A Question of Discipline

By | January 16, 2016

I heard a few companies was trying to instill discipline on their staff by enforcing the rule that they must be punctual for work. This was applicable across the board from the administrative staff to the sales and marketing team.
During my early younger days I remembered that when it was nearly eight thirty in the morning, a whole bunch of staff including sales team members had to line up to sign the attendance book while the human resource personnel looked on.
One of my colleague even commented that it felt like going back to school with the headmistress standing in front of the main gate waving the cane on those who are late.
Another friend of mine told me that there was an organization that decided to implement a penalty system in order to tighten the disciplinary conduct so that the staff will attend the meetings in a punctual manner.
I was told that for every minute that the person is late the penalty is probably one ringgit per minute.
How effective was that in terms of improving the disciplinary record of the personnel remained to be seen.
Can you improve the performance of a sales person by penalizing them for being late for internal meetings?
After all, the reason why the sales people and the marketeers join the line is because of the flexibility that they enjoyed?
If they are required to stay in the office the whole day then it only means that they are not doing their job.
You could try and lock up all the key sales people in the room for one month and I can guarantee you that there will be a big meltdown in sales.
I heard another company even enforced the ruling that all sales staff, irrespective of where they were, as long as they were not outstation, must be back to the office in the evening for a meeting.
I wonder how fruitful can that be when the only thing that one could think of was to go back home.
Most likely nobody will argue much or be long winded in their points as most of them have their minds elsewhere.
The world is supposed to be progressive.
We are supposed to treat employees like adults.
So why do some companies go backwards and decided to treat their employees like a bunch of schools kids?
If you treat your staff like school kids, do you think that they will treat their customers like adults?
How you treat your employee will be reflected inhow your employees treat the customers.
It’s advisable for employees to be punctual especially those related to desk jobs however it is indeed laughable when this rule is applied to sales and marketing personnel who needs to be in the market often enough to understand the market situation.
To the sales person, it is the discipline of delivering the expected results that is more important.
Clocking in for work punctually and working late is never a guarantee of better sales.
If it is then perhaps it’s best to get the employees to clock in at seven in the morning on the assumption that the longer hours they stayed in the office the more productive they became.
There are even places in the world now which is trying to emphasize on shorter working hours simply because it is well understood that what is needed is efficiency of work.
Longer hours at work means shorter attention and lack of focus.
It is so funny that many administrators still try to be seen as wielding the cane like the good old days when it comes to managing their employees.
This administrators belong to an earlier era that is no longer relevant.
For these administrators, where some of them only know how to talk however forget that they should listen as well, they will stand out like anextinct dinasourthat no longer offer progressive thinking and forward mindset.
Many of them are just regurgitating the known ideas and try to project themselves as progressive leaders.
By having these backward thinking leaders only spelt doom for the organization in the future.
It is these foolhardy administrators that will be redundant in the future.
When they drag their company down the slope with them.
Time will be the witness.


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