The ‘right’ thing to do

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It’s the right thing to do.  How many times have we told ourselves that as we made a tough decision?  Buck up – it’s the right thing to do!  It’s an oft used phrase of our President as well.  He often pairs unpopular decisions with the comment.  Some one used it this week that made me pause… what does that really mean?  The right thing to do for whom?

In a food plant there are many competing priorities and a finite amount of funds – and everyone wants some.  Safety needs new ladders, maintenance is being asked to replace a packaging machine, food safety would like damaged floors resurfaced, wouldn’t it be nice to have an employee barbecue to celebrate the fourth of July?

How do you prioritize tight funds?  How do you send the message that food safety is important but you are going to install that packaging machine instead of resurfacing the floors?  How do you do what’s right by the Company as a whole and keep everyone motivated.  How do you counteract the ‘pounds out the door’ accusation?

My answer?  Honesty.  Explain.  Sometimes the right thing to do is the one that generates revenue.  How often have I said in order to make safe food you need to MAKE FOOD?  Something I fear is often not well communicated.  A good decision maker will collect the ideas, weigh the options and most importantly – explain the decision, ask about the risk, understand the decision they are making.

A good employee will honestly explain the risk.  Do you have to do this – yes/no?  What might happen if we don’t?  Be honest.  Proper management of company funds is on each of our heads.  It is our responsibility to ensure the sustainability of the organization.

So I implore you – make certain your are doing the right thing – not just labeling it the right thing to do.