Does your company empower those who ‘snitch’?

by todaystrainingblog

July 20, 2013


Does your company empower those who ‘snitch’?


                I will reiterate once again, I’m not calling for anyone to act like this was the cold war of the 1940’s thru the 1990’s! I don’t want anyone sneaking around and informing on everything that a co-worker may do wrong. I’ve been around that far too many times in my career. I may like those people who do, but decided to not spend much time with them, for that exact reason.

                But you must remember that everything someone tells you about a co-worker or manager is just not ‘snitching’. This isn’t kindergarten whereSusie tells the teacher that Jimmy put a fake bug in her bottle of water!

                This is the real world and it has many real dangers, including the incidence of WPV. And as I have stated, a rather large number of times, WPV causes many hardships on a company. From the financial drain it places on companies due to increased recruiting and public relations. And to even lightly mention the grief and heartache of losing a loved one or friend to it is virtually ripping apart their lives as well. 

                How many people remember the adage that came out of the Japanese re-birth after WW II in their economy The nail that sticks out gets hammered down? I would go to no great length to say, not many. And this leads us to the root of one aspect of WPV that some people may not think about.

                Because of the corporate culture, we may not be empowering our employees, and even our supervisory/managerial staff to speak up! Another adage is ‘walk the walk and talk the talk. Far too many companies can talk the talk but they don’t walk the walk.

                In my 30 years in the security field, I have worked for many different clients and companies. Most of these companies were good to work for and the clients were pretty good also. However, those at a higher managerial level, General Manager or higher, often believed that the rules didn’t apply to them at all.

                I’ve had a few clients/contacts like the couple I had in my first years in security. Carole Vollintime, Jack Carmony, Charley Rhein, and a few others truly walked the walk as well talked the talk. They were open, honest, and encouraged discussion with anyone who wanted to talk. And they weren’t above violating ‘corporate policy’ if it needed an adjustment because it didn’t fit the situation.

                And while they weren’t perfect, they were some of the best managers I ever worked for.  Mainly because they fostered that open discussion of ideas and issues.

                And that is what is missing from today’s corporate culture. We are so regulated, ruled, &watched by everyone we can’t foster open discussion of issues that separate employee and manager or co-worker to co-worker!

                A few months ago, I wrote a blog that talked about the numerous excuses people give for not informing supervisors or managers about a potentially troublesome co-worker (4 9-13 Warning: No one Just Snaps!). There are even more troubling now because we see it so often in many circumstances. Here is a few that I’m talking about

He’s got problems, who doesn’t?

It’s not my problem

I hate this place, why should I warn them?

They won’t listen to me.

                Any of these sound familiar? Either from your own mouth, thoughts, or a co-worker? If they do then you could be setting yourself and the company up for a disastrous situation that’s just waiting for the right match to ignite the fuse!



                So what can companies do to prevent an incident and foster the open communication AND trust that is so vital in today’s world and economy? This is so often easier said than done but here are a few ideas.

Be honest – You have to be as honest as you can possibly be with your subordinates. This isn’t to say that you need to tell them everything, but keep them informed, and don’t let them find out via the grape vine.

Be open to ideas – Don’t have an NIH attitude with your subordinates. Let the information and great ideas flow both up & down the corporate lines of communication.

Never let them stew – Never let your employees or co-workers sit and stew for hours, days, or weeks while you’re making a decision. Some decisions take time, obviously, but when it comes to someone’s future (promotion, termination, lay-off, disciplinary action, or whatever) don’t let them sit and think about it for too long. Do your due diligence to investigate and then make the decision.


                Need more communication tips and such to prevent WPV? Or do you have other security issues to worry about? Stop worrying and call Sollars Security Shield or see the website and/or Facebook pages’s Training or the new one, for the book, is too Many.