Policy Change

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The problem of nepotism makes its’ way into an organization when upper management begin favoring family members or friends, disregarding whether or not they are qualified or suited for a job. Its’ impact goes far beyond what many may realize, affecting virtually every area within an organization. The impact is felt through the hiring practices, performance evaluations, promotions, assignments given, employee appraisals, and compensation. Nepotism has become a very sensitive subject which has the ability to cause stress and dissatisfaction within an organization, which ultimately leads to a lack of commitment of employees to the agency. Nepotism is a threat to an organization and needs to be dealt with swiftly, but consciously. By its’ very definition, nepotism can have a very negative affect on an organizations morale. Anytime that there is favoritism shown to an individual or individuals based solely upon relationship/s, it can cheat other individuals out of a position in which they may be more qualified. An organization owes itself and its’ employees to provide a system of fairness. “An organization that commits itself to the human-centered tenets of design thinking is practicing enlightened self-interest” (Brown, 2009). Creating an environment conducive to positive outcomes and enhancing employee performance can be achieved by design. As I took a good look at my organization I identified an area in which a policy goal needed to be achieved in order to address a problem, and enhance the overall operations of the agency; I was immediately drawn to a problem that has been prevalent within my organization for the past nineteen plus years. The widespread employment of family members within my organization has been common knowledge. More than that, employees receiving choice assignments and promotions, as well as avoiding discipline based solely upon their relation to upper management has had a devastating affect on the organization. This practice must be changed, especially in a time where one of the few rewards for employees, who do a good job, is to get that coveted assignment or position. As an agency, we must consider how nepotism affects our employees and the organization. Nepotism can make other employees feel less significant or even insignificant to the organization. When an employee feels that their contribution to the organization is small or not even considered, employees have the propensity to become disciplinary problems. This is a direct result of the employee feeling that fairness or impartiality in the workplace does not exist; therefore there is no reason to follow office rules and regulations. “Employees may have less incentive to perform their responsibilities diligently and proficiently if they feel that the path to promotion is undermined by nepotism” (Virginia Employment Law Letter, 2008). Also, as an employee’s lack of confidence in the organization occurs, this will more than likely result in the loss of competent workers, who eventually leave an organization to seek employment elsewhere. If employees remain with the organization, there is a distinct decrease in loyalty. Perceived favoritism can cause dissatisfaction among employees and reduce morale. This fact has been observed time- and-again. The affects that nepotism can have on an organization can be devastating. Nepotism more than likely leads to an inferior work product. In a customer service oriented business such as law enforcement, this can mean more citizen complaints, and even worse, citizen mistreatment or abuse. When this occurs there is an increased risk of lawsuits from citizens who are mistreated or abused; and in other cases, employees who feel mistreated may attempt to sue for discrimination or hostile work environment. One such case can be seen in Wilson County in Nashville, Tennessee. A lawsuit filed in federal district court by Mr. Karl Tartt, alleged...
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