Here why this is so important for anyone in management.
Before we can hold our employees accountable for not crossing boundaries, it's our job as managers to do two things.
1. Clearly define the boundaries
This sounds simple, but it's not. Here's why.
Would you fire an employee for theft? Nearly every manager answers Yes. And if someone embezzled $350,000 (the average amount according to the Hiscox Embezzlement Study: An Insider's View of Employee Theft), you probably would.
But would you fire an employee for stealing a single Post-It Note? Probably not.
How about a box of Post-It Notes? Maybe.
How about a tractor-trailer load of Post-It Notes? Probably.
Somewhere in between a single Post-It Note and a truckload, there's a boundary in your mind.
It doesn't matter where that boundary is.
What does matter is that managers clearly communicate to employees exactly where that boundary lies. They're not mind readers.