101 Ways to Make Yourself Indispensable at Work:Follow the Rules

Rules, regulations, guidelines, and policies: these are put into place to establish a consistent structure that assures the smooth operation of the company and provides uniformity. Employees are responsible for knowing company policies and procedures, especially those spelled out in the employee handbook. They must willingly abide by these policies and ensure they meet the directives of the company. Why have rules at all if they are not properly enforced?

When an employee or group of employees abuse or disregard company policies, it sends the wrong message to supervisors, coworkers, and customers. It causes chaos, negativity, loss of productivity, low morale, and worse.

Employees who follow proper protocol look at the so-called rule breakers and wonder why they continue to get away with infractions. They question the special treatment the rule breakers receive when their negative behavior continues without repercussions. This disgruntles the rule followers, who begin to think observing the rules has no merit. If a few can get away with disregarding policies, why can’t everyone? It causes an “If you can ignore the rules, so can I” attitude. Soon the entire office force is ignoring policies, causing upheaval and forcing the boss to take a stand.

Company policies and regulations are put in place to keep things running efficiently across the entire company, from the production department to sales and marketing, etc. When employees routinely violate policies, it creates low morale and finger pointing. Even one employee who ignores the rules can create an unpleasant situation or problem.

It is amazing how otherwise rational and responsible adults will act as if the company policies apply to everyone but them. When they break a rule, they are shocked to be reprimanded or put on notice for the infraction(s). For instance, a company may have a dress code that prohibits wearing jeans of any kind. Along comes Bob dressed in black jeans and a dress shirt. When confronted, Bob defends his wearing of black jeans, stating that they “look” like business wear. He may even go so far as to say he looks better in the jeans than some people do in their casual business slacks. Justifying his actions, Bob totally misses the point that he broke the dress code. All types of jeans are banned from the office—period.

Company rules and policies are meant for everyone—no exceptions. If you hope to continue working for a company and want to advance there, strict adherence to company policies is a must.

Rules and procedures are in effect for a reason. If you feel they do not make sense or they have little value, direct your questions to the supervisor. Some procedures may be mandated by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) or state/local laws to comply with safety issues. Some rules may be required to keep the company running efficiently and prevent a chaotic environment.

Understanding your company’s rules and procedures could provide insight into its inner workings and structure. Knowing the whys of procedures can help you understand what you need to do to keep your job and to advance in your career.

101 Ways to Make Yourself Indispensable at Work. 101 Ways to Make Yourself Indispensable at Work, ISBN: 9781435454323 Prepared for jhale@cba.ua.edu, Joanne Hale © 2011 Safari Books Online, LLC. This download file is made available for personal use only and is subject to the Terms of Service. Any other use requires prior written consent from the copyright owner. Unauthorized use, reproduction and/or distribution are strictly prohibited and violate applicable laws. All rights reserved.

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