There is always room for improvement – but let’s celebrate success as well
Do you think you are doing a good job or even a great job? If the answer is yes then you can sit back and relax, rest on your laurels and give yourself a proverbial pat on the back.
One thing you should acknowledge – no matter how accomplished you are at whatever you are doing – is that there is always room for improvement.
Does that mean you are doing a bad job? Of course not, what it means is that the goal of self-improvement is never-ending. If you ever get to the stage where you don’t think you can get any better then the time has come to retire. And if you’re too young to retire then it’s time to look for a new challenge.
To be clear on this, there is no black and white, no clear boundaries when it comes to how well you are doing and much of it, of course, is in the eye of the beholder. Should you get praise for doing a decent job even though you could do it better? Absolutely. A manager needs to recognise when a member of staff is doing well and give them praise, not continually focus on the areas that need to improve.
You don’t motivate your employees if you take their achievements for granted and continually say “Yes that’s good – however…”. Choose carefully the time you decide to look at how your staff could be more efficient and remember how you felt when you were at school. If you got 60 per cent on a paper that was celebrated as a positive achievement rather than dwell on the fact that you got 40 per cent wrong.
Of course, when it comes to customer service we should all be striving to achieve 100 per cent but the reality is that there may always be some level of shortfall. At universities, students provide feedback on courses and their opinions can be influenced by all sorts of factors, many of them impossible to influence or control. So when 98 per cent of students say positive things about a course that’s good, right? Apparently not, the universities want 100 per cent for every course, every time.
By the same token there are football players who believe there should be no runners up medals in a cup final. The winner is all that counts and the concept of what they call “losers’ medals” should be scrapped. This is wrong and how refreshing it is to see athletes who have trained seven days a week for four hard years hold their bronze or silver Olympic medals aloft with pride.
Could they have done better? Arguably, they could, but should what they did go down as “What a shame it wasn’t gold, if only you’d done A, B or C” or as
“Congratulations on your incredible silver”? The latter is always preferable.
We can’t all be winners but those who don’t come top are not losers. A league table can only be won by one team, the rest have to settle for being in the top five or the top 10 or – at the other end of the table – not in the bottom three.
Success is relative and should be applauded wherever we find it. But are there always opportunities to do things better? As one former Labour party leader once said (too much laughter): “Hell, yeah!” To find out more in the subject please contact us on 01785 247588 or click here.