Every employer wants to create a workplace that keeps its employees happy and willing to stick around. Pointless or outdated workplace rules that make employees unhappy can thwart this goal, leading to employee turnover that costs the employer money and harms its performance. Employers should examine their workplace rules and eliminate those that only serve to frustrate employees. Some of these may include:
1. Requiring Employees to Bring in a Doctor’s Note When They Take a Sick Day. People do not always go to the doctor when they are sick, so this policy might force employees to pay for doctor’s visits that are not otherwise necessary. Also, such a policy can harm the trust between an employer and employee, which is essential for a healthy work relationship. Plus, do you really want a sick employee coming to work and infecting the rest of your employees? If an employee says that he or she isn’t feeling well, let that employee stay home. With that said, employers should still require employees to provide doctor’s notes after several days of absence, in suspicious circumstances (patterns of abuse for instance) and for FMLA leave or reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
2. Inflexible Scheduling. Employees have lives outside of work, and often times those needs interfere with work. Forcing an employee to come to the office every day from 9-5, when that employee could accomplish the same work remotely or on a different schedule is outdated and will harm your ability to recruit and retain employees.
3. Penalizing Salaried Employees for Coming to Work Late. A policy that allows a salaried employee to work late into the night and on weekends, but that punishes that same employee for coming to the office late, does nothing but breed resentment.
4. Too many meetings. Meetings can be useful, but they are a drain on an employee’s time and productive capabilities. Make sure that you are only calling meetings which are necessary.
5. Tolerating Bad Supervisors. Nothing destroys workplace morale like a horrible boss. And a boss who engages in sexual harassment or discrimination can put the employer at risk of a lawsuit. Therefore, employers should have regular training on these issues with their supervisors. However, training can only go so far. Sometimes employers need to fire bad supervisors before they poison the company’s culture.
6. Unclear Expectations and Goals. A failure to communicate to employees what is expected of them, and whether they are meeting those expectations, will only lead to confusion and prevent your employees from doing what you pay them to do. Clearly define your expectations for your employees, and give them regular feedback as to whether these expectations are being met.
Feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss your workplace rules, employee handbooks, or anything else affecting the way you manage your employees.