Dear M & M: I understand my employees are the face of my business. I don’t like what I see. Help!!- John
In today’s competitive environment unless you have outstanding customer service you will not be able to stay in business. One’s employees are the front of everything we do. They are usually the first and last point of contact. We all know that first impression can only be made once. Those final thanks will get them coming back. In the 60’s, Douglas McGregor came up with four rules that employers and employees must agree to and understand to lay down the rules. The idea is to create an analogy between company disciple and touching a hot stove.
The first rule is called a forewarning. If you touch a hot stove there are consequences. We all know the outcome if you touch a red hot stove you will get burned. Just as there are consequences for breaking company rules or policy everyone should know you are serious and penalties can be severe. The second rule is called immediate consequences. If you touch a hot stove you will get burned immediately. Effective disciplinary action should take place immediately. Everyone should understand the connection between reactions with their actions. The third rule is consistency.
No matter how many times you touch a hot stove you will always get burned. Employees need to clearly understand you will be subject to penalty every time you commit the mistake. The final rule is related to being impartial. Whoever touches the stove gets burned. Everyone is treated the same. Discipline is connected to the offense, not the person’s title or position with the company. Points to remember include; everyone should know the rules and punishment if you break a rule, disciplinary action should fit the crime, at the same time excessive leniency can lead to more negligence, once discipline is given normal behavior should be shown to all employees.
Final though if you don’t like what you see in your company, make some changes. Implementation of the hot stove principles might be a great start. Why would you want to get burned from someone else’s actions? Your employees work for you make sure they are doing what you want them to do.