Don’t pontificate

“If you know what’s good for you, you’ll do as I say.”

A few generations ago, this was a common threat issued to children by parents. It was effective because it appealed to the child’s self-interest. No nagging. No pleading. No argument about good or bad. Children immediately understood the practical benefits of changing their behavior.

No one would recommend replicating this practice with adults in the workplace today. But the concept of appealing to our employees’ self-interest when promoting ethics and compliance still has merit. We have safety policies because we want our employees to go home safely every night. We provide training and implement controls so that they don’t inadvertently break the rules and lose their job. We ask them to promote organizational integrity because it gives them access to the resources they need to be successful.

Our job as E&C professionals is to protect the organization and its employees. Their wellbeing is closely connected. If we can show this connection (not pontificate), we are more likely to get compliance.

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