I recently spoke with an individual who worked for a major Home Improvement store in Rockford, IL. He didn't look too happy so I asked him how his day had gone. Terrible he said. "I'm looking for a new job."
Here is what happened. He carries a walkie-talkie on his belt. Using the restroom, the walkie fell off and into the toilet making it inoperative. He was told that $200.00 would be taken out of his paycheck to pay for another. His supervisor told him that he was unable to do anything - it was policy. The store manager said, I don't like to do this but it is policy.
He immediately went online to look for another job. When I spoke with him that night, he said he had an interview for the following day.
Think about this. The company valued the walkie-talkie more than they valued their employee who had significant experience in the lumber department. Just that day he had helped a customer design a large deck and sold the requisite materials.
The company just lost a valued employee. Consider the cost of finding and training a new individual compared to the cost of a walkie-talkie.
Other employees and friends will develop an opinion about this company based on how it treats its people. It won't be a positive opinion.
Clearly, the store manager and the individual who supervised this employee are unempowered and were unable to intervene on his behalf. After all, it's corporate policy.
Why would anyone work for a company that values a $200 piece of equipment (damaged accidentally) over a good employee? Not me. I will not give the company my future business - knowing the story.
Organizational culture matters. So do your priorities. And, culture and policies always reflect those priorities. This was a classic case of stupid corporate policies and a toxic culture.