SOPs Aren’t “Someone’s Other Position”

Do you work in a place with strict rules that need to be followed for efficiency, safety or productivity?  Most people do.  However, I am coming to learn that my current job has an obscure list of rules that seems to change on an almost daily occasion and it is making it a bit hard to figure out my role.  I’ve been in my current job for almost 6 months as just last week attended my very first job training that helped me to better understand, in theory, the way my job is supposed to work.  This might be the first time in history that I’ve worked for a company that didn’t have any form of an orientation or training when I started.

I will say that as a hands on type learner I have enjoyed teaching myself the ins and outs of my position, but I will follow that up by adding that it would be a bit easier to move forward if I knew exactly what I could and couldn’t do.  In my past I remember rolling my eyes at companies that had a multiple day orientation, but now I actually find myself longing for it so that I can feel as if I am informed.  My last company cut their 8 hour orientation down to 4 in hopes of saving costs.  In my past I worked for a company whose 8 hour orientation was the downsized version of something that used to last almost a week.

Although there is a list of standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for my specific role, they are generally not upheld by my direct superior who tend to make rules up as situations arise and believes that is how this industry is intended to operate.  Maybe I think differently because I came from a different subset of hospitality prior to this or maybe it’s because I have two business degrees and think that there is a good reason that SOPs exist.  Either could be a likely reason that I’m having trouble understanding by boss’s way of doing things.  It doesn’t really matter what the root of the cause is.  The challenge is figuring out how to handle this difference each and every work day.

Thus far my solution has been to run every large decision by my supervisor to see what he would prefer I do.  I have found this to be very effective in ensuring that I do what he would want, but it also has made me feel as if I am not empowered to make decisions on my own.  The times that I’ve made a decision and moved forward without any assistance have usually resulted in backtracked changes made by my boss in the end.  I thought taking past situations into account would lead me in the right direction, but in this instance I have learned that precedence don’t exist.  It looks like I’ll have to find another plan to decode my boss’s cryptic decisions so that I can truly master this position.

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Filed under Female Management Skills

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