As the leader, it is up to you to take responsibility for everything that happens in your business.
I read a newspaper article last night about a local bar that lost its liquor license—possibly permanently—after repetitively serving alcohol to underage patrons. The bar’s owner had reportedly fired six bartenders in the past 18 months for failing to check patron IDs, but that was not enough to prevent the bar from exceeding the maximum number of demerit points for underage alcohol-serving violations.
This is the reason I say that a leader is responsible for everything that happens in his or her workplace. Ultimately, if something goes wrong, the leader is the one who will be held accountable. This is why leaders need to be sure their employees realize the importance of regulations, particularly those related to safety and legal issues. It’s often easy and convenient to disregard a policy here and there, but there are simply some policies that cannot ever be disregarded. Be certain your employees know which these are, be clear about which violations are grounds for immediate termination, and be certain your team understand the reason for the policy. No matter what, be perfectly clear what the expectation is and remind your team that it is their responsibility to uphold the expectation.
I hate that this gentleman lost his bar, and I hate that some employees are terminated without a second chance. But, liking it or not is irrelevant here—be a great leader and teach your people to do the right things now and you’ll save yourself trouble down the road.