January 2018, Comfort Zones

January 2018, Comfort Zones

Posted: 2018/01/14

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Have you ever had to wait in line at a government office while employees chatted amicably with one another as if you didn’t exist? And if you demandservice, a security guard will intervene to insist you leave the premises while explaining the importance of politeness and good manners.

Where does the problem lie?

In the private sector, a company’s survival depends on its performance. For a company to stay in business, its employeesmust satisfy its customers. Peer pressure to perform is strong.In the public sector, the customer is captive, and revenues are obtained by force of law. Accordingly, there is no truegauge of the efficiency of the services rendered.

Human nature being what it is, people are inclined to expend the least amount of energy to fulfill their needs. Since there is no measure of efficiency, civil servants may help maintain a culture of ease at work – where the job description morphs to one that suits his pleasure, a space where they feel comfortable.

In this culture, each one’s comfort zone is protected by the natural solidarity between colleagues. You don’t criticize or blame others. You protect each others turf. Nobody gets fired. As in the example above, the security guard hired to control offended citizens is merely protecting the comfort zone of others.

The consequences of this culture are so devious. Everything is hidden from the citizen: the decision-making process, costs, responsibilities. Seniority is the sure guide to promotion. Pay increases are a right. They own their jobs.Power is unassailable.

Have you other examples of the consequencesof this culture to share with us?

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    4 years ago

  • Marina Cabrera

    Member for: 0 min

    When the Public fonction hinges on the human nature……

  • 4 years ago

  • Vincent Pouliot

    Member for: 5 years

    Les fonctionnaires non imputables peuvent laisser libre cours à leur besoin de se sentir important en exerçant le pouvoir de leur office. J’ai l’impression que si le fonctionnaire exerce le pouvoir comme veut le citoyen, il n’en résulte pas un sentiment de puissance. J’ai l’impression que ce sentiment de puissance survient lorsque le fonctionnaire exerce le pouvoir contrairement à ce que veut le citoyen, et pire, contrairement aux bons sens.

  • 4 years ago

  • Marina Cabrera

    Member for: 0 min

    Je suis d’accord avec vous, Vincent, mais je pense aussi que la culture organisationnelle peut être encadrée pas seulement par les règles et les normes, mais surtout par la structure.

  • 4 years ago

  • Marina Cabrera

    Member for: 0 min

    Les normes ne peuvent tout encadrer.

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