“One bad apple spoils the whole bunch”. I am sure that everyone has heard this before. The question is “Does it”?
How Is This Handled In The Work World?
The way it should be handled and the way that is handled are probably two different things. An example of this that I am familiar with is a change in the dress code in a medical facility. Apparently, some of the staff was not following the dress code. Of course, administration decided that the way that some of the female staff was dressing was too provocative. It was just a few that this was relevant to, but administration decided that the solution was to change the dress code, making it much more difficult to dress in this fashion. However, it gave the staff no choice even in colors and certainly not in style.
Another example is regarding their policies about calling out sick, especially on weekends and the off shifts. If someone called out sick on these shifts, they had to make the shift up at the supervisor’s discretion. Again, only a few were doing this. If someone, was legitimately ill, such as having the flu, and called out sick as they really were too sick to work, they still had to make up the shift. So, the person puts himself and patients, at risk. They tell staff to stay home with the flu, but if they do, they are punished for it.
Feelings Related To This
You can imagine the feelings that these two examples evoke. Maybe the dress code is not as emotionally charged as the sick call one, but I am sure that some people are not happy with the control that is associated with how both of these issues were handled.
One of the feelings probably is anger. Yes, all work places have rules and codes to be followed, but why does everyone have to pay for the rebellion and/or poor judgment of one or a few. Sometimes the anger is directed toward the person or people involved. Sometimes the anger is directed to the administrators that change the rules for everyone. If this continues it can lead to dissatisfaction and may even result in people leaving.
Sometimes staff takes it all personally and feels like they could have or should have done something before it reaches that point, even if there was nothing that they could have done. Some of the staff just accepts it and follows the rules without any questions.
Other Ways To Handle This
Probably the best and most productive way of dealing with this is to recognize who the person or people are that don’t abide by the rules and deal with them. However, that is not the way most administrators respond. They tend to take what may seem like the easy way out and make changes that affect everyone. I am not sure how they think that it is easier to upset everyone in the system instead of dealing with the violators.
For example, looking at the first example given, wouldn’t it have been easier to confront the people that appeared to be too provocative and find out why and then remind them of the dress code and why it was made. This doesn’t even need to be addressed since the dress code is the dress code. I told, in another post, how I wore sandals a day before it was alright to do it and got spoken to about it. Even though it makes no sense, they were right. I had worn them a day too early.
In the second example, maybe when one calls out he should be evaluated by the hospital’s health care doctor and given permission to call out. If they don’t have a doctor for this on the off shifts, they should either set one up or the person calling out should go to the ER to be evaluated. If they are charged for this visit, I am sure that the behavior will stop when it really is not needed. There are probably other ways to deal with this too, but punishing everyone is not the way.
Sometimes the bad apple syndrome is a sign of other issues within a person. Taking a look at this possibility is something that someone who continues to have difficulty with following the rules should do. Maybe he wants to be the one to make the rules. If this is the case, maybe he needs a job where he can do so. One of these options is to start a business of his own. Now he is the boss and can make his own rules and does not have to follow anybody elses.
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Administration needs to look at other ways of dealing of “bad apples”. The rules and policies do not need to be changed to deal with them. This one apple does not need to spoil the whole bunch or basket.
If you have any questions or comments please leave them below.