Managers and supervisors usually aren’t the ones who write company policies. But they have a big responsibility for making sure employees abide by them.

Here are three steps supervisors can take to make sure their subordinates respect organizational policies:

1. Explain why
The days of “because we said so” are long over in most workplaces. Employees want to know why they’re being asked to do, or not do, something.

So give people a plain English explanation. Example: “You must call in when you’re going to be absent so we can arrange staffing and still get the work out.”

2. Emphasize equity
Employees who feel singled out will, at best, grow resentful. At worst, they’ll sue you.

Point out that both the policy and you aim to be equitable. Example: “We’ve done everything we can to make sure this policy is fair to everyone. Can you see that?”

3. Foster familiarity
People may have signed off on the employee handbook when they were hired, but it’s unlikely they’ve read it recently.

Go over the policy at issue with them, in detail, and verify that they’ve understood. Example: “Is there anything about this policy that you have questions about?”

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