Are your policies up to scratch? Consider this. True story.
For 11 years, a company has an expense policy that says “don’t take the piss”.
That’s it. Not a word more.
This serves them well for 11 years. Then, one night at a works drinks gathering, someone orders a several-hundred pound bottle of champagne. Then another.
The expense claim comes in, and the leadership team has the “responsible” conversation. “The process isn’t working. We need a ‘proper’ expense policy. We can’t have this, our team will abuse it!”
The standard response, and one that way too many (most?) organisations go for. After all “we have to grow up some time”.
How about an alternative? How about we grow up as leaders and have the conversation with the piss-taker that “ordering that kind of drink on expenses was clearly taking the piss”.
And we don’t change the policy.
What does the team hear? We don’t let people take the piss, AND we’re going to continue to trust them.
Put this another way. We had a 4-word policy for 11 years, before one person abused it. Name me a detailed policy wrapped up in pseudo-legales with a better track record of success.
As you introduce policies, ask whether they are there to mask an inability to be human, or whether they actually serve a purpose to support it.
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