggage area after staff had protested that the new plan was wrong: it would never work , it was all wrong. Management completely ignored the ground staff, telling them that management knew better, so just get on with what you are paid to do. Within two years the baggage area was rebuilt back to its original state; one of the managers who decided on the new plan, had also been promoted. Remember, the best answers and solutions to most problems or strategies is right in front of you: your staff, right down to the one earning the least!!

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