Keep Employees Honest
Many years ago a CEO of a company I worked at received the following advice from Harvard training: “Your job is to create the structure that keeps an employee honest.” He came back and ensured all financials functions had several people touching the data with him opening the bank statements. You can be the CEO of your department.
What this implies if, given the chance, a percentage of your employees may either steal money, products or time if the setting is right for this behavior. Your role in the company is to ensure that employees are honest with their performance and all of the company’s assets. You set the structure and culture of your team.
Of course, there is a balance between rigidity and firm structure in an organization. Managing employees entails creating the structure, direction, and support to ensure that employees do their best. You want your employees to take risks in building the business, and not risky behaviors.
I found this interesting blog post that addresses risk management in an organization. Maybe as a manager, you are not deciding who the CEO or board members are, yet if you take all of the points and apply to your department, you can translate this information into helpful guidelines.
Read the post on the Harvard Business Review Blog, “Five House Rules for Managing risky Behavior” by James Lam.
His 5 points address hiring procedures, right policies to set boundaries, encourage intelligent risk behaviors, discuss inappropriate performance or actions when they are small and have a strong champion to oversee the overall workings of the department.
Managers are reluctant to address the small issues for a variety of reasons. It’s essential when managing employees that you understand your role is to create standards. Standards are established at the micro level, and that’s where you build your working relationship with each of your team members.
The post gave an example on “fix the broken windows” was Rudy Giuliani, then Mayor of New York City, reduced crime by monitoring and maintaining the environment at the smallest level…jumping turnstiles and other small inappropriate behaviors. When you monitor at this level, you send a message to the employees that mistakes happen but you will not support inappropriate behavior.
How do you help your employees be honest?