Always act in the best interests of Menstrupedia
Do whatever you can to achieve your goals
Never do anything that makes it harder for others to achieve their goals.
A good way to judge your action is by amplifying it. Ask yourself, what if everyone starts acting the way you are. Would that still abide by the above guiding principles?
Are you clear about the objective of your role? If you are not, you must clarify it with your manager first.
Once you know the objective of your role at Menstrupedia, it wouldn’t be long before you can come up with ideas to achieve the goals. However ideas don’t mean a thing unless they are acted upon. What matters is taking that initiative and acting on your idea. And with anything new that we try, we are bound to make mistakes. Own the mistakes, learn from them and still have the perseverance to act on new ideas.
The only person who doesn’t make mistakes, is the person who isn’t trying anything new or maybe who isn’t trying at all.
Is making mistakes in the best interests of Menstrupedia. No. But not innovating in the long term is also not in the best interests of the organization. The price to pay for not innovating is much bigger than the mistakes that we would make in trying something new. The best way ahead is to minimise the chances of mistakes by seeking the opinion of others in the team, especially those who are more experienced in the domain of your idea.
You are in the sales and marketing team. While going through the product reviews you notice that many buyers like the book so much that they recommend it to others. You get an idea, what if we invite every buyer to share about the book on social media and through them we can reach more buyers in their network. We can also give them a commission on the purchases made by buyers coming through their recommendation by tracking utm tags. What do you do now?
You feel that implementing this could be a lot of work and an additional responsibility at your end. since this could require technical know-how, you wouldn’t be able to execute it. You drop the idea.
You feel this idea can significantly increase sales. You share the idea with your team to get their opinion, especially those that differ from yours and the logic behind it. You check the feasibility with the IT team. You also read about it especially to check if your assumptions are correct and how you would measure its success. If you still feel this would work, you own the idea and work on it
If we also suggest solutions while pointing at a problem, we utilize our collective wisdom in resolving issues. This helps you in achieving your goals without waiting for someone else to solve the problem. It also makes it easier for others to achieve their goals since they now have less problems to solve.
You handle processing of orders and dispatching of books. The office printer that you use for printing invoices suddenly stops working. What do you do?
You immediately inform your manager that the printer has stopped working and therefore you cannot print invoices and process orders. You now wait for any further instructions.
You immediately inform your manager that the printer has stopped working. You propose that, for the time being, prints can be taken from our neighbouring office if possible, else from the photocopy shop.
By catching mistakes and defects in other people’s work, you are not only ensuring a high standard of work in the organization, but are also helping the team in quality control and sometimes even offering them a new perspective.
You are browsing facebook when you suddenly come across an ad by Menstrupedia. You find the information provided in the ad to be misleading. What do you do?
You decide to let it pass thinking it might not be taken in the right way by the team and that it’s not your responsibility anyways since you are from a different team.
You take a screenshot and share your concern with the relevant team as well as the management in the messaging group. Additionally you also suggest what can be changed to fix the issue.
Once you’ve committed to a task, you must do everything possible in your capacity to complete the task within the deadline. If you see yourself unable to do it, discuss with your manager to either extend the deadline or to prioritize one task over the other or to delegate the task to someone else.
Under no circumstance should you keep your inability to complete a task to yourself. It is obvious how this can harm the organization and prevent others from meeting their goals.
If your manager or your colleague has to follow up with you, you are adding an additional task for them preventing them from meeting their goals. You are also ruining your manager’s confidence in you.
You have been assigned a new task to be completed by the end of the day. You are currently busy with another urgent task and it seems difficult for you to complete both on time. What do you do?
You believe that it would be unprofessional to express any inability to accept the task and therefore you commit to the task, despite knowing that you aren’t going to complete it on time. You let the deadline pass without informing your manager.
You inform your manager that you are working on another task with an urgent deadline, so which one would she want you to complete on priority?
What is the meaning of this? Let’s take an example. Let’s say your manager has given you a task to complete but she has not mentioned any deadline explicitly. Now you are in doubt regarding when to complete the task. Whether it is a critical and urgent task or it can be postponed. You conveniently decide to postpone the task until your manager follows up again since you can always cite the doubt to shrug off the responsibility. That’s taking advantage of doubt.
It always requires extra effort for the manager and the team members to work with people who take advantage of doubt because they have to be told everything explicitly, they require constant follow ups and require constant monitoring.
Whenever in doubt, ask what’s in the best interest of the organization or will it make it easier for others in the team to meet their goals or clarify with your manager.
You are responsible for social media marketing. You have been asked to promote a given message across social media. For this you have prepared a post for facebook. You are aware that for best results you need to customize the social media post for various platforms like Instagram and Linkedin. However customising the post is going to take you more effort. Besides, your manager hasn't mentioned anything about customizing the post for different platforms. What do you do?
You take the same post that you created for Facebook and post it on all the other platforms without modifications. You feel technically you've followed all the instructions provided to you. And for leaving out the customisation part you can always say you didn't know about it.
You think from the end goal perspective and customize the post for different platforms and post it. You believe doing so serves the interest of the organization better.
You are paid for your accomplishments, not your effort or time. The same is true for even the organisation. It is paid for what it helps its users accomplish, not the effort, time and resources the organization has invested. Process and effort are only means for achieving the goal.
You handle customer queries over email and chat. Many of the questions that you receive from the customers are about whether the product is suitable for their needs or not. To make things easy, you have created several canned responses to such customer queries. As you start using the canned responses, you find most of your conversations with the customers abruptly end after you send a canned response to them. You also see that they don’t necessarily buy anything from us after the chat. What do you do?
You don’t see this as a problem. In fact you actually see it as success, since customers aren’t asking anymore questions after receiving the canned response.
You look at the whole thing from the end goal perspective. You realize the end goal of having chat on the website is to increase sales by helping the prospective customers in deciding whether they want to buy our product or not.
Since the canned responses are not increasing sales and actually sending away our prospects, you try to improve the existing canned response. You iterate the process until you come up with the canned response that works the best in converting a prospective customer into an actual buyer.
If your manager has to suggest obvious corrections after you’ve submitted your work for review and approval, it means two things. Either your quality standard is too low which is not in the best interest of the organization or you are too lazy to review your own work, in which case you are not only compromising your goals but also preventing others from meeting theirs, since they now have to spend resources in fixing your mistakes. Obviously no marks for completing on time in this case.
This also prevents your managers from completely trusting you with the work since you have still not reached a stage where you can deliver without making mistakes.
You are asked to create a newsletter that is to be sent tomorrow. You create the first draft in two hours, much before the deadline. What do you do?
You send the draft to your manager and wait for her to suggest corrections.
You send the draft to your manager just in case she would want to suggest any major changes right at the beginning but you also inform her that this is the first draft and you are still working on it. You continue working on it to edit out any obvious mistakes and even improve it further. Once you are absolutely confident that the newsletter is good to go not just from your end, but from the organization to its intended readers, only then you share with your manager and let her know that it is done.
Genuine feedback helps us improve and see things from a different perspective.
Your feedback should be aimed at assisting the person. Feedback shouldn’t be a means to vent out your frustration. You must explain how a change in specific behaviour will benefit the person or the team or the organization, not how it will help you.
Your feedback should be actionable. You should clearly mention what you would want the person to do differently.
If you are the one receiving feedback, you should consider it with an open mind and genuinely show your appreciation. You as well as the person offering feedback must understand that it is at the end up to you to either accept the feedback or discard it.
You are a web developer who works with a UX designer. The UX designer provides you with graphical designs for web pages, that you then code and add them to www.menstrupedia.com . You find that sometimes the UX designer provides you with designs that require unnecessarily more effort in coding, while the same objective can be achieved through a simpler design. You feel if the UX person gained a basic understanding of HTML, CSS and JS, she would be able to create designs that are easier to implement. What do you do?
You tell her that her designs are unnecessarily complex and that it is requiring too much effort and time to implement them.
You tell her that if she could learn the basics of how a web page is implemented, it will help her design pages that are easy to implement. This will help the team implement more features within the same time. You also offer to help her out in understanding the basics of developing a web page.
Sometimes you might feel that your manager’s decisions or actions might not be the best course of action or might actually harm the organization. In such a case expressing your disagreement to your manager is in the best interests of Menstrupedia.
Never try to please your managers. It neither helps Menstrupedia, nor does it help you or others meet their goals.
You attend a meeting with your manager along with other team members to discuss a mistake that has taken place. You have valid reasons to believe that the mistake was due to miscommunication on the managers' part, however in the meeting you find the manager wrongly holding one of the team members responsible for the mistake. You fear that your manager’s action would have a detrimental effect on the morale of the team. What do you do?
You feel that since you are not the one held responsible, there is no need for you to say anything or interfere. Besides, you also fear that expressing any disagreement towards your manager could lead her to dislike you. So you eventually decide to take no action.
You feel that constructive feedback from you could help the manager in seeing the situation from your perspective and help improve her ways. However, sensing that the atmosphere in the meeting is tense, you decide to express your disagreement over an email. You send an email expressing your views of the situation, your reasons for feeling that way and finally in your opinion what would be a better way to handle such a situation (remember we need to be part of the solution).