“Get Out of Jail Free” Card: Monopoly and People Management


Lourdes Gonzalez, craft cocktail connoisseur, brunch indulger, movie fanatic.

Monopoly is one of my favorite board games. Hands down. My brother and I would play for hours on end. No game was ever the same as the last one.

It was a combination of luck, skill and strategy that yielded different results every time. Funny enough the majority of games had one thing in common: my brother would win much more often than I did. How did that happen? For one, he was one smart and lucky kid. And he would also make his own game rules from time to time.

Making Your Own Monopoly Rules in People Management

Similar to the game, managing people is a combination of luck, skill and strategy that may yield different results every time depending on the players. It is likely that you have a manual with “official player rules” like an employee handbook with policies that provide guidance. You also have the opportunity to create your own Monopoly rules (like my brother did) and use “chance cards” to manage your people based on the situation and their specific needs.

Chance cards are the highly coveted “get out of jail free” passes where you use your discretion to allow someone to work from home or come in a little later to drop their kid off on their first day of school. These are the small yet impactful gestures that can build trust with your team and cultivate engagement.

When to Use “Get Out of Jail Free” Cards?

There are no official player rules on when or how often you should use chance cards with your team. It depends on the situation and the employee. It is important to ask yourself how consistently you use these cards with all of your employees. Do you use chance cards in a fair manner across team members and yourself? When you use chance cards for yourself, make sure that you have similar rules for yourself as you do for your employees. Don’t be the manager who gets to work from home all the time yet denies the team to do the same. Doing so would earn you a “deal breaker” card, for sure!