How often have you been in a restaurant or other business and point a problem out to one of the employees only to get rolled eyes and a “That’s not my job.” I’ve seen this a surprising number of times when pointing out a messy bathroom, a broken display or any number of other issues a business might be having.
This is what you call an attitude problem.
If you’re there it’s your problem
Every employee must understand that by working somewhere they represent that place of business. That means that they have to be ready to help out whenever called on and they should be ready to fix problems anytime they see them.
During the US revolutionary war General Putnam taught a valuable lesson on responsibility. Here’s an excerpt from David McCullough’s 1776.
On one occasion,surveying the work on defenses by horseback, [General] Putnam paused to ask a soldier to throw a large rock in the path up onto the parapet. “Sir, I am a corporal,” the soldier protested. “Oh, I ask your pardon, sir,” said the general, who dismounted and threw the rock himself, to the delight of all present.
It doesn’t matter your position or your level of responsibility, when a job is to be done step up and do it. Train your employees to have this mentality.
Common decency doesn’t have a rank
People that go out of their way to fix problems when and where they see them will be more successful in the long run. I’ve seen CFOs of large companies scrubbing a dirty toilette because they were the ones that saw it first. The most valuable employee is the one that jumps in and makes it happen, regardless of their title.