Why do you need a referee?


"HR for SMEs - a practical guide" - The Book

"HR for SMEs" uses the analogy of Football to explain the purpose and importance of HR in any just go along with the analogy below....

Why do you need a referee?

We all know the rules of football (well maybe not the off-side rule!) and the players on the field probably know the rules better than anyone else.

So if everyone know the rules, why do you still need a referee?

Well quite simply, rules will be broken. Not always intentionally - although sometimes they are! If you did not have a referee you would lose control. Players would push the boundaries (and play outside the boundaries of the field!). Soon you would have a free-for-all.

And the referee cannot wait until half-time to pull a player up on that foul they did 20 minutes ago. No. The referee has to act as soon as the foul happened.

The same needs to happen in your business. You may have clear rules about how you do things but you also need to be the referee and 'blow the whistle' if there is any rule breaking ... and apply the appropriate sanction. And you need to do it as soon as the problem arises - not wait and hope it will go away!

In football, it may be a free kick, a penalty, a yellow card or a red card! The players on the pitch know the potential consequences of their rule breaking (what might result in a penalty or red card). Your players - your employees - also need to know the consequences of their rule breaking and know that the rules will be applied.

When a referee misses a foul on the pitch, what is the reaction from the other players and the fans? They are all watching and will be quick to get upset and feel there has been an injustice. It's the same in your business. People will watch to see if you are being a fair referee.

Fans and players will respect a firm but fair referee. One who is consistent. Fans and players will be more than critical of a bias or inconsistent referee.

An extract from "HR for SMEs - a practical guide"

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