Stupidity is unfortunately a life-long experience that all of us at some point have to face. It’s understandable that companies need to establish some ground rules to maintain order and productivity. However, they should not cross that boundary where rules confine employee passion or enthusiasm.
Companies should pause to ponder: to whom are rules being directed at? If the new rule you are creating are targeted at those you wish you didn’t hire, well, that rule is most likely a stupid rule. Need more examples?
Here are the top 10 stupid rules that make good people, employees and humans go running.
1. Stupid Attendance Policies
Companies should realise that salaried people are no longer school children. If an employer is unhappy that an employee comes in 20 minutes late but fails to appreciate how the employee works 2 hours overtime, the company probably doesn’t deserve that employee at all.
2. Stupid Approvals For Everything
Bureaucracy can be the death of everyone. If employees need their manager’s written approval just to ask Admin for a new notepad… *rolls eyes*. A company should choose to trust the employees they hired enough for them to make trivial decisions such as this.
3. Stupid Hiring Processes
Ever wondered how someone with less qualifications than you ended up getting a position above yours? Well, this could probably be because the company is screening resumes by means of a keyword search as opposed to sieving through applicants one-by-one. We’re advocates of humanising the hiring process so that the right people are hired for the correct position.
4. Stupid Internet Restrictions
We’re not saying that blocking NSFW sites at work is wrong. Unfortunately, many companies restrict employees’ Internet activity so unnecessarily that it limits their ability to do their jobs! Classic example? Limiting Youtube to the point that people are unable to learn what they need from that ‘how to use clone-tool in Photoshop’ online tutorial.
5. Stupid Rules On Frequent-flyer Miles
When employees fly for work trips, they have definitely earned their frequent-flyer miles. Travelling is a sacrifice of time and energy, the very least they should get is the miles earned. Companies who do not allow employees to keep their miles points for personal use are only encouraging resentment with every flight.
6. Stupid Mobile Phone Restrictions
Of course organisations need to set a limit to phone use so that it doesn’t hinder productivity. However, employees spend most of their waking hours at work. Yet, some organisations ban the use of mobile phones at work? This step disconnects employees with their loved ones or friends. It will definitely bite back at companies due to employees’ lack of social life, which is crucial for their mental health and happiness.
7. Stupid Rules For Performance Reviews
There are instances when a bureaucratic five-point scale just doesn’t add up for brilliant and talented people. Bell curve performance reviews for example encourage the retention of mediocre employees and not those who actually outperform! However, the largest abomination of performance reviews has to be ‘stack ranking’, where the company lines up employees and compares them with each other (and here we thought The Hunger Games was just fiction).
8. Stupid Pay Structures
Companies should realise that rigid salaries are a thing of the past! If an employee is contributing massively to the company, the managers and HR should revise the employee’s benefits to show appreciation. However, if the HR comes back by saying you’re getting the normal 5% increase in annual salary (that everyone else is getting!) then there would be no surprises if the company turnover rate skyrockets.
9. Stupid Rules For Time-Off
Let’s say a dedicated employee works hard, clocks overtime and produces excellent results. The least the company can do is allow him/her to take their toil leave like an annual leave at any time they need their time off. Employers who scrooge on well-deserved toil leaves or even medical leave are downright unfair and deserve to see good employees leaving.
10. Too Many Stupid Rules In The First Place
To be completely honest, how many of us actually do read the employee’s handbook? (if it even exits or is updated anyway). If HR expects you to completely memorise the entire thing, they should have gotten rid of at least half of those rules in that 75-page handbook in the first place! Getting people to follow your policies should be a day-to-day thing, incorporated into the company culture. Nobody likes words without action framed in a handbook that is just TL;DR (too long; didn’t read).
Companies should realise that offices should be run where the inhabitants are mature enough to do what they were hired to do, not run like some concentration camp or prison with 7-levels of security complete with feverish paranoia.
If the above ten stupid rules really sound like the company you are in right now, ask yourself if you see yourself growing in the future or if you even belong there.
This article was originally written by Rebecca Koay with the title “10 Stupid Office Rules That Chase Away Good Employees” and was first published on Wobb, a job application platform for millennials who value the importance of good working culture.
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