Policies Never Solve People Problems

by Evil HR Lady on September 2, 2013

Every time I hear or see an overly controlling policy change I can guarantee there is a problem employee that the boss won’t confront/discipline/fire directly. Instead, a blanket policy goes out to try to and change the behavior of the errant employee.

Does this ever work? Seriously, if you’ve done it and it solved your problem, I want to know about it, because I’ve never seen it happen. Why? Because problem employees never believe they are the problem. And, furthermore, they already believe that the rules don’t apply to them, because if the rules mattered, the problem employee would already be following it.

To keep reading, click here: Policies Never Solve People Problems

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Sherri September 3, 2013 at 2:30 pm

And what was the first situation I thought of after reading this headline? Marisa Mayers & her abrupt blanket no telecommuting policy.


Evil HR Lady September 3, 2013 at 3:09 pm

That is a classic example. Instead of rooting out the problems, she just cut everyone off. While it seems to have had the desired result of getting rid of the dead weight, I can guarantee she’s also lost some good people who wanted that flexibility.


Vicki September 3, 2013 at 9:26 pm

And kept the bad people who weren’t working remotely.


Evil HR Lady September 4, 2013 at 6:31 am



Sara September 3, 2013 at 6:55 pm

Thanks for this article Suzanne.  You are exactly right.  This happened to us recently.  The only thing I will say is that if the policy was confusing, it makes sense to fix it.  But our other employees thought they had done something wrong when we fixed it, when it was truly just one employee.  I did talk to him directly about it, but, as you say, he didn’t think he did anything wrong….


Evil HR Lady September 4, 2013 at 6:32 am

Oh sure. Every company needs policies. And, those policies should be good ones.

Isn’t it fascinating how the biggest problem causers will be in total denial about what they’ve done wrong?


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