Smoking & Employment Equity targets: Policing vs managing

Photo by Tomas Ryant from Pexels


On a recent morning walk, I met a man lighting a cigarette, and I thought about the Covid-19, Level-3 cigarette ban and Police Minister, Cele, stating that one could only smoke at home.

Then there is the 2020 Employment Equity Amendment Bill. If passed, the Labour & Employment Minister will be able to set numerical targets for various sectors. The affirmative action targets carefully calculated by employers for their Employment Equity Plans will be irrelevant.

What is the connection?

Policing is always easier than managing. With the cigarette ban, there was no need for time-consuming investigations — if you smoked in public, you had to show your receipt. With Employment Equity targets, no one has to read, understand and assess employer Plans — just compare results with the minister’s targets.

Poor managers set rules that are easy to police. And the note on their closed door says, ‘Meet your target’. The result is a demotivated team, rigidly following rules and lacking in creativity.

Good managers work with the strengths and challenges of individuals. And their door is always open. They ask questions like, ‘What are you working on?’ ‘What are the challenges?’ And the rewards include motivated, creative and better-performing teams.


Policing versus managing? What is your take?


Ian Webster

From Methodist minister to Customer Relations manager in a computer bureau to HR Manager in a newspaper printing and publishing company. Now focussing on training and developing people and HR & people-management consulting.

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