My newsletters from the past 2 weeks have taken a lot of work.
They’re all about why OFS sometimes work mindlessly (their thoughts) and how to prevent it (their ideas).

Today is some of my personal experiences.

A couple of solutions I’ve tried that have worked include giving people a title, creating job security, giving responsibility and having people take ownership, and adding a quality assurance process.

  • In the Philippines, titles are important.  More important than in the USA. So over the past couple of years, I’ve been giving titles to people. “Content Manager”. “Operations Manager”.  In giving these titles I also give responsibilities and authority.  The authority tends to mean they’re in charge of making sure things are done correctly in that area.
  • I try to assure my people that they’re not going to get fired for making a mistake.  Their job is secure.  Even if they do something wrong, they’re still going to have a job.  I try to make this clear.
  • I’ve found that giving people responsibilities and including “making sure it’s well done” has helped. I’ve also told people that I want them to take ownership of the final product.  Like, think through “Does this make us look good?  Does this embarrass John? Does this embarrass the business? Should this get published?”  If any of those things are wrong, your responsibility is either to fix it or to say something to the person in charge.  Basically, I’ve given them authority to question the final output.
  • Recently I added a person to double-check work.  That person’s job is to make sure the quality is where we expect.  In software, this means that the feature performs as people expect it should. They check for bugs. They look for anything that feels odd. In content, they make sure everything reads perfectly. They make edits. They make sure the final product makes sense. They make suggestions if they see a way to improve a process.  For both of these QA positions, I included a large list of things they’re supposed to check and speak up about.  Now they have the authority to say something is wrong so they feel confident in finding problems and speaking up about them.

All of these things have made a difference for me.

I’m getting better work done.
I fix problems less often.
My OFS tell me they’re happier.

You’ll need to experiment for yourself.

John

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