The Difference Between Signed & Understanding & "What's The Point"?
Back in October '18 I posed a question re the signing of daily toolbox (TB) meeting minutes. Some excellent feedback from that, thanks to all those that replied and a couple of replies made an impression; these were along the lines of "Signing is fine but did the person understand the content?"
So after all of that it was finally agreed in our company that the supervisor would take the morning TB meeting as per usual and no-one who attended (confirmed by roll-call) had to sign. However, anyone who came in later had to read & sign the minutes - they do not get a separate briefing. The management team made a big deal of this to the point of suggesting that those late-comers who do not sign may be the subject of disciplinary action. Still, there is one individual who continually refuses to sign yet nothing has been done (as far as I know).
The company also requires that all staff read & sign the monthly H&S Committee meeting minutes. The staff know this, yet since at least September '18 (when I started with the company) this has been a resounding failure.
So what's the point? I get the whole "difference between reading & signing and understanding" in regards to the TB meetings, however I'm at a loss as to why we continually flog the seemingly dead horse that is the requirement for people to sign the H&S committee meeting minutes if this is not being reinforced.
I have communicated to the management team that this is happening (or not as the case may be) however the status quo remains. My last advice was "Well if they're not signing then go around each individual & get them to sign" - yeah right.
Like anyone else in the forum I guess, I hate wasting time on bureaucratic crap and doing things for the sake of a signature that may not even be either required or necessary. If anyone has any advice how I can positively address this going forward I would be very grateful.
There is no point having rules if they are not enforced, and if you do not have the authority to enforce them there is only so much you can do. I think its not the best use of your time to follow all of these up. If there are rules you need management support. Have you taken the issue to the H&S committee to see if they have any ideas to increase compliance?
The more rules you have the more some of us like to break them.
Can I ask why the company requires the staff read and sign the H&S committee meeting minutes?
I wonder what it actually achieves? Are the worker gaining important and valuable insights from this process? Is this (reading and signing meeting minutes) even how they want to be communicated with in regard to H&S? Has anybody asked them? If they don't perceive value in this process, then they will never be motivated to do it, and fair enough.
I'd look at the rule itself first
, before the 'compliance' issue. Was this rule made by the staff for their own benefit, or mandated from upon high by the company?
As we all know, 90% of people (conservatively) probably just sign without reading anyway. Surely any important outcomes from the meeting will be communicated to the relevant people via other channels. Therefore, is this just a bureaucratic waste of resources?
PS. If the company has some rules it does not enforce undermines all rules, some of which are potentially much more important! Not enforcing one rule condones rule-breaking across the board. If everything is important (and therefore has a rule) then nothing is important (and therefore all rules can be broken).
I usually find when a rule is not being followed, it's not a problem with the people... it's a problem with the rule.
A rigid requirement to sign minutes looks very much like an attempt by the company to cover their own butts, and employees can see that a mile away. This does not contribute to building trust - in fact quite the opposite, and it's likely to be an ongoing downward spiral unless managers start acting more like LEADERS and change the dynamics. Trust is the foundation for everything else, and leaders have to start the ball rolling. Building trust takes time and it has to be earned - you can't demand it, and you can't force it.
It sounds like time for managers to step back and do some deep soul-searching.
Here's a somewhat related story - some common themes:
Thanks very much for your very helpful & informative comments, they're all very much appreciated indeed.
In the end I solved the problem (& others) myself - I left.
Cheers to all,
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