Disciplinary Policies – Mission Statements

Businesswoman Taking Notes

Dear M & M:

Do you have any ideas on creating disciplinary policies or ways to impose penalties on employees?


Dear Beverly:

In dealing with imposing disciplinary actions towards any employees one must first consider under what conditions or circumstances the mistake was made.  Mistakes that resulted from continued carelessness call for disciplinary action. Honest mistakes should be corrected and counseled using positive discipline not punishment.  There are four effective principles that should be included in every disciplinary action. Sometimes these rules are called, “Hot Stove Rules”.  Rule number one: You always know what will happen when you touch a hot stove (it carries a clear warning). Rule number two: If you touch a hot stove it burns you right away (it is immediate). Rule number three: A hot stove always burns you if you touch it (it is consistent). The last rule number four: A hot stove doesn’t care whom it burns (it is impersonal). Remember all employees should know what is and what is not expected of them. Compare your disciplinary policies to the hot stove rules. I am certain you won’t get burned.



Dear M & M:

I never have written a formal mission statement for my company. Why do I need one now? If it is so important how do I go about making one up?

– Bill

Dear Bill:

A company’s mission is normally your starting point. The mission defines the whole purpose of why you are in business. You probably have a mission in your head but you may have never written it down. A company’s mission statement should be a constant reminder to its employees of why the company exists and what the founders envisioned when they put their money and time at risk to begin the business. A company that loses sight of its mission statement has taken the first steps down the slippery slope to failure to accomplish what the owner intended to do. It is your money and your time. Why wouldn’t you want others that work for you to at least know what you intend to do? Maybe you’ve already accomplished what you intended to do. Wouldn’t it be a good time to maybe set out some new purposes for your time and money? Bill Gates has been making the rounds lately with his philanthropic endeavors on several talk shows recently. When he first started out his mission was, “A computer on every desk and one in every home.”  His new mission statement resolves around the idea that, “Every life has equal value.”  Facebook’s mission is, “To give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.”  YouTube’s mission is, “To provide fast and easy video access and the ability to share videos frequently.”  Walt Disney Company’s original mission statement was simply, “To make people happy.”  A company’s mission statement should guide the actions of the organization, spell out its overall goal, provide a path, and guide decision-making.  A good mission statement provides the framework or context within which the company’s strategies are formulated. One of my favorite mission statements, “Make enough money to get to Tahiti.”



To ask your questions: Call the Small Business Development Center(SBDC) at Cochise College (520)-515-5478 or email schmittm@cochise.edu or contact the Sierra Vista Economic Development Foundation(EDF) at 520-458-6948 or email  hollism@svedf.org .


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