Steve points out problems in customer service and manufacturing and gets rewarded. Tom has pointed out the same problems time after time and he gets poor performance reviews and has been put on probation once. The difference is in their approach. Tom says to his supervisor, “I can’t believe anyone is so stupid that they let this happen. What kind of idiots are running this company?” His boss would have to be superhuman to take criticism like that without being offended. Steve says, “I think we can save some time and money if we make this change. I’ll go talk to the supervisor in that other area and see if he thinks it makes sense.”
It has always been the prerogative of children and half-wits to point out that the emperor has no clothes. But the half-wit remains a half-wit, and the emperor remains an emperor. (Neil Gaiman)
Do you put sand in the gears or grease?
It is the same problem seen from two different perspectives. The situation happens in every department in every company. One person complains, another makes suggestions to the right people and shepherds through the changes. One is rewarded and the other is ignored or possibly punished.
It really does come down to putting sand or grease in the gears of progress. If you get a reputation for solving problems and cutting costs you will be rewarded. If you keep track of the improvements you bring about, you will be rewarded more on this job and can use those improvements to help you get the next job.
Something To Do Today
Check to make sure that all the improvements you started are documented in your job journal. Make sure and estimate how much money or time was saved or earned because of you.