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January 19, 2012

Are Your Workplace Policies Alienating Flexibility?

A couple of months ago, I blogged about ROWE (Results-Only Work Environment).  For many, the thought of changing the way we work is just a little bit too “out there.”  Some managers are so ingrained in the belief that if they can see their employees, they know they’re working, they can’t imagine anything else working.

The topic of flexibility is thrown around – every company thinks they provide it to their employees.  Take a moment, though, to consider the policies, procedures, and tools you have in place at your organization.  Do they facilitate flexibility, or do they bring it to a screeching halt?

One of my favorite blogs to read is Suzanne Lucas (aka Evil HR Lady), and yesterday’s blog was one of the best I’ve ever read.  Her discussion centers around a couple of emails she received: one from an employee who is penalized by arriving to work 5 minutes late; the second is from a new manager who is concerned about their employees showing up 15-30 minutes late.

Of course, she acknowledges that in some cases, arriving late can be bad: “If your employees are nurses and the last shift can’t give report and go home until the next shift is there, then that’s a bad thing. If you’re a call center that starts taking calls at a certain time, then that’s a bad thing.”

The takeaway point is this – spend time focusing on what really matters when it comes to your employees.  What kind of results do they achieve?  How is their performance?  Use a calm sense of reason to manage your employees.  If you spend too much time watching the clock, you may find your best employees headed straight for the door.

Evil HR Lady’s Blogpost: “Stop Managing by the Clock.”