Buhay Employee: Complying for Compliance's Sake


Our IT Department e-mailed a survey asking us to rate the systems that they developed. I answered the survey honestly and gave a below average rating.

A few days later, I was welcomed with howls of indignation from the IT people when I visited their office. I did not know why they’re acting that way until they told me about the rating that I gave in their survey.

They wanted me to explain why I gave a below average rating. They even asked me to change the ratings that I gave from below average to above average. An IT person (who I thought was a friend) even jokingly threatened me that she will not allow me to carpool with them.

I did not mind much about their survey so I changed my ratings just to calm them. The IT people were happy with the result.

I was surprised that the IT people acted that way. I thought that they sent out the survey so that they will know if the systems that they developed satisfied the needs of its users. That truth is that they just sent out the survey just for the sake of complying with the requirements of the office’s ISO certification.

That event reminded me of one time when I and a more senior colleague did an internal ISO audit in one of the department of our office. We gave a rating that displeased the department head. That head “requested” that the rating be changed. My colleague, for the sake of peace, changed the rating. I couldn’t do anything but scratch my head because of the time wasted by that moro-moro audit.

Our bosses in the office are proud of the ISO certification but all of us know that it is just for show. In short “naglolokohan lang kami”.

I vowed, since that incident in the IT Department, that I will not carpool again with that IT “friend”. I don’t want them to think that they have a leverage that they can use to manipulate me.

Having an ISO certification is good for the office but what actually happening is that some people in the workplace just comply for compliance’s sake and not for the sake of improvement.