While most companies take a somewhat traditional approach to workplace etiquette, many modern businesses have been quick to abolish certain aspects which do little more than restrict employee freedom. An increasing number of recruitment experts recommending that businesses review their rules for the workplace and adapt to the modern era and expectations in order to satisfy their growing millennial workforce and all their employees.
With this in mind, here are ten rules that every company needs to kill, in Southeast Asia and everywhere.
1. Since when was a doctor visit absolutely necessary to get over an illness? Let go of any rule which insists upon a sick note in the event of an employee missing work. Yes, an employer is legally entitled to request this note, but at the same time, is it really okay to suggest that they may not be telling the truth? Only if it becomes a repetitive behaviour, should you then insist on a written hospital sick note.
2. An employee should not need to inform their manager when applying for an alternative internal position. In fact, this is something which recruitment experts strongly discourage in any organization. You need to kill any rule which requires an employee to seek this kind of approval and exercise some respect in a sense that they should never need permission to move freely within the same company.
3. Abolish any rules that encourages employees to stay late or work weekends, without any reward for their efforts. Additional work requirements or 6 day weeks are to be avoided where humanly possible. After all, there was no mention of this in their interviews or probably in their contracts and it takes away their rest and relaxation time.
4. When it comes to absentee days in a workplace, it serves much better to take a rational and empathetic approach with employees. That is to say, many employers may feel obliged to discipline team members for taking time off without notice and unexpectedly when in reality, a telling off from the boss will do nothing to rectify or alleviate the issue. Whether a child is sick, the car breaks down, or a family member needs assistance; you may not need to pay an employee for this absence, but you should certainly respect their right to attend to other priorities.
5. Embrace the 21st Century and abolish the static workplace whenever possible. If the nature of work does not require an employee to be on-site or in the office every day (eg Sales roles, Telesales) consider allowing them the option to work from home on a regular scheduled basis. Introduce Flexi time daily for all employees ( where practical). As you know, this is not merely a case of confining an employee to home but rather it provides them with a sense of freedom which is likely to result in a higher level of productivity.
6. You need to kill any stringent dress policy that holds your employees down. Yes, there is often a requirement to look respectable for customers or maintain a professional attitude in the office, but this does not mean you need to bombard them with reminders. In fact, dress policies are often unnecessarily strict and enforcing this kind of rule is counterproductive. After all, these rules are intended for responsible adults, not children. Introduce Casual Friday, as many US MNCs already have installed in Asian operations.
7. You need to remove any rules that restrict managers from providing employees a reference or recommendation when they leave. If you are in any doubt as to the reasons this is so important, consider how an employee might react if they were informed about this in the initial job interview.
8. When it comes to meetings, you want employees to listen and sitting in the same uninspiring conference room every fortnight is hardly going to help the matter. Abolish the conventional meeting room and get everyone out for a well needed break. In some cases, a trip to a quiet café or even a nearby park is a much more effective way to inspire interaction among employees.
9. Get rid of any policy on which the basis of their salary increase is centered on anything other than their value in the market. If the value of an employee is ignored, the result is you will lose that key employees and your business results will suffer. Be proactive – hand your best employees a pay rise before they ask, and give them rewards as their performance merits.
10. Never ask for a funeral notice when your employee takes time off to grieve for a member of their family. Indeed, you are responsible for running a tight ship in the workplace, but please have the integrity to treat your employees like humans and abolish this rule if it still exists.
As you know, rules are a necessary mainstay in any organization, however certain measures do little more than upset hard-working employees, it would seem that some rules, simply need to go