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Zero Tolerance Policy Essay

1825 words - 8 pages

One of the greatest strengths of the American workplace is the diversity of the workforce. Men and women from different cultures come together in a collaborative spirit to pursue common goals, and this type of collaboration has been of great benefit to many companies. These companies are able to pursue markets that they wouldn’t have been able to pursue without the valuable input of a diversified workgroup. However as the workplace has changed, different issues have arisen that leaders have had to deal with to maintain harmony and a friendly work environment. Cultural clash issues such as crude jokes, disrespect to belief systems, racism, and violence have appeared on many levels of ...view middle of the document...

First of all, the judgment and discretion of seasoned leaders is essentially nullified subverting the authority given to them making otherwise competent leaders mere “paper pushers”. In addition, Zero-Tolerance suggests by definition that certain classifications of behavior will result in termination regardless of severity of offense, intention, or how many times the offense has been committed. This sort of blanket treatment of transgressions is akin to using a jackhammer for both concrete and balsa wood…what is necessary in one case is completely inappropriate for the other. Besides, if people are dismissed because of Zero-Tolerance policies, not only the fired individuals but also good workers may leave for the competition or start their own company and become the competition taking with them valuable wisdom and experience simply because they fear their jobs may be lost as a result of such policies.
With all of the controversy surrounding Zero-Tolerance policies it is necessary to understand the development and growth of these policies. According to the article “Zero-Tolerance Policies: When Are They Right for Your Business”, Zero-Tolerance programs began mainly in the public school systems in response to very well publicized incidents that created uncertainty about the safety of the school system. In order to deal with the perception of lack of safety and under considerable public pressure, administrators instituted policies that banned the use of weapons, illegal drugs, prostitution, etc. pursuant (Lindsay and Brevelle, 70). These programs were, to say the least, a tremendous public-relations victory among the school systems and soon would be found creeping into the policies of Corporate America to combat major concerns such as violence in the workplace.
According to the article “ASIS Foundation CRISP Report Explores Gun Violence in The Workplace”, workplace violence influences more than two million employees in America every year and contributes about 20 percent of all violent crime (Reuters). With an attempt to reduce workplace violence incidents, American employers have utilized various strategies, and Zero-Tolerance is one of the most important and effective programs. These policies have been increasingly applied in recent years since employers have had complications communicating certain types of misconduct effectively to their employees (Lindsay and Brevelle, 69). By eliminating the confusion among workers, several Zero-Tolerance guidelines for preventing drug use, employee theft, and workplace violence etc… have been successful for many corporations in the United States, which has encouraged many companies adopting these policies.
The rapid expansion and tremendous popularity of these programs in the American workplace are almost a direct result of the numerous benefits companies gain by adopting such policies. Strict Zero-Tolerance guidelines help establish clear understanding of what is and is not tolerable within a...

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