Sunday, January 13, 2013

Working knowledge, Work Discipline and Work Attitude

All of us can work in the field that we have a certain level of skill we've been trained in or acquired through work experience. The skill and knowledge level is reflected by the remuneration scheme we've been admitted into.

But not all workers in the same remuneration level produce the same kind of work output in terms of quantity and quality. Even after going trough the same training, work experience and technical equipment. Why is that so? More interestingly, some workers with less experience and training or even academic qualification can produce better work output than those with better training and higher qualifications.

After years of observation, reflection and reading the management literature I can now distinguish three distinct aspects of work i.e., work knowledge and experience, work discipline and work attitude. Yes, administration and management gurus have known about this and discussed these aspects of work before. But always took them together and not single them out as separate abilities, requiring separate training and incentives.

We've often heard and seen workers who are very good at their work but observe no discipline and work only on what they like, doing the rest in a lackadaisical manner. We see on TV police detectives who always solve the case but left a lot of things topsy-turvy causing the boss to go bonkers? They break all sorts of rules and regulations and can get away on TV but never, you bet, in the real world. On the other hand there are the strict disciplinarians who observe all the rules in the book but become a stumbling block to useful investigation and necessary action to be taken immediately. As bosses they often frustrate the action-oriented workers and drive them up the wall. These bosses are often very obstinate and persistent, putting even very effective workers in trouble, until some higher-ups give reprieve them.
What management guru2 have often focused on is work-attitude. Yes there are all sorts of attitude towards work but a good work discipline is considered able to be able to overcome some negative attitude. Not really. A worker who really loves to help his or her clients and consider them as friends will continue to be different from one who treat them as potential victims to be skinned alive, no matter how much training he or she undergoes.Such workers consider a client who asks a lot of questions as trouble makers, not an intelligent member of the public.

So,are the so-called modern training programs geared towards treating each of these aspects of working, separately? Giving more technical and academic training for workers with poor work discipline and work attitude will be a mere waste of resources while workers with the wrong attitude towards customers and clients can never improve even with strict disciplinary control. We see many of these workers in the government sector because turning the potential clients away is no loss to the department and nobody cares.

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