About a month ago a large four-year old red Doberman “pup” joined the household. I share this with you because of some lessons I’ve had reinforced for me. Elliot was, until about a month ago, emotionally neglected. The basics of food, water, and shelter were met but the emotional connection was missing. To tug on your heart strings, he cried himself to sleep that first night, forlorn sobs reflecting his confusion and his anxiety. It’s been a daily task to help him learn the rules and boundaries. Why put him through this? Because dogs can completely stress out when boundaries are not clearly stated and enforced. As he learns what is expected of him Elliot’s behavior is getting much better, his anxiety is lower and life is getting so much easier for him.
Let’s jump to your organizations. Do you and all your employees know the boundaries? Are the rules, regulations, policies and procedures of your organization clearly stated? Does everyone know the consequences of failing to adhere to those boundaries? Are you consistent in enforcing the boundaries or do some employees get a pass while others have their feet held to the fire? If the latter scenario is at play is it any wonder that employee morale, loyalty and performance may be much lower than expected. Given that scenario it’s no surprise to me that problems persist and collaborative problem solving may simply exist on paper as a goal to be achieved. Take a good hard look at your organization – better still have a professional problem solver take that look with you. Identification of the boundaries will be more accurate, as will the assessment of how well they’re enforced.
Boundaries – they really are that important.