Individual Rights over Entire Business Mission?
THE GOOD ENOUGH, THE BAD AND THE UGLY BEHAVIOR
Today’s Scene: The Bad
As the owner of a catering company, Boss EvenKeel found himself in a difficult situation…again! While serving the company’s signature smoked turkey breast, Employee Righteous’ new-found alignment with a vegan lifestyle seemed to be more than he could keep a cap on. Health was apparently not the motivator for Employee’s switch. Employee Righteous found his soul leaning towards humane treatment for all animals. And, once again, Employee Righteous was explaining IN DETAIL the offending treatment of some animals. While serving dinner…to paying clients.
Boss EvenKeel’s sigh could be heard across the room if someone had been listening for it. He went to the kitchen to ask another staffer to replace Employee Righteous on the serving line and send him to the kitchen.
Boss EvenKeel had hoped this was a phase and that the injustice that seemed to be driving Employee Righteous passion for his new cause would settle down. But now it was a constant presence in any conversation he had…including with clients and their guests!
Boss EvenKeel was unsure what to do. Certainly, he could understand Employee Righteous’ point of view personally. But he KNEW the clients were NOT going to stand for it. “Do I support the individual’s right to speak or can I let him go to save my company?” wondered Boss.
When Boss EvenKeel called Employee Righteous in and explained that he had to stop talking to the clients about the topic, Employee started to explain that it was “his right” to speak his mind. Boss EvenKeel agreed 100% that it certainly was his right. However, he also knew that it would severally damage his company’s reputation and offend the clients.
Does Boss EvenKeel stand by the individual that is disrupting the culture and client work to make a point? Or does he protect the other 25 employees that make a living working in the company? Does he let go of Employee Righteous if he refuses to stop speaking his mind regardless of the context or the customer needs?
Today’s lesson: A Boss knows the company has a specific mission and the company can only fill one need at a time.
Small business oftentimes does not have the luxury to support all individual rights within the structures of the company and that is ok. Causes, social wrongs and charity affiliations are chosen to specifically align with the clients. And that means that not EVERY worthy cause will be able to be supported by your company.
The company has a mission to serve the clients and their needs. If an individual team member chooses to discuss personal views that are offensive to clients while in professional spaces and conversations then the business owner is likely to have to fire the individual if they will not stop. Employee Righteous’ actions are contrary to the mission.
As the Boss, it is EvenKeel’s job to be the champion for the company. It has needs outside of the personalities within the company. This is one of the fundamental concepts that we at Boss Actions teach in The Sh*ft. A Boss must protect your clients, the rest of your team and your company.
Setting them all up for success does require that certain protocols, behaviors and even wardrobe can be required for employment. Free Speech is something that an employee can choose to execute at anytime by giving up employment in your company. It is their choice.
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