In an industrial attachment during my third year, when I was working on an inventory management department, I was working under my industrial supervisor, Mr. Matokeh, an inventory controller. I had been asked by his assistant, Mrs. Clifford, to receive the raw materials in the inventory control system before she could hand over the delivery notes to my supervisor, who had recently received a phone call from the inventory manager demanding the delivery notes.
I began the task assigned to me while adhering to the normal SAP procedure as dictated in the Standard Operating Procedure manual. My supervisor’s assistant left the office to seek clarification from the production supervisor concerning the reservation slip that he had just issued, so I was left to carry on my duty at her request.
Before I could finish receiving the materials, my supervisor received a call from the manager for the second time. At this point, Mr. Matokeh picked the delivery notes that I had already filled and left the office. I also realized that invoices were also attached to the delivery notes, and I was concerned that the finance department might demand them before the manager could finish with them. However, before this feeling came into my mind, my supervisor had already left the office.
I was disturbed by this, as I had expected my supervisor to request me to detach the invoices before taking the delivery notes to the manager. I also felt that my supervisor could have informed the manager that the receiving process is underway; thus, more time is needed to complete the process as dictated in the SOP manual. However, I felt abashed because my supervisor was more experienced than me as a third-year business management student. I did not want to embarrass him by expressing my thoughts to him concerning the situation. I thought for a while what to tell his assistant upon her arrival. While thinking about it, Mrs. Clifford entered the office. Somewhat shocked to see no document on the table, she asked me whether I was through with the task in such a short duration of time she had been away.
I spoke to the assistant about what had happened while she was away. She promised to talk to the doctor about it upon his arrival. The assistant took my supervisor aside and asked him whether I was through with the task she had assigned me before making the documents to the manager. She also inquired whether the invoices were detached. The supervisor looked quite puzzled. He said that the boss had pressurized him so much, such that he forgot about it. The supervisor promised to be very careful in the future to avoid committing such mistakes again.
The situation was quite challenging for me. I regret that I did not react in a manner to challenge my supervisor’s conduct before he could deliver the documents to the manager. However, I am impressed that my supervisor responded so positively to the inquiry of his assistant, and I have realized that he has now refrained from his practice as a result of this incident. I as well, have learned from the situation, as it has taught me the essence of being a confident and quick decision-maker when dealing with critical issues to avoid future inconveniences in the business management process. I have also learned the importance of revealing my feelings toward a given situation, bearing in mind that my advice would yield a significant solution to a given problem.
According to a study by Orel & Almeida, (2019), a standard operating procedure manual should serve as a guide to any business entity when carrying out various operations within the organization. It was because of this failure that my supervisor found himself inconveniencing the other departments, such as the finance department. A recent study by Bunrueang et al., (2019) on Guidelines for Management of Thai Logistics Business, indicates that for efficient and effective coordination between various departments in an organization, documents in an organization should be sorted out at every level within the organization before being taken to the next level. My supervisor would not have regretted, were it not for his negligence on this matter. Conference proceedings by Bolton et al., (2017), indicates that organizations using standard operating procedure should be careful on how their processes are designed to avoid cases of complaints from stakeholders such as suppliers, buyers, financiers, and government. All these affect the success of an organization in terms of reputability and profitability. According to a study by Dirnagl, (2016), suppliers may complain over delayed payments, buyers may complain about quality and quantity, while an organization may face legal issues due to failure to adhere to the government policies and guidelines.
Based on this incident, I can realize that I should have acted immediately. I realized that my supervisor had taken the documents before he could hand them over to the manager. I also discover that my supervisor’s mistake inconvenienced the finance department as well as disregarding the guidelines dictated in the Standard Operating Procedure manual. During my discussion with his assistant, I also recognized that I have to develop the courage and confidence to express my thoughts and feelings towards a given incident to come up with a solution. I also realize the essence of giving moral and emotional support to colleagues, considering the pressures they might be undergoing from their seniors.
I recognize the importance of minding the operations of other departments and the entire organization at large when making decisions regarding my duties and responsibilities as an employee in an organization. I realize that my inaction in this situation made my supervisor regret later; my advice could have helped Mr. Matokeh evade himself from this regret by taking corrective measures on time. After a discussion between my supervisor and Mrs. Clifford, I recognized the importance of upholding decorum when addressing my seniors in the workplace to avoid embarrassing them.
In the future, I would strive to develop my decision-making skills when working with colleagues. This would help me to ensure that I do not keep useful ideas to myself, which could help solve a given problem in the workplace. I would also improve my assertive skills when working with colleagues to ensure that the efficiency and effectiveness of other departments are maintained. In the future, I will embrace confidence when dealing with my seniors to ensure that I point out any mistake that I realize in their actions for them to make corrections where necessary. Embracing respect and dignity would be my key factors to consider when addressing colleagues in the workplace over a given issue. Procedures set in place to guide the operations of the organization will be a key priority when performing duties and responsibilities assigned to me. The welfare of other departments within the organization would always be at the forefront of my mind when making any decision that might affect their convenience.
Bolton, A., Murray, M., & Fluker, J. (2017, January). Transforming the workplace: Unified communications & collaboration usage patterns in a large automotive manufacturer. In Proceedings of the 50th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences.
Bunrueang, S., Janma, C., & Veeayannon, K. (2019). Guidelines for Management of Thai Logistics Business. Review of Integrative Business and Economic Research, 8, 194-198.
Dirnagl, U. (2016). Quality Control and Standard Operating Procedures. In Rodent Models of Stroke (pp.291-300). New York: Humana Press.
Orel, M., & Almeida, M. D. (2019). The ambiance of collaboration in coworking environments. Journal of Corporative Real Estate.
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