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By Darryl Stewart

Take luck out of the equation

You have critical night shifts in your organization. These are “awake at night” shifts where sleeping is not allowed. Lives could be at risk if certain actions are not taken quickly in response to certain situations.

A major incident takes place, exacerbated because the person on shift had fallen asleep. Had the employee been awake, there would have been little or no incident. The fact that the person was asleep and very slow to intervene, resulted in a very serious situation.   A resident was seriously injured, emergency services had to be called, and the person’s supervisor had to attend to the scene.

Here’s the question: What should the discipline be?

The discipline should be exactly the same as if the person was found to be sleeping at work and no incident had occurred.

As leaders we cannot rely on luck to ensure we get results. If we allow people to sleep when sleeping is not allowed and then only discipline when something goes wrong, we are sending all the wrong signals. That signal being, it is okay to sleep as long as nothing goes wrong. The signal needs to be “we do not accept sleeping on “awake at night” shifts, period.”

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Photo by Iris C.

It is a natural conclusion that if we do not condone sleeping on the job that the punishment for falling asleep on the job is the same whether something goes wrong or not. If we only deal with the negative consequences of the behavior, not the behaviour driving the consequences, we are doing nothing to improve the overall performance of the team.

We are simply relying on luck.

Great leaders discipline bad behaviour, not bad results.

IBEX Payroll extends our profound respect and immeasurable gratitude to all the ancestors and keepers of the land on whose traditional territories our work takes place. We acknowledge that we are on Treaty 1 territory, the traditional gathering place of the Anishinaabe, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene people and the traditional homeland of the Métis people. This land is sacred, historical, and significant. 

Every time we acknowledge this truth, we have an invitation and an opportunity to reflect on the wrongs of the past, what we do in the present, and what we can do to continually honour the people whose lands and water we benefit from today. 

This statement only acts as a first step in honouring the land we reside on and its peoples, and must be paired with education, understanding and informed action.