I want to make a point and for that, I would like to tell you a story.
There was a boy who was known for his bad temper. The boy constantly had fights with his friends and broke things at home. The mother could not take it anymore and she asked the father to do something about it. And the father thought, it was time for him to take some action. Instead of punishing, which might turn the kid hostile, he chose another route.
The father took the son out and feasted the son to his favorite snacks. Now that the son was happy he agreed and promised to follow the father’s advice. And the advice was to hit a nail into the wooden plank in their backyard, every time he felt rage.
The son started following this religiously. He started pounding the wooden plank with innumerous number of nails every day. But as time passed by, the number of nails reduced and there came a day when he did not have to hit even one. Proud of himself, the son ran to his father to give the news.
Upon hearing this news the mother was very happy as she witnessed the gradual change in the son’s behavior. But the father was not done with the lesson yet. He said “You have touched a milestone. But the journey is still on. You would still get angry on certain issues, and every time you do, pull a nail out of this plank.
This time, the son was not required to be bribed, for he was already reaping the benefits of the lesson. For, he had more friends now. He followed his father’s advice and started pulling out the nails accordingly. This time it took longer, but there came a day when the plank was rid of nails.
He called the father into the backyard to show him the wooden plank, which had no nails in it. Father looked at the plank and patted the son’s back. He said You have touched another milestone, but the journey is still on.”
This put the son to thought. And while he was at it, the father said Look at the plank. You hit nails into it and later you pulled them off. No doubt, the plank is rid of nails but have a good look at the plank. It’s now scarred and perforated. Had you put in more nails, it would have been ruined and would work only as fire wood. Relationships work the same way. You might go wrong and then come to a realization later. And then try to undo the damage and so, you successfully may. But, the scar remains.
This applies directly to the relationship between a firm and its people. You might try to undo the damage but the scar remains.
Many firms, in an attempt to straighten up the work force or in the name of discipline, issue policies that are not welcome. Especially, in an attempt to cut operational costs and to entertain a few board members, bad ideas have been put to play. And these ideas once in place have costed dear to the firm. The damage can be undone, but the scar remains on the reputation of the firm.
In this age of information, companies need to be careful about the policies they make and the decisions they take. For a bad reputation seldom brings business.