Are policies and procedures enough?

In my last post I elaborated on the concept of developing policies and procedures to help organizations prevent chaos, much like parents create “house rules” to prevent chaos in the home.  However, creating these rules is not enough on its own.  Through experience parents have learned that rules alone do not ensure children will follow them.  It is parents’ responsibility therefore to make sure that those rules are obeyed and to take action if they are not, that is to effect consequences when children “bend” the rules.  It is this latter action where the children feel the pain (suffer the consequences of their bad behavior) that teaches children to abandon their bad behavior and adhere to house rules.  Understanding this concept will create harmony and achieve a smooth running household.

As most parents come to understand this concept, it is simple segue for leaders of organizations to apply the same principles to their office environments.  That is, after creating and implementing their policies and procedures, leaders and managers have to continuously monitor behavior and “take action” when they perceive that their employees are straying from the standard behavior of the organization.  Without a consequence employees will get the subliminal message that policies and procedures are not valued by management and therefore do not need to be followed.

We need to go back to our training as parents when interacting with employees by setting boundaries and guidelines (policies and procedures); by disciplining employees when they stray from the standard behavior; and by giving encouragement and praise for work well done (good performance).  Not only is this sound parenting, but this is sound management!

What do you think?

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