A Rule and/or Policy For Everything?!?

We’re only human. Even in the most efficient, well run organizations there are bound to be things that go wrong or fall through the cracks. The only sure way to recover from such a problem is to be flexible and empower staff to do what it takes to recover from these issues. While this should be good enough, sometimes human nature takes hold and the organization spirals into sure insanity- trying to insure that the situation, no matter how rare, never happens again!

In a situation that only a robot would love, the organization then goes into crisis mode, spending precious time figuring out what might have gone wrong and scheduling endless meetings to come up with new rules and policies to prevent the situation from rearing its head again. This might be a good use of time- if the situation isn’t a rarity, a quick, initial analysis shows a breakdown in an existing procedure or the consequences of the issue were huge. However, many organizations treat each and every problem as if it was the end of the world and requires some sort of new rule or policy to avoid it.

While nobody wants to purposely experience a customer service breakdown, it is important to note that not every breakdown is a major issue and most of them are freak occurrences. Treating them all like major issues creates a paranoid organization that spends way too much time planning for unlikely calamities. While it might be useful to spend a few minutes evaluating every incident for severity and frequency of recurrence, most organizations will find that 99% of these issues are not worth pursuing further. If future events force a re-evaluation, that’s great, but most of the time a functional organization can just move on.

A flexible organization with empowered staff can recover quickly from these types of calamities. Don’t bog down your organization with burdensome policies and rules that will most likely never need to be used or will affect customer service to “fix” a problem that might not actually exist. Your staff and customers will thank you.