"But why should I have to deal with XYZ when these people didn't have to?"


by KingNothing
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KingNothing
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Nov16-09, 02:05 AM
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I'm struggling in one of my organizations with this problem:

We have a long history of not enforcing rules, or sporadically enforcing them, and not truly holding people accountable for their poor decisions. We've decided as a group, with about 75% agreement, that this needs to change. Now, we're struggling because there are some people who feel it is unfair for them to be held to standards that they witnessed others not being held to. I can understand their frustration.

But here's the dilemma: although the majority of people in my organization understand this is logically invalid, I'm having a really hard time trying to convince them to buy into these changes sincerely, and to the point where they are comfortable being held accountable.

Do you guys, the community, have any tips for helping them understand and get on board? I want to be very clear here - I need to convince these people. Insulting them, telling them their argument is invalid, etc is not good enough.
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KingNothing
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Nov16-09, 09:51 AM
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Also, does anyone know of any team-building activities, or perhaps just activities, which emphasize the fallacious nature of the appeal to tradition?
Equate
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Nov16-09, 04:39 PM
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Just threaten to fire them. Usually sets them straight pretty quick.

Moonbear
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Nov16-09, 07:02 PM
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"But why should I have to deal with XYZ when these people didn't have to?"


There are a lot of books on the topic "Organizational Change" that you'd find in the management section of the library or bookstore. And, many of them will offer team-building exercises to help with the transition (though, honestly, I don't think a lot of employees respect those much).

This is a common problem, people gripe, moan and complain that they don't like the way something is being done, but when it's time to change and fix it, suddenly they dig in their heels because they'd rather stick with the old, bad way than actually DO something different...because change is scary.

Sometimes, all you can really do is just enforce the new policy and give the naysayers time to just settle down or quit. Other times, there may be details that can be adjusted to ease the transition. For example, if it's a new policy on promotions, you could grandfather some people very close to promotion, who would have qualified under the old policy, to still get promoted if it's not realistic for them to meet the requirements in such a short time, but then everyone after that has to meet the criteria, or maybe those coming up within 6 months need to be somewhere in between, etc.

Sometimes, having a big employee meeting helps. Make them say exactly what they think is wrong with the new policy if they object to it, and sometimes they'll realize before they say it to the whole group that it really does sound ridiculously childish to cry, "It's not fair!" without any real reason to object to it.
Redbelly98
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Nov16-09, 07:32 PM
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Quote Quote by KingNothing View Post
Now, we're struggling because there are some people who feel it is unfair for them to be held to standards that they witnessed others not being held to. I can understand their frustration.
I hate to oversimplify things, but how about explaining that those others will be held to the standards from now on? Also, can you explain and cite specific examples where not holding people to standards had a negative impact on the organization? I.e., "I know x was allowed to do y in the past, but as a result Mary had to work extra hours so that z could be done on time. So from now on we can't let anybody do y any more."
lisab
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Nov16-09, 07:39 PM
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Try positive reinforcement.

Try to "catch" employees doing the right thing (e.g., changing their old way of doing things in order to meet the new standard). Reward that behavior with whatever works best - praise, gifts, extra time off work, or money (that one always works).

These little awards, and the behavior that earned it, should be made known to the whole group.

Ideally, negative behavior (such as whining) should be ignored. Never, ever reward negative behavior by giving in to it.

This method works well for small children, so it should work for adults acting like small children.
turbo
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Nov16-09, 07:58 PM
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Quote Quote by lisab View Post
Try positive reinforcement.

Try to "catch" employees doing the right thing (e.g., changing their old way of doing things in order to meet the new standard). Reward that behavior with whatever works best - praise, gifts, extra time off work, or money (that one always works).

These little awards, and the behavior that earned it, should be made known to the whole group.

Ideally, negative behavior (such as whining) should be ignored. Never, ever reward negative behavior by giving in to it.

This method works well for small children, so it should work for adults acting like small children.
Unfortunately, in organizations infected with nepotism and favoritism, the stuff that might work on children will NOT work at all, and will back-fire. Organizations that have been infected with very potent inside-favor influences will slap down any attempts at fairness and even-handedness. Been there, done that.

If you want to be labeled as a "trouble-maker" question the old-boy network in any small company (no matter how innocently) by suggesting another way of evaluating suppliers, approaching potential clients, etc, etc. If these approaches have not already been advanced by the "chosen" you are toast. In a larger company, you have a chance. In a smaller family-held company, you are already "dead man walking" unless someone with a controlling interest appreciates your approach. I wouldn't bank on that, since most small-medium business are family affairs and the family members who don't make waves keep drawing cash.


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