There’s always that one employee who refuses to follow directions. It seems that no matter how many times you talk to him, he continues to “forget” to do what he’s told or at worst, intentionally refuses to do it. So, what do you do with an employee like this? Sure, we can give him a kick in the rear and show him the door, but you never want to lose an otherwise half-decent employee if you can help it. But even one who gives you a line like this; “Is it really that important that I’m wearing my name tag?”
What is a Company Standard?
A company standard is the “specification of a product or process to be repeatedly and consistently used in the company”, (IGI Global).
I love this description of company standards from The Hartford Company:
“Your standards define how your company acts, which, in turn, builds trust in your brand. They can be guidelines that describe quality, performance, safety, terminology, testing, or management systems, to name a few. They can comply with authoritative agencies or professional organizations and be enforceable by law, such as required medical degrees for doctors or credentials for financial planners. Or they can be voluntary rules you establish to create confidence among your clients that your business operates at a high and consistent quality level, such as a restaurant only using the highest quality, locally-sourced ingredients.
Standards must align with your mission, business objectives, and organizational leadership, and be implemented consistently across your enterprise. Employees need to buy into the value of adhering to standards, so everyone is pulling in the same direction and reinforcing your brand.”
Are Company Standards Important?
Wow, that sure sums it up! So, what do you say to an employee who complains that there are too many company standards to follow and many of them are small and really aren’t that important?
My answer is,
“If you don’t care enough about the “little things”, how can I be confident that you’ll care about the “big things?”
I’ve worked with so many managers who turned a “blind-eye” to “little things” like name tags. They didn’t seem to care about employees who were habitually late, or who always seemed to call out on Mondays. If the employee underperformed, they did little to correct them. If they switched shifts with a team member without prior approval, well, “At least they got their shift covered”. I disagree.
Are Name Tags Important?
As I’ve written in a past post entitled, “What Do You Do When Your Employees Don’t Care?“, not every employee is happy with their job or will go to the ends of the earth in order to fulfill the needs of the company. Many just want a paycheck. But, and this is a big but…
When employees know they can continually bypass certain rules, guidelines, or procedures because the boss never seems to hold them accountable, they become emboldened. They feel untouchable. They believe they can get away with this or that with little repercussions. But where does this end?
Can we expect a lackluster employee to wake up one day and suddenly adhere to all the rules he so frequently avoided in the past? Of course not! That doesn’t happen. Maybe in the movies, it does. The actor sees a shooting star then gets an epiphany and realizes his failures and how much stress he’s caused his manager. Yesterday he forgot his name tag but today (and every day forward) he doesn’t. Yeah, sure. Never gonna happen.
Should we care about name tags or employees who come in late? What about deadlines not being met or deliveries constantly late because someone failed to follow procedures? What about the one who spreads gossip or false rumors? Or the one who always seems to be “on a break” when there is extra work to be done?
Should we do nothing about these things too? Or, is it really that important? Your thoughts…