During the last NFL season sports fans were treated to a record breaking year of fine activity. Fine, in this context, does not mean good or good enough. It means money. NFL players who violated rules were fined thousands of dollars by the league. Personal conduct was a big issue in the preseason. Ergo, get a arrested and expect a fine. During the season the big topic was dangerous hits. Several players were charged tens of thousands for launching themselves carelessly at their opponents. These all made front page news on the sports pages. The dollars were large and the enforcement controversial. Regardless of the dialogue, the discipline seems to work. Taking money from employees truly affects their behavior.
What many casual NFL fans might not know is that this form of discipline is an NFL institution dating back to the beginning of professional football. Teams have always used fines to enforce team rules and influence behavior. Miss a meeting? $500. Walk in 5 minutes late? $50. Lose your playbook? $2000. This list is quite comprehensive. Many teams even fine injured players for missing their appointment with the trainers.
So would this structure work in the real world? Would corporate Americans accept this form of behavioral enforcement? Probably not, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be explored. You might be able to raise some good money from your employees and coworkers by implementing a pay for violation policy. That way anytime someone does something dumb or careless, it’s not just a funny story; it’s a contribution to the holiday party fund.
Here’s a starter list that any company could benefit from. I would like to say this is a parody of a real list, but I’m not that creative. Most of this stuff has really happenedâ€¦ at former companies of course.