Can employees really be trusted? We want to trust staff because compliance is a dirty word to many avant guard managers.

You get the behaviour you measure.

We all know that, but sometimes we dismiss it as old-school management.

Compliance is almost a dirty word.

Research by Dr Belinda Bateman of the University of Newcastle (UK) shows that people act more honestly when they subliminally think they are being watched.

Here’s her experiment. For 10 weeks she placed an image above and coffee/tea honesty box in the university faculty common room. She’d alternate the image between flowers and stylised eyes.

Drawn eyes compliance is not a dirty word

The results were stunning. Putting a drawn picture of eyes above an honesty box increased takings by 276%.


This has huge ramifications for theft, speeding and even adherence to work policy.

Just think of the crimes prevented by security cameras. Mystery Shopping is like that.

Sure our secret shoppers can identify specific things to be fixed, but the biggest benefit comes just from having a program. We find when clients stop shopping their complaints increase and their sales decrease (because staff are less likely to close the sale).

People change behaviour just by knowing they could be evaluated.

Everyone gets better service as a result. Compliance is not a dirty word.