Years ago, we realised that when staff went off the rails it was usually in the same direction. Although we force new staff members to read through a long list of terms and conditions of employment on their very first day in the office, they usually treat it the same as I treat the T&Cs from Google. Yeah, sure, accept, accept, accept.
So we streamlined the main culprits, the inter-office email chats, the unusually high internet activity, and boiled it down into a current hits list of don'ts.
Whichever team leader loses the draw gets to deliver it to the eager faces down in the training room.
They get to watch as those hopeful grins turn doubtful, and then change into a rictus of fear.
It's when you get to that point you know that you've made your message clear.
As an added bonus this year we updated things along the lines of various discoveries we've made over the years.
1) If you make people phone their team leader when they're calling in sick, they have less sick days.
An interesting discovery, and one which we've updated in the DON'T document today.
2) If people have earphones in they ignore their team members and don't answer the phone and all unit spirit dissipates into the ether and we're left with a load of people who suddenly realise they're being seriously underpaid.
NO EARPHONES ALLOWED. (We can't afford to pay you more, talk to each other)
3) If you don't let your staff charge their cellphones at work when you have an earthquake you can't fulfill your team leaderly duties by phoning them because they're batteries are all flat.
Go on. Use the company's electricity. It's free. We may want to call you and make sure you're not dead one day.
There's probably more stuff we could be tweaking, but that was ten minutes worth and we do have day jobs to be getting on with, you know.
For more tips on how to scare and disempower YOUR workforce tune in tomorrow.