Reining in Rule Breakers: Becoming a Great Leader #3


There is a little rebel in all of us. The question is when an employee breaks the rules what should you do about it?

It is an important question. The decision can have an impact not only on the employee but the whole department in which he works.

Every manager should make it a habit to periodically review company behavior and conduct guidelines.

Here are a few of the problem areas you may encounter.

  • The staff is often under the assumption that the rules do not apply to them.
  • The staff may become verbally or physically abusive when they are reminded of the rules.
  • Staff members who have not been held accountable for company rules may not initially comply when the rules are suddenly enforced.

Here are some suggestions.

  • Rules pertaining to safety issues should be posted in prominent locations throughout your building.
  • Take time at the beginning of each business quarter (more often individually if necessary) to go over each rule. Go over expectations and consequences. Encourage the staff to question any directions, explanations, or instructions he or she does not understand.
  • Be prepared to reiterate the rules as often as necessary
  • Reinforce and recognize staff that follow the rules.
  • Communicate with the shop steward (if applicable) to make sure they are aware you are enforcing the rules.
  • Structure the schedule so that staff members must comply with the rules in order to operate successfully.
  • Provide the staff member with recognition for improvement.
  • Make sure the rules are realistic and applicable.
  • Advertising
  • Require the staff to identify areas of difficulty and make a plan for improvement.
  • Increase the level of direct supervision.

Previous posts in the series:

Reg Adkins writes on behavior and the human experience at (

Read full content

Love this article? Share it with your friends on Facebook

Get more great stuff like this delivered straight to your inbox
Love this article? Get more stuff like this in your inbox
One-Click Subscribe