How Not to Treat Your Employees

Security in the workplace is important, as we expect those reading this blog will have sensitive information in their businesses that need protection. As you would protect your computers and servers with passwords, so you want to control entry to your place of business. Small businesses get away with restricting keys to the front door and those who are given the alarm security code. Larger businesses implement more sophisticated means to access the business, via electronic security cards and even biometrics.

Which leads me to how a large Toronto lawfirm in the news of late got it all wrong. It decided to implement a fingerprint security system for access to the office, but decided only to have secretarial and copy-room staff be subject to it. The lawyers, paralegals and clerks were exempt. Staff who were subject to the new security system were told the intent, in large part, was to track their comings and goings during the day. The rest of the staff did not need to be tracked.

Can you think of a better way to drive an irreparable wedge of discontent into your business? By no means are your employees expected to be best friends (between themselves or management), but why divide them in such an obvious and punitive way? If work tardiness is a problem, deal with it at the supervisory level. There should be no surprise that there has been much news made of the firm’s decision, to the point where some secretaries have openly revolted by ridiculing the lawfirm and senior partners on a (so far) anonymous internet blog. When they are found out, how is the lawfirm going to handle issues with them of discipline and termination? It has become a PR and HR disaster.

Inga handles all of the employment issues for our clients. She is always suggesting to clients that any pending disciplinary action or termination be discussed with her in advance, before implementation, to ensure that it is done correctly. If you think that what the above lawfirm did was a good idea, then give her a call to discuss it further before putting the wheels in motion.

Paul H. Voorn