Every day we are inundated with information and disinformation regarding COVID. Much of what is said contradicts other statements. We need to get the vaccine so we won’t get COVID. But people who have gotten the vaccine have subsequently gotten the virus. We need to wear masks today but not tomorrow. We now have the delta variant which throws in a completely different wrinkle. We are provided a completely new set of guidance and confusion reigns. It is frustrating, exhausting and a breeding ground for distrust.
Employees want and need coherence from management
Every organization has some degree of incoherence. However, in my experience, the vast majority have more than one if not several topics in this category. One executive says one thing. Another executive says another. In training a hard fast rule is set in place. When the employee gets back to the department their supervisor either guts or at the least downplays the rule. The employee does not want to buck corporate; but they work for their supervisor. Understandably, this is a terrible spot to be put in.
One company had a process, if done incorrectly, could be catastrophic. The company had built several safeguards into the process. If followed, it would eliminate any chance of failure. The company had a hard fast rule which did not allow any deviation from the process. The flaw was the safeguards could be easily worked around.
How do employees determine the real rule?
In most cases the employees could work around the safeguards and corporate never knew it. The supervisor could easily determine the work around; but would look the other way. Most of the workers felt they were doing nothing wrong. However, on one spectacular occasion, the employees did not get away with it. The very catastrophic problem which corporate was attempting to eliminate, happened. Fortunately, no one was injured. Everyone, both in and out of the company, saw the potential of many serious injuries. Our organizational credibility and reputation took a serious hit. Not to just our direct customer; but, to the entire industry.
We had to create the appropriate disciplinary response in regard to those specific employees. We had to make clear to all of the employees why the procedures were written like they were. We also had to emphasize the penalties of non-compliance. More importantly we had to review all of the procedures to determine better safeguards which could not be easily worked around.
How can we help you spread coherence through your workforce?