Discipline and Decency

All too often partners in professional service firms know how to issue orders, but forget about the need for kindness.

Employees develop fear rather than fondness for their managers, and quickly learn how little they can produce to keep people happy.

In professions where the quality of the final product hinges on the quality of the thought process used to develop it (e.g. law, accounting and management consulting), monitoring effort is often impossible and employees have significant lee way about how much effort they choose to exert.

In this context, discipline and punishment are unlikely to be effective motivational tools unless employees have first been treated with common humanity, and given a chance to develop an attachment to the organization, their managers and the role itself.

Being good to people, can be good for business.