Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Humility or Enabling in the Workplace

Something I’ve been struggling with lately is this verse, specifically as it applies to the workplace. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourself.” Phil 2:3 (emphasis added).

If you’ve ever worked in an office situation, you’ve seen them. The person who does the minimal amount of work, often getting behind in their duties. They sometimes seemingly expect everyone else to come rescue them from the mess they’ve gotten themselves into. Maybe you’ve even been that person.

So, here is my question. When does “consider others better than yourself” become enabling? If you are constantly having to rescue someone from their lack of work ethic, or even from a genuine inability to keep up, aren’t you doing them a disservice, as well as your company? To me, it is almost a form of dishonesty.

Don’t get me wrong, I often come to the rescue of my co-workers, and I’m glad to do it. Situations come up where maybe suddenly they have an unexpected project, and they need help in their day-to-day duties for a time, or illness or the illness of a family member has caused them to get behind. This is to be expected in an office, and everyone should work together until the situation resolves itself. This is completely different. I’m talking about the person who just won’t, or can’t, do their workload.

I wonder if this way of thinking on my part is selfish ambition or vain conceit.