The dripping tap – is the workplace performing well?

The tap that drips or not can tell us a lot about the workplace

The misspelt word can tell us a lot about the workplace

What do I mean by that? How can looking in the kitchen or the washroom, to see whether a tap drips or not, help you determine the quality of the work or the performance of the people in an organisation?

If you are talking to a prospective supplier or a new contractor or even to a new client, go and visit the kitchen or the washrooms. “Why?” Because you will get an idea about the whole business; the values, the priorities and the attitude towards getting it right. If a business ignores minor problems at its workplace, and the tap drips, that might indicate that some aspects of the business are not managed as well as they could or should be. And they might be the more important aspects that might be critical to the business.

It may not actually be a ‘dripping tap’. It might be a mistake in a written piece of work. So many times there are minor spelling mistakes or the ubiquitous apostrophe in the wrong place, or maybe some words that change the meaning of a document; if these or other errors occur, and they frequently do, what does it tell you about the more important parts of a business? The inference that might be drawn is that if the minor aspects are not put right then there is a chance the more important aspects are not being corrected. Does the process actually work? Is the contract right? Are the forecasts correct?

the-dripping-tapIn a hazardous industry it is essential for the safety of the people and the efficient running of the site that things are done in the right way, and the quality of the plant is maintained. Without the work being done ‘properly’ there is a chance that something will go wrong. If it goes wrong in a safety critical industry there is no guessing what the consequences could be. And that in itself is another discussion; about the actual chance of something happening.

The ‘dripping tap’ or the ‘insignificant spelling mistake’ can be indications of the quality of the work produced, the efficiency in the way the work is produced, the performance of the people and the safety at that workplace.

Correct the small problems and the bigger issues will often not materialise, or if they do, then they will regularly look after themselves!

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