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5 Fuddy-Duddy Rules Employees Want You To Ditch

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Chances are, when you look around, you see a group of people that hardly resembles the pool of folks you were a part of before you became a manager.

They’re likely younger, better educated, less experienced, more tech-savvy and generationally different in many ways.

Part of every manager’s role is to adapt to the dynamics of the team – not the other way around. Knowing how to work with changing demographics requires knowing how to make rules that they’ll be able, and willing, to follow.

Otherwise, people might pack up their laptops and go looking for greener pastures.

A great first step in keeping these emerging up-and-comers happy is to ditch old-style rulesthat went the way of 8-track tapes and TV vacuum tubes.

Here are a few of the fuddy-duddy rules you can ditch right away.

1) Sticking To Set-In-Stone Schedules

Even in the stiffest of corporate environments, it still pays to relax that old 9-to-5 formal schedule rule.

Don’t think so?

Studies show that on-the-job flexibility ranks a close second behind salary and compensation as the chief deciding factor of most employees when they take a job.

This doesn’t mean you can’t have any rules about time on the job. It’s OK to tell employees to alert you when they are coming in late or leaving early, and suggest they dedicate core hours (say, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) to be in the office.

This rule is often hard for long-time managers to let go. But if you do, you’ll be happily surprised: That schedule flexibility you extend will make your employees more likely not to cut corners on their time at work.

2) Requiring Written Reports For Almost Everything

Making employees submit a report on everything you ask of them is not only a waste of their time, it could also signal that you don’t fully trust them to get their work done.

Savvy employees know this old rule is a common “CYA” move, and in most cases isn’t necessary.

You might tell yourself it’s the only way to “keep track” of how your employees are progressing. But actually going face-to-face and asking about progress is not only friendlier, it’s also more effective.

It seems less like hovering when you ask, “How are things going with ______?” and employees will be more inclined to give you an honest answer.

3) Having Every Decision Run Past You

Employees should feel empowered to make their own decisions. Hearing “Why didn’t you clear it with me first?” infers a “me-boss; you-not-boss” attitude and squelches any desire employees have to take chances.

Reserve only a few decisions that you mandate employees tell you about first. When you leave the smaller stuff up to them, employees appreciate that you’re not trying to micromanage their decisions.

There’s no better way to teach them how to make wise ones.

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