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Rules Your Company Shouldn’t Follow

- Mar 21, 2013

There are tons of ridiculous rules that companies hang on to even though they don’t make a lot of sense.

This is a very short list of common policies that don’t make sense, or send the wrong message.

90-day probation for new employees – Most states of the Union are “at will” states, which means your boss con fire you for everything, except the color of your skin or religion, etc.

What the 90 probation really says is: 1) You, new employee, are a loser, until you prove yourself otherwise and 2) I, as the boss, am so bad at hiring the right people, I need a “take back” period to fix all of my mistakes.

So, what should you do differently? First, kill this foolish policy. Second, work on your hiring skills to make sure you hire the right people every time. Third, welcome you new people to the team knowing that they are going to be awesome.

Ever decreasing wages – In the short term, this seems to make sense for companies, but in the end, it is likely to cost you more.

Have you factored in these costs:

  • The toll bad employee morale takes on your customers- cranky employees cost you sales, even if it’s in add-ons and extras.
  • The cost of training new employees – If it costs you $1500 to train a new employee, would it have been better to pay the employee $2 an hour more for 750 hours. That’s four months of working that you haven’t even started paying for. Or $1 an hour for most of a year. Penny wise, pound foolish.
  • The revolving door in your community – How many people won’t shop at your business because a family worked for you full-time and had to be on food stamps to survive?
  • The cost in taxes – What is you helped your staff cover all of their life costs? The long-term cost to the country would be less, including you.

The customer is always right – Unless they’re not. This is one of those policies that sounds right until you actually think about it. In the US, we have established this policy thinking that it’s the only way to get customers to keep coming back. This might have been true when Macy’s and Gimbel’s were only three blocks from each other. Today customers value honesty as highly as they value having you kiss their butt. And, think about it, isn’t it the customers you have to spend the most time kissing up to the ones who end up costing you the most time and money in the end.

The best at the job is the right one to manage – There must be a million examples of someone advances the guy who does the best job to a position where he’s not doing the job any more. That logic does not follow. A guy who cuts lawns really well is not necessarily going to be able to manage people well. Hire managers to manage and lawn guys to do the lawn.

You have to know the job to lead the people –  (A follow on to the rule above.) If this were true, almost every CEO of a major company would be doing something else. Few of them are the best at whatever the company does. They are there because they can manage, nothing else.

By: Bob Peryea

With great vision, you need great people

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