After getting a degree in Mechanical Engineering, the son of the Proprietor of a medium-scale automotive parts manufacturing company expressed a desire to work in his father’s factory.
The Proprietor asked his son whether he was prepared to join as a GET (Graduate Engineering Trainee). He would be treated like any other GET and be subject to the same rules and regulations as all other GETs. The son agreed.
The Proprietor’s son reported late for work on 7 days during the second month. Since the Factory Manager expressed reluctance to do so, the Proprietor issued a Warning Letter to his son, stating that if he reported late for work on more than 3 days during a month, his services would be terminated with immediate effect!
On the 23rd day of the third month, the Proprietor’s son reported late for work for the 4th time during that month. The Proprietor decided that, as per the terms of the Warning Letter, his son’s services would be terminated with immediate effect. When the Factory Manager requested the Proprietor to give the young man another chance, the Proprietor replied, “He was given his first and last chance along with the Warning Letter. Now he cannot be given another chance. Repeated latecoming is an act of indiscipline, and, as you are aware, we have a policy of zero tolerance to indiscipline. Today, if we relax that policy for my son, we will be sending a wrong signal to the other employees that we are willing to compromise on our zero tolerance to indiscipline. But, if we take proper action against my son’s indiscipline, the other employees will know that we will never tolerate indiscipline from anybody else.”
Indiscipline in any organisation can be prevented, or reduced to a very substantial extent, only if the organisation is known to have ZERO tolerance towards indiscipline, irrespective of the identity of the employee. The same is true of corruption and social ills in any society.