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  • feedwordpress 01:21:40 on 2018/06/11 Permalink
    Tags: , , Dumb, , , , , , Rules, ,   

    10 Dumb Rules That Make Your Best People Quit 

    It’s hard enough to attract and hold on to good employees–but to attract and hold on to the best employees is even harder.

    Occasionally they leave because of an opportunity they can’t pass up, but most of the time the cause lies with the company they’re leaving.

    Too many workplaces create rule-driven cultures that may keep management feeling like things are under control, but they squelch creativity and reinforce the ordinary.

    The more rules, the less passion–which means less motivation.

    The more rules, the less excitement–which means less powerful performance.

    The more rules, the less enthusiasm–which means lower profits.

    Faced with a rule-driven culture, the best employees–the most talented and hard working–are usually the first to go, because they’re in high demand and have more opportunity than most.

    What’s left is a pool of people who are mediocre at what they do, willing to compromise their standards, and in it mostly for the paycheck.

    And if you have mediocre people doing mediocre work, you are going to have a mediocre company.

    Here’s a simple principle for hiring and keeping the best and most talented people:

    Stop creating dumb rules.

    How do you know if a rule is dumb?

    Ask yourself who needs it. If it’s directed primarily at the people you wish you hadn’t hired, it’s probably a dumb rule.

    Here are some prime examples:

    1. Dumb rules for hiring. Imagine you’re a potentially great employee applying for a job with your organization. You polish your résumé and write a compelling cover letter. And then you enter the black hole–the space between applying for a job and being hired (or getting an impersonal notification that the job’s been filled). It’s not just dumb–it’s inhumane. Isn’t there a way to create hiring processes with a human touch? Isn’t it possible to find the right person on the basis of their words and presentation and a sense of who they are instead of relying on keyword search? Humanize the process and you’ll get better and more talented people.

    2. Dumb rules for performance reviews and rankings. Let’s be honest: Performance reviews are a waste of time. Brilliant and talented people deserve better than being slotted into some bureaucratic five-point scale once a year. It doesn’t provide valuable feedback–it’s just a ritual that’s dreaded by everyone involved. Forced ranking, sometimes called stack ranking, is even worse. Lining up your employees and comparing them with one another, best to worst, is one of the stupidest ideas I have ever encountered as a coach and business consultant. Why would anyone want to stay at a company that treats people this way? How hard it must be to trust your colleagues when you’re essentially in an organizational version of the Hunger Games. Does any meaningful information come out of such a process? Gifted and talented people should be supported in their strength and uniqueness, not compared with others or measured against arbitrary standards.

    If you don’t trust the people you hired, why did you hire them? (And if you don’t trust your managers to hire good people, why did you make them managers?) Get rid of annual reviews and rankings, and allow people to be brilliant and motivated and creative. Encourage them to set goals and maintain high standards, and support them in doing so. Trust them to produce, and if they are not producing let them go.

    3. Dumb rules for onsite attendance. In many positions, smart people don’t need policies to force them into showing up at the office. People know what work they have to do that day and where best to do it. One week, they may know they have something truly valuable to contribute or learn in a group setting at the office, but the next week, they may see that their time is better spent meeting a deadline from home with availability by message or phone. Those who consistently fail to show up and contribute are likely not meeting other standards as well.

    4. Dumb rules for approvals. Ask yourself how productive you’d be in your personal life if you had to get someone else to approve all your purchases and decisions. You’d never get anything done! Do you really want your best workers to spend their time chasing people for rubber-stamp approvals? If you’re talking about a big project or new procedure, approvals are appropriate, but to require them on everything is ludicrous. It slows down work, wastes money, and tells people you don’t trust their judgment.

    5. Dumb rules for time off. If a dedicated employee doesn’t feel good enough to come to work, what’s the point in making them drag themselves out of bed to get a doctor’s slip? Just let people know that when they’re sick, they’re expected to stay home and rest until they’re well enough (and noncontagious enough) to return to work. For a serious illness, maybe a transition time of half days is appropriate. Similarly, if people want to take a personal day, don’t make them lie about it. Treat the great people you hired with respect. Trust that they know how to honor their time and work hard delivering on their promises, and encourage them to take a down day if they need it for whatever reason, no questions asked. Requiring documentation is another case of sending a message that you don’t trust the people you’ve hired.

    6. Dumb rules for frequent flyer miles. Work travel isn’t easy–leaving your life behind and living out of a hotel room in a place where you may not know even a soul can be true drudgery. And with airport check-in lines that stretch out for hours, TSA impositions, and constantly canceled flights, it can seriously feel like years are being shaved off your life. That’s why frequent flyer miles should belong to the person who earned them, not the company. It’s a no-cost way for you to reward the person’s sacrifice. Rules stating otherwise are not only stupid but grossly unfair.

    7. Dumb feedback methods. I have worked with companies that put complete faith in employee engagement surveys, but frankly I believe they’re a sham. If you want to know how things are, just walk around and ask people face-to-face. Speak to them, hold a conversation, engage. A quick online survey will give you shallow responses. The best way to learn what’s happening is to have honest, candid conversations about what is working and what is not. If that’s impossible, you have a big problem with connection and communication–the two most important things that drive engagement. Look to the source and speak to the heart of your people. They don’t need to speak through fancy surveys; they can get to the heart of the matter on their own if you give them a chance.

    8. Dumb rules for cell phones. Making people check their phones on the way in so they can’t be used for confidential documents or information shows only–again–a lack of trust. The main reason for having a phone is so you can be easily contacted. Why not trust your smart people to make smart choices?

    9. Dumb rules for internet use. These are among the stupidest rules of all. In offices that have such policies, the rule is broken by everyone, including the person who created it. It’s one thing to ask people to limit their time or to put reasonable restrictions on what kind of sites they can visit, but to forbid access to information is just plain dumb.

    10. Dumb probationary rules. Many organizations still have the throwback rule that employees have to be in a position for six months before they can transfer or be promoted. This might have worked in the past–even Baby Boomers who weren’t happy with their jobs went along with the rules–but these days the work force is different. If someone wants to get around the six-month rule, they will simply defy it–or quit.

    If you came up in an organizational culture governed by rules, especially dumb rules, you have to ask yourself if you belong there.


    N A T I O N A L    B E S T S E L L E R


    What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

    buy now


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:


    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    The post 10 Dumb Rules That Make Your Best People Quit appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

  • feedwordpress 23:23:35 on 2018/06/10 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Dumb, , , , , ,   

    25 Dumb Mistakes That Very Smart Bosses Make 

    As a leadership coach and business consultant, I spend a lot of time thinking about people’s mistakes. And over the years I’ve learned that even the smartest people have errors in judgment, blind spots, and habits that get them into trouble.

    Here are some of the dumbest mistakes that the smartest leaders seem to be prey to:
    1.     Indecision. One of the worst things that can happen to any team or organization is an indecisive boss. A leader who moves their group in new directions based on new feedback at the drop of a hat, and never seems sure of the appropriate direction, will make employees crazy and never accomplish anything of substance.

    2.     Hiding behind closed doors. Whether they’re hiding something, afraid of confrontation, or just shy, leaders who stay behind a closed door miss countless opportunities to engage, connect with, inspire and be inspired by their team.

    3.     Breaking promises. People take what other people say as their word. If the boss don’t keep their promises, it creates a lack of trust that endures for many long years.

    4.     Making assumptions. People in power, especially, can do significant damage when they convince themselves they have a grasp of a situation and set out to make assumptions without a reality check.

    5.     Taking credit for the work of others. To take credit for anyone else’s work is egregiously wrong, but for a leader to take credit from their team members borders on unforgiveable.

    6.     Thinking they know it all. The worst thing a boss can do is stop being inquisitive and turn into someone whose response to everything is “I know….” The most valuable words to a leader are “I don’t know; I’ll find out.”

    7.     Fudging rules. Bosses who like lots of rules better be ready to enforce them consistently and hold themselves to the same standard.

    8.     Poor scheduling. Leaders who hold a team meetings on Friday afternoons an hour before everyone is supposed to leave and speak for two hours will never get a “world’s best boss” coffee mug.

    9.     Gossip. Gossip should never be tolerated, let alone participating in it, especially when it comes from the boss..

    10.  Bad communication. When as the boss you neglect to communicate important information or you leave out important details, you are jeopardizing those who work for you.

    11.  Thoughtless assignments. Some leaders make assignments seemingly at random, wasting highly skilled senior people on everyday tasks and handing the keys to high-stakes complex undertakings to unproven rookies without guidance or supervision.

    12.  Being secretive. A secretive boss is ultimately communicating a lack of trust, and their behavior sets the tone for the entire team or organization.

    13.  Bad timing. When leaders wait until the last minute to delegate time-sensitive projects, everybody looks bad.

    14.  Distraction are disruptive. Multitasking is always poor form when you’re engaged with other people. A boss who’s messing around on a screen means a team member isn’t being heard.

    15.  Visible carelessness. One common example: The boss gets a report to review and demonstrates with their comments that they missed critical details.

    16.  Clinging to dead wood… Implausible as it seems, I’ve heard from leaders who received resignations from their weakest team members and went on to persuade them to stay.

    17.   … while not guarding the treasure. The other side of the same coin: People let top performers go without even making an effort to keep them on board.

    18.  Promoting problems. Promoting a problem employee, even in hopes that they’ll eventually transfer to a different area, doesn’t solve the problem and calls the leader’s judgment into question.

    19.  Visible bias. Bosses who are racist, sexist, or biased against other groups may learn to cover up their words, but their policies and personnel decisions still call them out.

    20.  Opposition to professional growth. Poor leaders don’t consider learning and development to be important.

    21.  Constant complaints. Unrelenting negativity is always bad, but it’s even worse when it’s coming from the top.

    22.  Lack of feedback. Bosses who don’t provide appropriate feedback have no right to expect team members to improve.

    23.  Showing up impaired. The old-fashioned “three-martini lunch” is supposed to be a thing of the past, but it’s surprising how many leaders still imagine themselves to be above the rules that say you don’t show up for work drunk (even a little bit) or drugged.

    24.  Lack of vision. Leaders who just position themselves at the head of the line trudging through the daily grind without imparting a sense of the big picture aren’t really leading at all.

    25.  Showing off without justification. Photos with B- or C-list celebrities, diplomas from unaccredited or questionable colleges, certificates from every weekend training program–nothing fails more than an unimpressive attempt to impress.


    N A T I O N A L    B E S T S E L L E R


    What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

    buy now


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:


    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    The post 25 Dumb Mistakes That Very Smart Bosses Make appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

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