The secrets of a successful life in business.

Strategies for Discipline in the Workplace

I was conversing with a co-worker yesterday about the challenge of office disciplinary actions. He wanted to get my take on it, and was specifically interested in how on earth I got away with actually paddling employees when they slipped up since it “seemed illegal”. We ended up having a robust conversation on the topic, that I believe could benefit the larger business community. Below is a topline.

I had been looking for a more effective way of disciplining my employees when I tapped into my childhood for some ideas. I can remember making only a few mistakes when I was young, but when I did have the chance slip up, my grandfather went to his woodshed, entered a secret door in the floor, grabbed a poorly-welded homemade flogging bar, and beat me for around 45 minutes, usually to within an inch of my life.

While the physical and emotion scars have receded, the effectiveness of his strategy was burned into my brain.

Enter: The Business Paddle™. Loosely modeled on my grandfather’s flogging bar, it has become an incredibly motivating tool I use almost daily–whether I actually flog someone, or take it out of my desk drawer and hang it on my wall so they know it’s in play.

Look, employees know they’ve done wrong, and if you want them to not do it again, it’s essential that they know there are real and dire consequences for those mistakes. I have found that if an employee knows they might get paddled by a grown man if it happens again, they rarely make that mistake twice.

And one more thing I’ve found to be valuable is to make sure and let them know that “This will hurt me more than you” by printing this exact saying on the paddle. The Business Paddle™ is a powerful reminder to your employees that business needs to be mistake free, and if it’s not, a whooping is right around the corner.

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