Russia, sports and trust

The World Anti-Doping Agency just banned Russia from all international sporting events (including the Olympics) for the next 4 years.

It’s a severe sanction but perhaps justified when considering that Russia has been stripped of more than 40 Olympic medals since 2002 because of doping. This is more than any other country, 4 times more than runner-up (Ukraine) and about a third of all medals stripped for doping globally.

When considering disciplinary actions at work, I tell management to ask themselves this question: what is the smallest sanction you can impose that is likely to prevent a recurrence? Sometimes, a good discussion is all that’s necessary. At other times, termination is in order. In most cases, we settle for something in between (warning, suspension, transfer, bonus-cut, demotion, etc.).

When it comes to termination, the other question to ask is: did this employee commit a breach of performance or a breach of trust? The first one is easier to forgive than the second one. If we can’t trust the employee anymore, how can we keep them around?

Over the next 4 years, Russia should focus on regaining the sporting world’s trust.

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