As a supervisor, one will encounter times where rules on behavior must be set forth. In this case, we will apply management techniques to the situation of personal phone privilege abuses.
Employees have been abusing their personal phone privileges. There are abnormal amounts of calls incoming and outgoing and the calls are lasting far too long. While the employees seemed to understand the situation after a meeting was held on the topic, the abnormal amounts of calls began again after a week.
A written policy on personal phone calls would be extremely useful for supervisors. It would allow the supervisor to gain an understanding of the reasons that the employee might be making an abnormal amount of phone calls, after which he could judge the situation and then apply the policy in a fitting way.
“Employees may not abuse their personal phone and electronic communication privileges.” This is a broad statement that sets in place a concrete policy on phone use, while allowing the supervisor to have room to judge whether the phone calls were justified or not. For example, if an emergency situation arises for an employee, and he stays on the phone for a long period of time or receives multiple phone calls to update him on the situation, this might be justified. On the other hand, if the employee is using his phone to chat with friends or family, this behavior should be reprimanded. The policy set forth above would allow the supervisor to judge the two above situations and judge them in an appropriate manner.
A rule on this behavior must also be set forth, so that employees may also have an understanding of their phone privileges. “Employees may make outgoing calls with their personal phones two times per day for no longer than ten minutes per call. Incoming calls should be limited to twice per day, for no longer the ten minutes each. Friends and family members should be notified of these rules. Please note that this rule applies to both landline phones and electronic communications devices such as but not limited to cell phones, blackberries, and any future devices. Failure to comply will result in punishment from a supervisor.” This rule specifically states the full extent of the employee’s phone privilege, while warning the employee that he will be reprimanded if he does not comply.
In the end, both the supervisor and the employee must be mindful of each other. Steps should be taken by supervisors and employees to deal with the employee’s personal problems, if that is the cause of the problems. Likewise, supervisors should give some leeway to employees when emergency situations arise.