Article: Ten company rules you could get rid of in 2018

Employee Engagement

Ten company rules you could get rid of in 2018

Rigid rules shouldn't be the reason for your best talent to leave!
Ten company rules you could get rid of in 2018

Management rules that are based on fear, hierarchy and regular evaluation of employees are not only unethical but also undesirable for any business. Keeping employees happy and actively engaged has a lot to do with the policies or company rules, that’s why getting rid of some HR practices will help in retaining valuable employees of an organization. To build trust among the team, removing impediments to trust and collaboration is important and doing away with obnoxious rules is a great step in this direction. 

It’s understandable that companies have to establish some ground rules to maintain order and productivity, but those shouldn’t confine the employee passion’s or enthusiasm. Rules that make employees feeling mistrusted and insulted, make it difficult for them to innovate or collaborate. According to an article in Forbes, eliminating certain HR policies from the company allows employees to feel respected and accepted. 

Below are the ten undesirable rules that organizations should get rid of in 2018 to keep boost their employee engagement efforts:

1. Attendance and Timing Policies

Companies should realize that their employees are different from school children and they do not have to be regulated by fixed timings or compulsory attendance. Resenting someone for coming in 20 minutes late but failing to appreciate the toil that he put in 2 hours’ overtime would only lead to a disengaged workforce. It is a known truth that people don't need policies to compel them to show up at the office; they are aware of the work they need to do and where best to do it. So, someday they may have some valuable input to offer or learn in a group setting at the office, but on other days, they may judge it to be better to attend a meeting or a deadline from home with availability by message or phone. The employees who fail to discern their obligations are likely to not meet other expectations as well.

2. Mobile Phone Restrictions

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, “many workers need to be in constant contact while on the job, whether by email, text or messaging. U.S. labor productivity has increased in recent years as smartphones became ubiquitous.”

It is understandable that organizations need to limit mobile usage to keep it from affecting productivity. However, they must also acknowledge that employees spend most of their active hours at work. So, in this context, banning or restricting the use of mobile is unfavorable and discouraging. This step not only enforces limitations on personal space but also disconnects employees from their social life. Such policies for forced productivity is sure to spell doom for any business. 

3. Outdated Performance Review processes 

A study of TruQu showed that 77% of employees believe that the traditional performance management systems in organizations need to be revamped.

Performance reviews that use a bureaucratic five-point scale just don’t do justice while evaluating brilliant and talented people. For example, methods like the Bell curve encourage the retention of mediocre employees instead of the employees who outperform.  According to CEB, 95% of managers are “unhappy” with traditional performance management, and feel that they could use improvement. In addition, a full 59% of employees think that traditional performance reviews have “no impact” on their personal performance. Companies should rather implement continuous feedback structures about their performance. This aids in boosting employee engagement, reducing the negative feelings associated with performance reviews, and can lead to happier, more effective employees. 

4. Closed Communication: 

According to HubSpot, about 40% of employees who cannot share their opinions about workplace practices are likely to become disengaged. 

In a number of studies by Harvard Business review, it was found that when employees can voice their concerns freely, organizations see increased retention and stronger performance. If companies want to build trust and teamwork, encouraging people to give honest and compassionate feedback about the company policies or the issues they are facing is the go-to option. Connection and communication are the two most important things that drive engagement. According to a study by Harvard Business Review, business units whose employees reported speaking up more had significantly better financial and operational results than others. For example, at one national restaurant chain, managers were able to persuade senior leaders to make improvements that reduced employee turnover by 32% and saved at least $1.6 million a year.

5. Approvals for everything:

Just wonder how productive you would be in your personal life if you had to get someone else to approve all your purchase decisions. Getting anything done would be impossible! Considering this, do you still want your talent to waste their time chasing people for rubber-stamp approvals? While it is understandable for a big project or one seeking information, approvals are appropriate, but approvals on trivial matters slow down work, wastes money, and gives the impression that you don't trust your employee’s judgment. An organization should have enough faith in the executives it hired to support their decisions and fair sense.

6. Absurd rules for time off:

According to TAO Connect, 49% of employees feared their supervisor would judge them or treat them differently for needing time off for therapy. 

If a dedicated employee isn’t physically or mentally willing to come to work, there’s no point in expecting them to come with a doctor’s slip when they return. The leave policy in every company should be flexible and considerate of the needs of people.  Treat the talent you hired with respect to boost their commitment to the company. Trust that they are accountable for their work and will deliver on their promises. Requiring documentation for time off or leave just sends a message that you don't trust your people.

7. Probationary rules for promotion:

Many organizations still follow the archaic rule that employees must complete a tenure of six months to 18 months in a single role before they can apply for a transfer or a promotion. Roberta Chinsky Matuson, author of “The Magnetic Workplace,” says having such rules might have worked in the past with Baby Boomers who weren't even happy with their jobs abiding by them, but the workforce today is different.  If someone has worked hard for a position and has all the qualifications to be suitable for the open role, a mandatory probationary rule only discourages growth forcing diligent employees to seek a place with more open doors.

8. Fixed dress code policy:

Having a painfully-detailed dress code policy that gives your employees stitch-level instructions on suitable workwear is needless. Instead, just a cautionary note advising employees to dress appropriately for a business office will be sufficient. Besides, fixating over what employees wear to work should be the least important concern of any organization unless the job requires a fixed dress code.

9. Internet Restrictions:

Blocking NSFW sites at work is a sensible and rational thing to do. However, many companies restrict employees’ Internet activity to such an extent that it hinders their ability to do their jobs! For example, limiting Youtube or e-learning sites such that it becomes difficult for them to learn things from the net and apply it at work. It's one thing to put reasonable restrictions on the type of sites allowed or to limit the time of use, but to forbid access to information is simply futile.

10. Unreasonable Pay Structures:

According to Career Builder, 63% of employers say they feel they have to pay workers more because the market is getting more competitive for talent.  

Companies must understand that rigid salaries are an unwelcome thing in the future! Basing salaries on the band or a constant growth figure hurts an employee’s productivity and performance.  Suppose an employee contributes immensely to the growth of the organization, then the managers and HR should revise the employee’s rewards to display appreciation. However, if the HR turns a blind eye to this and offers the normal 5% increase in annual salary, which is same for all employees, then there are sure chances of higher turnover rate. According to LifeWorks, 76% of employees who do not feel valued are looking for other job opportunities. So, the practice of basing an employee's annual salary hike on any factor other than his market value should be abolished. 

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Topics: Employee Engagement

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