Often frustrated management say this to staff when it went wrong ‘it’s in the manual’ referring to the companies SOP (standard operating procedures, yet more jargon!).
However, it is never as simple as reading a manual.
Maybe the manual is badly written, maybe the answer wasn’t there, maybe the induction didn’t tell them to read the manual for this or that.
Maybe, and more likely, the staff aren’t inspired to do their jobs, even though they know the manual inside out or they have had no other training or leadership. Probably plenty of management though, where the only conversation is critical and instructions to read a manual.
Answers to problems are not found in manuals. It is about leadership, training and inspiration.
I grew up with phrases like ‘if you can’t stand the heat get out the kitchen’, thanks to tough guys like Harry Truman who coined the phrase.
A macho bullshit line to basically say toughen up or you’re a loser if you can’t take the ‘heat’.
But being ‘tough’ is not the answer in some ‘put up with everything’ type environment allowing people to treat others badly. There is nothing clever, smart or tough about treating people like shit. It is just shit.
We will not ever be able to build an empathetic and people focused culture unless we move away from this being ‘tough’ mentality. It is about as appropriate to the world, as say, a steam powered loom would be now.
Getting the best from people comes from understanding not from ‘toughening’ them up and trampling all over their emotions and needs.
We do not need to subject people to ‘heat’. We need to create a safe, non-judgemental environment that inspires, supports and cares about them, allowing them to be vulnerable and open.