Outdated workplace rules that could make employees unhappy

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Outdated workplace rules that could make employees unhappy

ONE of the many ways to hold on to your good employees is to have rules that are in keeping with company’s DNA.

Outdated rules can translate into a revolving door of talent.

But with each exit, comes the cost – having to look for new staff, training and waiting for them to grow into the job. And then they leave, and the wheels are set in motion once again.

In a modern era, is your small or medium business holding onto rules that are outdated?

Rules are necessary for every entrepreneurial organisation. Else, chaos will take over.

But how in touch are the rules in the modern workplace?

Flexible working times

Does the company still have the clock-in clock-out, card-punching mentality? If shifts are the way the enterprise operates, then it makes sense: employees should get in on time and, by that logic, should leave on time.

But what of those fluid situations when employees stay back to fix a problem or complete a task? If this happens regularly, then surely the time they show up for work should not be strictly mandatory.

In the digital age, we are constantly attached to our smartphones. Employees tend to check emails to prevent being drowned the next day at work. And some do this at home on their own time. Others reply to emails even while on holidays.

So how you employ the concept of ‘flexible work time’ to your staff is important.

Internet use

No one should be visiting pornographic websites while at work. So, within reason, the company should be blocking certain websites. But who will be the internet police and draw the line as to which websites get the green light and which are no-go zones?

There are some enterprises that frown on employees who check social media sites. Some employees even check their social feeds all the time. This is wrong. But not all staff are on social media all the time.

Restrictions should be there to ensure social media doesn’t become a work distraction. But could there be a strategy in place that allows employees to visit social networking websites during work hours?

Personal email

Some companies restrict the use of free cloud email services like Hotmail, Gmail or Yahoo mail. Most people use these services to keep in touch with family.

Just like the use of the internet and social media, should there be some level of trust with the employees while at work using company machines?

Performance evaluations

Do performance evaluations really keep employees on their toes and performing at their best?

Do the company awards at the end of the year keep employees eager to perform at their peak or do they just create more disgruntlement when an earnest, hardworking employee is overlooked year after year for someone who may or may not be as good or as hardworking?

Surely there are ways of rewarding all well-performing employees than a lavish year-end awards party.

And maybe at evaluations, a quiet performer may not shine a light on his or her talent and contributions, while someone who may have done half as much, projects more.

Dress code

There are workplaces in the digital age that believe that a formal dress code is not that important.

However, there could be situations that call for some sort of work attire.

Say when staff are representing their company at a meeting or a technical support person who has to go out on a job should adhere to decent work attire or wear the company uniform.

From a safety perspective if someone is working in a warehouse, wearing the wrong footwear to work is just not going to cut it – they would need safety shoes. So it could be an HR issue to manage the dress code. If the job is a higher risk function and involves physical tasks, then a relaxed dress code does not work.

Again, we expect someone for a professional service, whether it be legal or finance, to turn up to a meeting in a suit and tie.

But under the right circumstances, having a relaxed work attire code could foster creativity and promote productivity. That informal dress code could empower the employee to be themselves.

As it is, employees are already being asked to adhere to a workplace’s many rules and policies – having an informal dress code would make it a more comfortable environment for them to express themselves.