Last night I was talking to a friend about a management situation she’s backed into. She’s discovered a wide range of issues in the workplace that should have been handled but haven’t been addressed.
And why haven’t they been handled? Why didn’t the previous manager…manage?
Sanctioned incompetence happens when managers and co-workers put up with incompetence from others because they (the managers and coworkers) don’t want to step-up and do their jobs.
It could be that they don’t know how to step up. Poorly-trained or young managers will let poor performance slide because they don’t have the human resource skills to deal with the situation.
Sanctioned incompetence often happens because people are afraid of confrontation. Maybe the slackers are bullies, or people who take advantage of company policies or have the victim routine down pat. No individual on the team has the courage to step up and confront the situation.
The slackers certainly won’t point out to the managers that they should be doing a better job managing or calling out coworkers for not saying anything about having to carry more weight…doing part of the job the slackers should be doing.
After awhile sanctioned incompetence becomes the norm. In all honesty, sanctioned incompetence is one of the basic reasons for poor customer service across the business landscape.
And it’ll keep building until something happens. The folks in my friend’s workplace don’t know it yet but things are getting ready to change. My friend is a great manager and she’s getting ready to be some of these folks’ worst nightmare; a manager who knows slack performance when she sees it, who has the skills to deal with it and who deals with confrontation with a steely eye. Some of the slackers are in for a rude awakening.
What are you putting up with in your workplace?