“Disciplinary action will ensue.” Would hearing this really motivate you?

It’s fair to say that my job takes me far and wide into all sorts of interesting and different businesses, and every now and then I come across things that makes me curious.

This was the case a while back when I was doing some work with a large operational business.

As I walked around the site, I saw numerous staff notices from the General Manager plastered on notice boards everywhere. While this in itself is not curious or unusual, what was unusual was that just about every one blatantly scolded all employees collectively for doing something wrong.

The notices referred to different issues, but every single one ended with the same standard line.

“If this does not cease immediately, disciplinary action will ensue.”

I asked a few staff in passing as to what discussions management have had with them in order to understand and address what was happening. Yet, they all told me that there had not been a single word, before they scoffed and rolled their eyes.

This astonished me.

In this day and age, a business that seemed to be experiencing some serious morale issues was by all accounts making no effort to understand the reasons behind what was going on and address them from a managerial level.

I then brought up my observations with a supervisor. He told me that he felt the pain that these attitudes were causing his staff yet felt powerless to do anything about it. He also told me that many areas of productivity have been down lately while sick leave has been through the roof.


I would have loved nothing more than to have the opportunity to sit down with management to discuss some kind of employee engagement initiative as outlined in my previous article “10 reasons why employee engagement programs fail.” since they seemed to be a prime candidate for it.

But alas, my calls and emails went unanswered. It’s a shame really.



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