The other day I was having a chat with my Uber driver. He was an electrical engineer who was on a student visa from India so that he could improve his employment position by studying project management. He had completed his studies and wanted to get some work experience here in Adelaide before he returned to his home town in 2021. This would give him the best opportunity once he returned home to India.
I asked him whether he wanted to stay in Adelaide? He said no. He thought the social life in his village in India was better. There are only a thousand people in his village and they have a better social life. Fair enough I said.
I asked him about the differences between Adelaide and the cities and villages in India. He said that he has a very good life in India except for the corruption. He said that in Australia if you go to the police, you know that they will obey the laws. He said he couldn’t necessarily feel that police in his country would be so reliable. He said corruption is rife in India and this is why it can be unsafe.
We all yearn for freedom. But the thing that makes Australia such a free country is that we have and obey the rules (most of the time). If we have a problem, we call the police to step in and enforce the rules. We feel confident that we are safe because the rules are usually followed.
Workplaces are the same. Your team feel safe when they know that the rules will be followed; when there are no surprises; when people are required by the leadership to meet certain social and workplace standards.
Next time someone comes to you to complain about something that is unfair, don’t get grumpy or annoyed. They are coming to you, as the boss, to ensure that the rules will be followed so that they can feel safe.