Ok, but why…

My anxiety leads to all sorts of interesting things, like always having to know the “why”. Why my company does things the way they do them, why practices and procedures aren’t shared. When a company has existed for a long time or even ten years sometimes the “why” isn’t easily answered anymore.

It’s actually funny to me why mission statements aren’t more clear, or what was the mission when it was written, but many people don’t know their own company’s mission statement and this intrigues me. Companies spend a lot of time and money coming up with something that defines them, that no one cares enough to remember.

New hires come on and you give them tasks to do, they are rewarded for memorization. What happens when you tell them the why behind what they are doing? It increases their retention of the task, they may find it frustrating and have an idea of how to make it better. New ideas may be hindered without the why, “How about we try….”, “This is the way it’s done.”

Sometimes the reason is for legal reasons or data capture, or to channel the information elsewhere to offload them. Without telling them “why” we hinder the future of companies.

I have found myself training more and more people these days. I even found out my company doesn’ tell new hires what is it we do, or why we are important. New hires have a lot to remember, some training is more intense than others, but without a clear message of why we even exist is detrimental to our future as a company. I always insist on giving them the “why”. I want to set people up for success, to reap rewards and be the best that they can be. We’re not saving lives but you are important to the company, your role is important, and unless you just stop caring/working you can do great things and make it all better. So why am I the only person teaching the “why”.

Why do you need to know this?

Why does your company exist?

Why do you report to more than one manager?

Why do different managers do different things?

Why do you sit with the people you do?

Why are you important?

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