In corporate world, benchmarks and deadlines are always the buzz words.

One of my juniors advised other junior to take his sweet time in completing the assigned tasks. His logic was that if he finishes the job in hand promptly, he will be assigned other tasks. So it is better to delay things deliberately. Such is the thinking of so-called millennials.

But leaving his intentions aside, fact remains that in most of the organizations, people who work fast and without asking any questions, are overloaded with more work. The cunning people get away with always crying out loud about their work pressure, if if there is none. So in a not-so-ideal world, this junior is right in behaving the way he is. However if such acts of shirking work are noticed, pointed out and compared, such thinking will be nipped in the bud.

In PR most of the jobs are last-minute jobs. So here too setting benchmarks is like harming yourself. So, if you are able to release a last minute advt. on a Sunday, next time no one will think twice before making the task more difficult. If you get an ad design made in 2 hours by pulling out all the plugs, it will become a benchmark, and people will ask you to give ad in one hour, because last time you gace design in 2 hours. If you put up 100 hoardings in 24 hours on a short notice, next time target will be 200 in 12 hours. If you get the news clippings by mail by 4 PM, next time you will be asked to get it by 11 am. So your good performance in a sense is not rewarded but punished by setting it as a benchmark. In other words, a job which was done on a crisis basis, putting in special efforts and resources, is next time the norm. And you are expected to overshoot it. Is there any problem then if one tries to delay passing on the results or information. The problem has aggravated so much that our bosses state- you work better with deadlines. Huh.

Same logic applies to budgets. If in a particular year, you take one-time special cost saving measures, next year your budget is reduced to that extent. Almost everyone knows in organisation that the allotted budget will be 15-20 % less than the budget ask for. So is it any wonder that every department marks up the budget by 20 % of the actual requirement, knowing fully well that this way actual required budget will be allotted. Does it not defeat the very purpose of budget-making. But no one bothers though all know of this practice.

Then there is also this trap of brainstorming. People are afraid of giving ideas, because they know if idea is accepted, they will be asked to execute it also. So they prefer to keep mum, or give silly ideas. What an irony. One way out could be making it a practice that originator of idea will not be assigned that task. I don’t know how executable it will be.

Managing is tricky indeed.



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