Do You Need More Policies or Better Managers?

IRSimplified: Company Policies
photo credit: (water) closet via photopin (license)

Aren’t company policies wonderful and divisive things?

Some organisations swear by them. Believing that it isn’t possible to have too many of them.

Yet, there are as many who have had enough of them. Considering company policies to be the bane of a competent managers existence.

Does an excess of company policies show poor management or employees?

Once the plethora of policies are in place, are they there for good, or can you get rid of them?

Excessive Company Policies = Poor Management/Recruitment

I do not believe that having a large number of policies is good for anyone.

What it does tend to show is that a) the wrong type of people are being employed, or b) management has lost the ability to manage their staff members.

If the wrong type of people are employed, then that process MUST change.

If it is management that has lost their ability to manage, then something MUST change there also.

This could be having a difficult conversation with them, about their skills and ability to do the job.

Infantilisation Of The Workforce ISN’T The Way To Go

The infantilisation of the workforce is something that I tend to rant about a lot. And having a library full of company policies does just that.

On one hand the company trusts the employee enough to be able to do their job, and employed them. Yet, on the other the company says “we don’t trust you enough to do your job, so here are X policies you must follow”.

Can you see how absurd it sounds when put like that?

Trust Needs To Begin Somewhere

One of the most common excuses I hear for libraries of policy documents is that they stop the company being taken advantage of.

If you believe this, then the question you need to ask yourself is “Do you want to run your business according to the worst performing employee?”

I would be willing to be that the answer is no.

So, why not put some more trust in your employees to do their job?

Don’t Wait For Them To Be Able To. Expect That They Will

I have a young son, 17 months old as I write this, who never ceases to amaze me.

From the time he has been able to communicate, I have believed that he is able to understand what I am saying.

So much so, that nine times out of ten, if I ask him something, he responds in a way that he understands what I mean.

Why shouldn’t your staff be any different?

Expect that they will be able to do their jobs, and they most likely will.

Those that don’t or can’t, don’t belong in your business.

Performing A Policy Cull

This is most often the hardest part of reviewing the company policy documents.

Deciding which ones are no longer needed, or are a repeat of a different policy.

Sometimes it is easier to give get someone outside of your company to do it.

An external reviewer is able to decide which policies stay, go or need updating because they are not influenced by past historical issues, what ifs, or bad blood.

Make sure you check out future articles for suggestions on which policies are absolutely essential, and which hinder a business more than help.

Leave a comment