Work Ethic Lesson Learned From My Mother

“I posted this blog several years ago and was reminded of the lesson I learned from my mother as I began training a new employee last week.  It is important that we develop good training systems and programs in our workplace to not only make the business run better, but to teach valuable work standards to our employees.”

When I was a young girl my mother would have chores that each of my siblings and I needed to complete each Saturday morning while she was at the beauty shop getting her hair done. She would write out the list with each of our names by the chores that we were to do. When I was real young I had to take out the trash, fold some clothes, and pick up my room.

My sister who was older got to clean the bathrooms, I couldn’t wait until I was old enough to do this “glorious job.” Then the day came when I graduated to cleaning the bathrooms, now my mother was a smart woman and she took time to show me, in detail, what needed to be done and how she expected it to look when it was done and I knew that my job would be inspected when she got home.

I really wanted to please my mom so I tried really hard to get it all right the first time, but I did miss a few things and when she got home she did not have a problem letting me know what was not done to her expectations. She took the time to watch me do the tasks until I could perform them correctly. She set a standard and it needed to be upheld.

Over time I was able to get those bathrooms clean and pass the inspection with flying colors, but even though I could do a good job, my mother still would look it over to make sure I did not slack off. My mother was creating in me good work habits that I would be able to take with me through my whole life and I am very thankful for this.

You might be asking yourself what does this has to do with working in a medical office, restaurant, or retail store? Good management personnel need to manage their employees in the same way that my mother did with me when it comes to performance expectations. We need to not only communicate clearly what the job expectations are, but we need to demonstrate how we expect them to be done.

Have training sheets with itemized tasks and goals for each employee to be able to review and work from. Also make sure you take time to show them how each task is to be done to meet the employers expectation, just saying “clean the bathroom” does not cut it because their idea of what clean is could be totally different from what your idea is. By having directions and inspections for each task you can ensure that the job is done correctly.

Employees will be happier because they will know what is expected from them and management will be happier because the standard has been set and taught. Another good reason for having tasks and directions written is that it makes it much easier for review when something does fall through the cracks, you just have the staff member get out their training sheet and there it is in black and white making the job expectations easy to complete.

I am very thankful to my mother for the great training and work foundation she instilled in me at a young age, it has made my work life so much easier.

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