Last year I was chatting with a business friend who manages a small office. They deal with sensitive information on a daily basis so there is a policy that all paper trash is shredded at the end of the day. All they have to do is dump their paper trash into a hopper in the back and before my friend locks up for the night he shreds the paper. Even after constant reminders, pretty much half the staff forgets to dump their paper trash on a daily basis. So my friend has to go around and collect it himself. I asked him why he doesn’t verbally warn, then write up the employees that fail to empty their paper trash. He said that he doesn’t want to cause issue with it since they are good employees and do pretty much everything else correctly. I asked what happens if someone gets a hold of the paper trash? Come to find out there is enough information there that some one could commit fraud. So it is important that the paper trash is shredded. Something clicked, if these good employees can’t even do something as simple as empty some trash. What else aren’t they doing?
It is a good reminder to review policies and procedures (or create them if you don’t have any) and then have your employees review the policies and procedures AND sign off that they understand the policies and what they are suppose to do. And of course create a fair reprimand system. But what got me was the excuse my friend gave. “They are good employees.” Yeah, they might do everything else perfect except that one thing. That one thing might not ruin a business or it could have disastrous effects. A healthy business has good fair policies and procedures that help the business thrive but also manage the employee while keeping a good work environment. If your business has that correct then when your employee doesn’t do that one task, like emptying the paper trash then they are not helping the business thrive. If your employees are not helping the business thrive are they actually good employees?