I have come across the words “PROCEDURE”, “PROCESS”, “RULES” etc innumerable times. These are the two most common words that we get to hear day in day out in almost all work places. We follow these to make our life easy and disciplined. They help us in organizing things according to certain guidelines. Procedures tell us what to do when and how to respond in certain situations. Ex: In a bank, when someone wants to open an a/c, there is a procedure First fill up a form, then provide documents like ID proof, address proof, then it will be verified by the authorized person, then a/c is opened. We follow such procedures in every walk of life. And in order to have a check if we are following the procedures, we have auditors. But what seems funny to me is when I compare the procedures to the codes written by our software experts. They are also a set of rules that the computer needs to follow. No questioning, no deviations. Follows the rules as written “ IF, THEN, ELSE” the three most important words. But has anyone wondered why we being humans, are so much bothered about the procedures that we are behaving like computers, lifeless, brainless, heartless. Cannot take logical decisions. Just like computers who just follow the codes written by the experts. I was once witnessing a discussion on a case study, which was given to the students of an engineering college. It was about a pickup and drop facility given by a corporate to its employees. As per the rules, the cab would wait at a particular point for 3 min and if the employees do not come, the cab would leave. Once a senior employee is late and he is not picked up. He complains to the concerned person about this. He said he was just crossing the road, when he saw the cab leaving. He even waved to the driver. But he did not notice. When the driver was asked, he said I just followed the rules. This became a major issue. Now the students started arguing that the driver was right. He was following the rules. But this was actually a case of common sense. What do we usually do when we are waiting for someone and he/she is late? We just look around to see if he/she is nearby before leaving the place. The driver could do just that, and he would have seen that employee waving to him while crossing the road. Was he a computer? No. He was a human being with common sense. This was just a small example. We come across many such incidences when we feel that the rules, the procedures are actually hindrances in some cases. We get to hear from the executives “ Sorry sir, that’s our procedure and we have to follow it”. Those Procedures that are made for our as well as others convenience are actually doing just the opposite. After all who has made these procedures? We. Then why is that we are not able to take a deviation in certain genuine cases where it is necessary? Being surrounded by computers, we have forgotten that we are humans, we are also behaving like one of them. Lifeless, Brainless, heartless, incapable of taking logical decisions.
Author: Jyothi G, MBA (HR), Counsltant
(Amrita Foundation thank the author for the article, the views and opinions mentioned in the article are of author)