Bending the rules in tough times

By Scot Herrick | Job Performance

Nov 20

With the economy in a nose-dive, there is a lot more work being laid on the cubicle desk for people to do. Understandable, really.

So when your manager comes by and asks you to bend some rules or company standards out there to expedite whatever your manager needs done, you just go ahead and do it. Right?


Not so much.

We give of ourselves to corporations all of the time. Even in good times, our integrity is called into question where we are asked to do something we don’t agree with or doesn’t meet company policy. And with the difficulty of the work out there right now, it would be easy to bend the rules just to get something done a bit faster. After all,

If your integrity doesn’t matter in tough times, when does it really matter?

When companies create processes and rules to follow, they need to be followed or management needs to change them through whatever change process your company uses. To simply bypass all of the rules and processes carries great risk – to you.

Breaking the rules goes against most company codes of conduct

That means they can fire you on the spot for the violation – and you lose your unemployment and significantly hinder the possibility of getting a new job.

Audits will find out

In most regulated companies, there are regular audits being done to ensure regulations are being followed. If processes are not followed, the auditors should find it – and you. You then get saddled with the audit finding and subject yourself to disciplinary action, including firing. Great.

If your manager insists

If your manager insists that you carry out this breaking of the rules, you need to significantly document when it happened, how you were asked, what you said, why you said you disagreed, and take that documentation home so no one can walk you out of an office without you getting the documentation. Having a manager ask you to do something against policy will be messy beyond belief, but documenting the event is the only protection you have.

Your integrity means something – to you. If you consistently violate your company policies, standards and rules just because times are tough, your integrity is lessened. And you take all the risk of your job for doing so.