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Desperately Seeking Solutions

On occasion, we receive questions from our loyal "queendom" and I would like to feature one of those messages here.

Dear QueenSuite, I recently started a new job about a month ago, and as I am learning my new role and responsibilities I'm finding that there is a lot of redundancy and instances of working harder instead of smarter. How can I tell my employer that much of my time is being spent on database lag time, poor technical infrastructure, or lack of proper resources?

Desperately Seeking Solutions, Emmaus, PA

Not having adequate support or resources on your job can be frustrating. No one likes to feel as though their time is being wasted, and few like feeling as though they are not being productive enough in respect to how we as employees measure our own success.

What I wonder is, what is stopping you from addressing some of these opportunities for improvement? If it is fear, you must first ask yourself "what's the worst that can happen"? First, wait until you have been with the company about 3 months just to allow yourself some time to understand why things are the way they are and how they have gotten to this point.

Second, what is the intention behind this concern of yours? Is it to possibly create better efficiency and productivity? Or is it to make the company look bad? I'm pretty sure it's not the latter.

So take the time to write out each area that needs improvement and propose one or two of your own suggestions/ideas. Present them to your most immediate supervisor or manager with your suggestions at appropriate intervals (e.g. once per month). Careful not to seem like you are complaining, and be direct about how these things impact your workday. Also, be careful with your wording! No one likes to call the baby ugly and you never quite know whose baby it is in these cases, so be kind and choose your words with care. Focus on the positive aspects.

For example:

Instead of saying "I waste a lot of time waiting for this poorly conceived database to load", say, "I could process 60 files in an hour instead of 40 if there were some way to bypass downloading from the shared server. Is this possible? "

What can you do about it? I had one client take the initiative to type up her notes on how to do certain tasks related to her job. When her boss got wind of what she had done, he requested she share them with the training department and her notes became the beginning of a new trainee manual for her department. Proposing your ideas could be the genesis of something great! Don't be afraid to show what other talents, values, and observations you have.

Bottom line: Don't keep this info to yourself. Everyone will be better served if you get it out there in the right way.

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