Attracting and keeping good employees is a tough task. Occasionally they leave because of an opportunity they can’t pass up, but most of the time they’re reason for leaving lies with the business they’re leaving.
The stupid rules sometimes rear their ugly head when the behavior of one employee leads to a knee-jerk reaction by management. This overreacting just puts a downer on staff morale and often makes people feel as if they are being treated like children. Actually, most of the time the offending behavior would be rectified simply by talking to the employee who did it in the first place.
Too many workplaces create rule-driven cultures that may keep management feeling like things are under control, but they squelch creativity and reinforce the ordinary.
Faced with a rule-driven culture, the best employees–the most talented and hard working–are usually the first to go, because they’re in high demand and have more opportunity than most. “What’s left is a pool of people who are mediocre at what they do, willing to compromise their standards, and in it mostly for the paycheck,” notes Lolly Daskal, President and CEO of Lead From Within. “And if you have mediocre people doing mediocre work, you are going to have a mediocre company.”
So what are some of these ‘stupid’ rules?
Leading business expert, Bernard Marr (https://www.linkedin.com/in/bernardmarr/) highlights his favorite stupid rules that drive employees crazy at work:
Rigid Boundaries About Start, End, and Lunch Times
If you pay a professional a salary, you are paying for results. Nothing makes employees feel more underappreciated than when they get in trouble for arriving 10 minutes late, especially when many often work extra in the evenings or on weekends.
Unnecessary Documentation About Medical Appointments
Like No. 1, if you require the funeral notice of grandma prior to approving time off with pay or won’t authorize sick time without a doctor’s notice, you are treating your valued employees like children. Again, is your employee producing results? What is at the core of your distrust of employees? If someone fakes a death just to get a day off from work, your culture has bigger problems to deal with.
Overly Restrictive Rules About Internet Use
In today’s business environment, many tools to complete the job are on the Internet. In addition, social networks provide training, business development, and networking opportunities. But, yes, employees can and will use some time checking in for personal reasons as well. If there’s an employee who misuses the Internet, it’s best to tackle that one-on-one with the transgressor. Most people know that surfing the net for inappropriate reasons is not authorized while on the job.
No Work from Home Opportunities EVER —
If you’ve ever spent 3 hours trying to get to work during a snowstorm, you hate this rule. Most positions are able to be just as productive — or more so — working from home and remoting into the company servers. Why make employees waste time or put their life in danger, when they could be very productive at home from time to time?
Banning Mobile Phones
Yes, there are companies out there that ban mobile phones to enforce productivity. More than anything this reflects a lack of trust in your employees and will just leave them with no desire to go above and beyond for a company that doesn’t treat them like they can manage their time effectively.
Banning Freelancing During Personal Time
Why is this necessary? As long as the employee does freelance work outside of their day job, it should be none of your concern. You can enforce non-compete clauses, but trying to influence what your employee does during their personal time is just not a good idea.
Strict Dress Codes
Tucked-in shirts. Well, what about styles that aren’t meant to be tucked in? A professional shoe. How do you define that? When it comes to style, there are many interpretations. When you struggle to understand the policy and how to enforce it, it might mean the policy isn’t a good one.