In this edition of the Real Life Work podcast, I share how work team leaders use the four steps to effective rule enforcement.

Welcome to My ‘Four Steps to Effective Rule Enforcement’ Real Life Work Podcast!

by Kevin McManus, Great Systems LLC

This ‘Real Life Work’ podcast from 2023 focuses on the topic of effective rule reinforcement. The focal point of this podcast, as it was in the quite popular post, are the four steps of effective rule enforcement.

How do your work team leaders enforce the rules each day?

One of the key reasons people make mistakes is that they don’t follow the rules. There are multiple reasons to explain why people break the rules. However, we all too often fail to effectively address them to improve rule compliance, let alone commitment.

Instead, we rely on punishment, reminders, and reprimands – weak fixes that aren’t sustainable. How effective are your rule enforcement steps?

Whenever I teach a TapRooT® root cause analysis course, I get the chance to see an effective four-step enforcement process in action. To enhance learning, we take breaks every hour. With each break comes the opportunity for people to break the rules.

What percent of the class comes back from the ten-minute break on time? Well, it depends on how effectively the facilitator uses the four-step process shown in the diagram.

Do they clearly define and communicate the rules? Does the facilitator enforce the rules as class progresses, and improve enforcement if needed?

How Effective are Your Current Rule Enforcement Strategies?

When I work with groups to help them improve their processes, one of the first questions they ask is “How do you get people to follow the rules?” The question always interests me because it makes me wonder two things.

First, what rule enforcement tactics have proven to be unsuccessful up until now? Second, why do they continue to use those tactics? What does it take to create high, sustainable levels of effective work team rule compliance?

The four-step enforcement process that we use to achieve near 100% compliance to the ten-minute break rule is not that complicated. However, it is different than the rule enforcement approaches most organizations use.

As rule following is a key aspect of high performance work, I thought I would take the time to share this process with you.