Are Policies Created for Your Poor Performers Pushing Your Best Employees Out the Door?

October 9th, 2012 by

When you change or create a policy in your organization is it usually to restrict bad behavior or to reward good behavior?

For employers, as in life, many policies and procedures are created in response to or in fear of somebody violating a rule.  When was the last time you were able to say to your employees, “Great news! We’ve created this policy that we know you are going to love!”

In his book Drive, Daniel Pink addresses this approach, encouraging employers to “Design for the 85 percent.”  He describes how organizations are so focused on preventing the 15 percent of bad apples from causing trouble that they create policies that end up restricting the ability of the 85 percent of honorable employees from doing their best work.  Pink references New York University professor Clay Shirky, who argues that the more we design systems to prevent bad behavior the more bad behavior occurs.

Pink sums up the section in the book by writing:

“If you think people in your organization are predisposed to rip you off, maybe the solution isn’t to build a tighter, more punitive set of rules.  Maybe the answer is to hire new people.”

As more and more employers are focusing on retention, especially of top talent, maybe it’s time for you to review your policies and procedures.

Are they overly restrictive?

Are you making too many rules in response to or in fear of the 15 percent?

Could you implement policies that focus on rewarding good behavior?

Here are areas you may want to pay special attention to:

  • Vacation or PTO
  • Flexible scheduling
  • Education and career development
  • Social media

What policies could you change that would show your best employees that your organization is serious about keeping them on board?

We are excited to have Daniel Pink as one of the keynote speakers at our 2013 HR Management Conference on March 6th and 7th at the McKimmon Center in Raleigh, NC.  For additional information, please visit the conference website at www.capital.org/hrconf.

Photo Source: Victor1558

One Response to “Are Policies Created for Your Poor Performers Pushing Your Best Employees Out the Door?”

  1. [...] Are Policies Created for Your Poor Performers Pushing Your Best Employees Out the Door?: Martin Morgan, Workplace Insights, writes about creating policies that reward good behavior. [...]

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