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WORKPLACE RULES: THE COMMON-SENSE TEST

Many companies use tactics with their workers to either boost their productivity or protect against claims. All too often, however, these tactics can backfire. This four-part test can help you determine if your workplace practices make strategic sense:

1.Trust. Does the practice tend to increase or decrease the level of trust between the parties? If the latter, why are you using it? For example, traditional sick pay, which was designed more than 60 years ago, doesn’t match today’s reality. According to a survey by CCH, 74% of the people who call in sick are perfectly healthy. Because trust is arguably the most important factor in the workplace, why have a policy that by its nature causes mistrust between you and your workers? This is a classic example of a tactic void of strategy.

2. Direction. Does the policy, procedure, or process align with your company’s goals? For example, if your objective is to provide world-class customer service, you’ll need to empower employees to use their best judgment at all times. Unfortunately, this means that they’ll make some mistakes along the way. Punishing these errors will inhibit employees’ desire to “go the extra mile.”

3. Communication. Does the policy or procedure increase or decrease the level of communication within the company? For example, a winner-take-all incentive system will inevitably lead to internal hoarding of “best practices.” So will team competitions.

4. Commitment. This is the glue of relationships. Bear in mind that each party in a relationship usually thinks that it’s more committed than the other. The question is whether you can commit to the policy, procedure, or process. For example, if you design a sales commission policy and the salesperson makes more than you expect, will you back up your commitment – or reduce the person’s commission rate or territory? Failure to meet commitments creates mistrust and destroys relationships


Don Phin
Other articles by: Don Phin
Categories: Human Resources
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