When companies draft their employee handbooks, they often strive for certainty. Employees want to know what the rules are and employers often oblige with draconian, zero-tolerance rules.
No wonder managers often try to apply all the rules equally in all situations.
But the smart money is on flexibility. Short of violent or threatening behavior, chances are that gray areas exist—even for seemingly clear-cut rules like “no stealing.” While supervisors may think their safest course is to harshly punish every breach, that can lead to negative outcomes like efforts to hide mistakes, low morale and fear.
If what you fear is litigation, rest assured that courts understand flexibility. Judges are used to determining sentences based on the unique facts of each case.
They fully expect employers to do the same. They won’t hold it against you if you fire one employee while giving a second chance to another employee who broke the same r...(register to read more)