Office supplies are necessary tools in organizational life. Whether its pens or pads of paper, no day would be productive without them. Almost everywhere I have worked; people complain that we have run out of supplies. Why do you think that is? A suspicious person would think the company is not doing well financially so they have cut back. A negative soul might say, “Oh the company is being cheap!” What happens if you dig deeper?
I once worked at a company where the day after the supplies were delivered, everything was gone. We noticed this as a pattern every time the supplies were delivered. A few of our staff suggested that we had a theft problem, and assumed people must be taking the stuff home. This was not true; the supplies were still in the building.
What was really going on? At one point in the company’s history, things were tough. Supplies in those days were hard to come by. So when they arrived, a lot of the staff stashed their supplies in their desk just in case things ran out. If you had announced that the office was moving next month, you could have rounded up over 4 months’ worth of supplies! We needed to assure people that we were on solid ground and ask them to give some of their “stash” back!
It is not such a hard thing to dig deeper, and to avoid jumping to conclusions. It requires you to walk in someone else’s shoes. In some cases, it requires you to take responsibility for contributing to a problem. It requires you to see that the solution will not be a quick fix. If we want real solutions, we need to dig deeper. The next time you are tempted to think you know the cause of some problem, broaden your sources of information, and ask some probing questions. Dig deeper! It’s worth the effort to “get to the bottom” of the challenge, so you can establish a workable solution.