Many companies and managers think that what they are doing and the choices they make increase trust. While in reality they only reinforce the suspicion that already exists.

While consulting and coaching a group of Senior Management that lead a retail franchise. During one of our monthly meetings a District Manager brought up something he recently saw in one of the stores.

An employee wore shorts to work!

Once that was said immediately the entire Senior Management Team went into full “We have to create a policy against shorts at work, and integrate this into our handbook, HR and training practices!”

Sigh…you may think this is extreme and it happens too often, I’m sure it has even happened at your work.

Listening to them discuss this for about 8 minutes I asked, “If we create this policy against wearing shorts, will it increase trust in the organization and management or will it increase suspicion?”

We concluded that a “policy” is not necessary and it will only work to increase suspicion.

And it was probably best to have the Store Manager talk with the employee briefly and remind him of dress code and why the company has a dress code. This we decided is the best way to increase trust.

Treat people like adults, and let them do their work.


What do you think?

Does your management hide behind creating blanket policies and procedures that only serve to increase suspicion? What example do you have of sweeping rules that could have been avoided if someone had just treated people like adults and talked to them?

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image from Gena’s Blog