I recently worked with an organization to develop a list of positive behaviors that it expects from all of its people. 25 years ago someone would have asked me if we were crazy doing an exercise like that. Times have clearly changed. The workplace has gotten less civil, people are more impatient and, in general, how we treat one and another has deteriorated. This organization decided it was time to be clear with employees the positive behaviors it expects they wish to be a part of the organization.
Items like listening to fellow employees, being on time for meetings, honesty and being courteous and tactful were on the list as well. What they have seen is a general lack of common courtesy and common sense behaviors disappear over the years and a group of middle-level leaders took on this project because this trend has started to become disruptive to the organization and to the relationships that exist.
These middle-level leaders are taking their list to senior leadership for final approval and then communication to the entire organization. Their goal is to set standards that people are expected to adhere to if they wish to be a part to the organization. Frankly, these middle-level leaders are fed up with dealing with people who don’t behave in even some of the most basic ways we used to expect as the norm.
The sad fact of the matter is that they are right. I see this in many other organizations and I applaud this group for stepping up and doing something that many people will say is an “intrusion” on their rights. To that I say…BS! An organization has a right to expect certain common sense, civil behaviors of its employees. If they haven’t learned these behaviors at home or in school, perhaps it is time they learn them. Sadly, this shouldn’t have to come from a business but I’ll take it wherever I can get it.