The Story of a little Monk

The story was from an ancient China where there was one famous temple which had many followers coming daily for praying.

There was one little monk who newly joined the temple and was assigned by the chief monk to bash the temple bell twice a day. He had to bash the temple bell on time as the whole temple daily schedule was based on the sound of the bell bashing daily.

Initially the little monk felt very excited with his first assignment in the temple. As a new monk, he performed the bell bashing on time every day. After a several weeks, he started to feel bore and found the task given very mundane and meaningless.

He continued for several months later and suddenly he was re-assigned to another job by the chief monk to collect and cut tree branches and transport water from the stream to temple. The reason given for the reassignment was that he failed to perform the bell bashing job satisfactory.

The little monk was so confused and was wondering what was wrong with him as he remembered he did bash the bell on time and loudly too. He then asked the chief monk for reason.

The chief monk told the little monk that although he bashed the bell on time and loudly but the sound of the bell was very empty and restless because he does not understand the real meaning of the bell bashing. The sound of the bell was not only a benchmark for the temple daily activities but also used to awake all being from any form of engrossment and obsession.

The sound of the bell must be rich, full, round, thick, deep and far reaching. If one’s heart does not possess the wisdom of these elements, then he does not qualify to take up the task. The little monk realized and through many hard works later he became a renowned monk decades later.

The moral of the story here seems that the little monk did not perform well on his task and was reassign the new job. But if we look into detail of another angle, the little monk should not be blamed for the full fault.

The little monk was new in the temple. If he was briefed the true meaning and approach on how the bell bashing should be performed or been corrected while performing the job, the faith of the little monk might be different.

Therefore, it was clearly revealed that the temple had some weakness in term of human resource management. There were no proper on-job training provided and lack of detail coaching and explanation to guide the little monk when he just joined in. This explained why the little monk does not or never understanding the true meaning of bell bashing.

The above scenario actually happens many times in our corporate life probably on different scale of situation. We hear many feedbacks from many managers and supervisors saying that their new recruits are slow in performing job, lacks of critical thinking, working approach are inflexible and lack of initiatives.

In fact, the above scenario was actually caused by the management of the company itself where they do not emphasize in providing systematic training and on-job guidance to the new recruits.

Firstly, Human resource department should coordinate with the respective department to provide sufficient training for the new recruits. Thereafter, the respective department should also provide sufficient on-job guidance and advice. Mentoring approach where a senior staff pair to the new recruits and hand hold them initially could improve the learning curve and thus achieve a better results.

Communication within the management and staff is also very important. The approach of reassigning another job for the little monk without probing into details proofed that the management does not study the root cause of every problem. Reassigning task or sacking a staff can be easily carried out but this proved the management lacks the wisdom in analyzing root cause problem.

Many occasions, these problems can be resolved via discussion and formulate new solution for the problem. After all, nobody is perfect in this world; learning through mistake is also part of learning process although it sometime can be costly too.Therefore, close guidance and training with constant communication between management and staff is an essential element in any company especially for new recruits.

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Comments 6 comments

joriechew profile image

joriechew 5 years ago

A practical story, training n on-job guidance entailed knowledge n skill transfer to the staff to improve performance n produce higher levels of service n products quality. I like the story of the little monk, vote up.


klyyong profile image

klyyong 5 years ago

In the big organization, besides emphasizing employee training; the training effectiveness is always a concern too.


henrygogoals profile image

henrygogoals 5 years ago from Singapare

Yes, you are right. I facing it before and now too.


My Footprints profile image

My Footprints 5 years ago from MY

I think only the big organizations can afford to have all those fancy pansy training, orientation, buddy system for their new recruits. Even though all these may be provided to the new recruits, at times attitude of the new recruits play an important aspect to ensure success. Neither is to be blamed.


GT Ooi profile image

GT Ooi 5 years ago from Penang, Malaysia

In today world most of the time we need to calibrate job expectation with the superior first before performing the task otherwise they will just take advantage on you.


happyyeo 5 years ago

Yes, fully agree with you on close guidance and training with constant communication between management and staff is an essential element in company. But, a lot of small organization do not provides on-job training to their new recruits. Thanks for sharing.

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