Does your organization have a lot of rules, procedures or policies?
If it does, someone has to reinforce those policies.
Someone has to let people know when they are “over the speed limit.”
In essence, someone has to be “a cop.”
If you are a supervisor, we’ll assume you prefer not to monitor people.
If you are a subordinate, we’ll assume you prefer not to be monitored.
Wanna stop having cops in your organization?
A Value Driven World
PSS World Medical provides medical supplies and services to physicians in the United States and Europe. Last year’s revenues were over two billion dollars. That is not what makes PSS unique. Other companies make that much money or more. What is different about PSS is its twenty core values and commitment to live by those values. These are the values.
PSS’s TOP TWENTY
Service our customers like they are the only one we have.
Recognize our people as our most valuable asset.
Always communicate without fear of retribution.
Encourage ideas and creativity at all levels.
Encourage self-development and individual entrepreneurship.
Always strive to share the wealth.
Always promote from within first.
Earn profits and value for our entrusted shareholders.
Provide an environment of trust and honesty.
Minimize excuses and maximize getting the job done.
Involve family in all social aspects of the company.
Encourage and develop pride and esprit de corps.
Encourage all PSS people to be shareholders.
Treat all company assets like they are your own.
Suggest and encourage better ways of doing things.
Minimize paper work and memos.
Be professional at all times.
Anticipate and capitalize on market needs.
Do what’s best for all PSS.
Recognize PSS as a family that cares.
The World of Values
Examine this list and you’ll begin to notice a few things.
None of these behaviors are new ideas.
They use good common sense.
They employ action verbs.
They use positive language.
They contain no sanctions.
They are all behaviors that can be initiated by the individual.
PSS’s TOP TWENTY are simply a list of common values people in the organization agree to adhere to and people who are value driven need less oversight.
This is not to say PSS does not have any policies or procedures. As organizations grow, they have to have some procedures. For example, there are certain state and federal labor laws with which they must comply. Organizations also need some way to communicate how and when people can take time off.
The problem is not that organizations need rules and procedures. The problem exists when there are too many rules that govern behavior.
I’ll never forget the call I received from a client asking what their policy should be for employees visiting X-rated websites on company time.
“What’s your ‘naked policy’?” I asked. “What do you mean?” was the reply. “I mean what is your policy if someone comes to work without clothes?” “We don’t have a policy” was the response. “That’s right!” I said “And you don’t have a policy for someone visiting porno sites at work. You sit down with that person and tell them they can’t do it! You don’t waste everyone’s time creating a policy.”
Too often policies are created to avoid confronting individuals who are engaged in inappropriate, insensitive, unprofessional or rude behavior. These policies are insulting to the vast majority of employees who are appropriate, sensitive, and professional.
Creating Your List of Values
Would you like the people in your organization to be driven more by values and less by rules? Since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, why not start with the PSS list of values and have your employees add to or subtract from that list? You can then review the list from time to time to see if changes are necessary.
People in organizations will always need some rules and procedures.
The fewer rules and policies you have the less you will have to be a cop and the better people will become at policing themselves.