Page 1 of 1 [ 5 posts ] 

Repent
Sea Gull
Sea Gull

User avatar

Joined: 1 May 2010
Age: 48
Gender: Male
Posts: 209

12 May 2012, 8:04 am

I work for a large corporation, in a minor role. Recently it was annouced there would be a corporate audit, which has all the senior and middle managers in a panic. When I asked what the audit was, I was told "We pay $15,000 for an external company to come in and audit our work practices for two weeks, they make suggestions, and then we raise our standards to meet them".

Suddenly, everything I, and everyone else does is under the gun. As an Aspie I don't know what to make of this situation? There have been subtle, and not so subtle suggestions and complaints given to me over the last week that are contradictory in nature. 'Provide the highest standard of customer service, but you need to cut costs at every turn to do it', as an example.

This is a contradiction in my view. Either you want to spend the effort, time AND MONEY on high customer service, OR you want to cut expenses to the bone, leaving no rock unturned to save money. You can't have it both ways, and any 'NT' expectation that you can have it both ways is illogical and flawed in conception.

I don't understand the 'NT' thought behind these actions? Could anyone here point out what I'm missing? What I'm hearing from panic stricken managers just doesn't add up for me.! Why even bother with the external audit at all, when its costing the company money, and everyone is suddenly going to be stressed out and worried about it? Why put yourself through the meat grinder? Why do 'NT's' punish themselves like this?

(And how as an Aspie can I cope, and still keep my job)?


_________________
Donate your computer's idle time to help others :

http://www.worldcommunitygrid.org/


questor
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 23 Apr 2011
Age: 59
Gender: Female
Posts: 2,573
Location: Twilight Zone

12 May 2012, 12:13 pm

Put this contradiction in terms in writing, point out that it is illogical and not possible to do both as they are in conflict, and ask your supervisor for a clarification on which goal you should concentrate on achieving.

It's probably best not to point out the money that is being wasted on this audit. Someone higher up thought it was a good idea, and would not appreciate the accurate criticism. They might retaliate by firing the messenger.


_________________
If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.
Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured, or far away.--Henry David Thoreau


xmh
Deinonychus
Deinonychus

User avatar

Joined: 25 Jun 2011
Age: 35
Gender: Male
Posts: 337

12 May 2012, 12:21 pm

If the working practices were inefficient then streamlining processes may achieve both aims (if a customer query is passed between may staff before getting answered, getting rid of the intermediate steps may cut staff costs and reduce the time for the customer to be served, increasing customer service).

Often working processes have not kept pace with increasing technology with paper based processes replicated on computer systems rather than redesigning the process to take advantage of the computers. Tasks may be done more than once in different sections resulting in wasted staff time. Higher paid staff may be doing tasks that could be done by lower paid staff, relocating the tasks may enable the high paid staff to be reduced in number. Staff will often be reluctant to suggest changes to practices as it will often result in staff cuts and increased workload.

If the company processes are already streamlined then this will not be able to happen to any significant extent.

Very few companies would tell their staff that to treat the customers badly, if it saves the company money, so this statement about customer service has probably been added purely to sound good. Part of the audit will be to work out what can be trimmed without affecting the customer service too much.

Short term changes after the audit are likely to cause improvements thanks to the Hawthorne Effect.



mastermenthe
Emu Egg
Emu Egg

User avatar

Joined: 11 Oct 2011
Gender: Male
Posts: 4

12 May 2012, 5:19 pm

The purpose of this third-party audit is to 're-certify' the company in the eyes of investors, customers, and the law.
It is required by law that certain areas of industry must be audited regularly, as a way for the state or federal government to insure commercial integrity on behalf of the citizens of that government. The nature, the procedures, and the goals of the audits themselves are entirely independent of those laws outside of a mandatory examination and public release of certain socioeconomic and financial accounting numbers.

The nature of this audit has been formulated to appeal to the company's investors and customers, by specifically and superficially auditing customer satisfaction and company net profit. By reducing costs now, during the time immediately preceding and during the auditing process, it will appear to investors that the company's net profit is on an upwards trend because the graph of financial values produced by the audit will stop at the point in time when the audit was made and no further, causing investors to speculate positively instead of negatively as the line of the graph ends with a positive value.

The audit is causing much stress among management, because it is the nature of ALL audits that any and all blame is required to be placed upon the management, not their subordinates. This means that department heads of a poorly performing department will have to choose between accepting the full blame losing their jobs or forcing several managers below him to be fired, and since it is assumed that another person will always choose the second option, that means each manager down the line assumes that the manager above him/her is planning to use him/her as the 'fall guy' for any discrepancies in their area of the company, and near to the lower levels of management that you interact with, the collective assumed pressure has become so great that it is all but a certainty that these low level managers will be the ones to lose their jobs without appeal.



Repent
Sea Gull
Sea Gull

User avatar

Joined: 1 May 2010
Age: 48
Gender: Male
Posts: 209

12 May 2012, 7:30 pm

Quote:
The purpose of this third-party audit is to 're-certify' the company in the eyes of investors, customers, and the law.
It is required by law that certain areas of industry must be audited regularly, as a way for the state or federal government to insure commercial integrity on behalf of the citizens of that government. The nature, the procedures, and the goals of the audits themselves are entirely independent of those laws outside of a mandatory examination and public release of certain socioeconomic and financial accounting numbers.

The nature of this audit has been formulated to appeal to the company's investors and customers, by specifically and superficially auditing customer satisfaction and company net profit. By reducing costs now, during the time immediately preceding and during the auditing process, it will appear to investors that the company's net profit is on an upwards trend because the graph of financial values produced by the audit will stop at the point in time when the audit was made and no further, causing investors to speculate positively instead of negatively as the line of the graph ends with a positive value.

The audit is causing much stress among management, because it is the nature of ALL audits that any and all blame is required to be placed upon the management, not their subordinates. This means that department heads of a poorly performing department will have to choose between accepting the full blame losing their jobs or forcing several managers below him to be fired, and since it is assumed that another person will always choose the second option, that means each manager down the line assumes that the manager above him/her is planning to use him/her as the 'fall guy' for any discrepancies in their area of the company, and near to the lower levels of management that you interact with, the collective assumed pressure has become so great that it is all but a certainty that these low level managers will be the ones to lose their jobs without appeal.


Thank you! This was exactly what i needed to know!


_________________
Donate your computer's idle time to help others :

http://www.worldcommunitygrid.org/