No manager wants the guilt associated with failure to enforce safety rules. To ensure that never happens, the first step is to establish rules that are reasonable and enforceable, according to Nancye M. Combs, president and CEO of HR Enterprise Inc., in Don’t Confuse Rules with Policies.
"If everyone understands that any violation requires management to act, there will likely be fewer rules that need to be established," Combs says. "Every member of management must agree they will enforce the rules uniformly. They must also agree that they will remain united and be consistent with whatever discipline is required."
Start by involving your team to create an effective list of rules. In one example from Combs, employees in a distribution center were asked to list the employee behaviors they believed should be prohibited. From their suggestions, management created a list of rules, and it was no surprise that safety was the first concern. Because employees felt they contributed to the outcome, getting their buy-in was easy.
Read more about how maintaining consistent rules can lead to a safer workplace in Don’t Confuse Rules with Policies.