The New Workplace Rules: 10 Antiquated Ideas You Need to Retire

With each year, companies across the globe continue to create new practices that offer better benefits and perks for their employees. In fact, over the last few decades, the workplace has undergone a dramatic transformation. Today, offices around the world are more diverse and less formal.

Take a look at the following ten rules that should head straight for retirement. If you’re company still operates under these assumptions, it may be time to rethink your policies.

Antiquated Polices Worthy of Retirement

1. Remove punishments for work absences

Employers who create systems that trust their employees to utilize a fair and generous time off policy reap tremendous returns. Don’t forget that life happens. Cars break down. Children get sick. You may not be able to always pay them for these absences, but at the very least you should accept these instances without judgement or reprimanding.

2. Say Goodbye to Asking for your Manager’s blessing

The next time an employee is seeking an internal promotion, don’t mandate that the process will require their manager’s approval. Once you begin making it difficult for your employee to transfer internally, they’ll be more likely to find opportunities outside your company.

3. Eliminate any Employee Ranking System

Nothing eats away trust like asking employees to edge each other out in purely competitive structures. Not only is this procedure inefficient but it actively contributes to low employee morale.

4. Say Goodbye to the Doctor’s Note

Nothing screams I don’t trust you more asking your employees to bring in a doctor’s note or letter from a funeral director. Build strong relationships with your employees from the start. They’ll ask for fewer days off and they’ll arrive to work with more energy to complete the tasks at hand. Employees who feel valued are the secret to long-time success.

5. Loosen your Dress Code

If you’re still operating under the code where you’re asking your employees to dress a very specific way, chances are you’re micromanaging your employees in other areas. Take a cue from the rest of the world and loosen up on your ideas on how your employees should dress. Yes, you’ll want your staff to arrive to work dressed in a professional manner. But leave the nitty-gritty problems with the manager. You’ll find success in a policy that offers relaxed rules; no matter what your dress code stance.

One big exception? Any company that must take safety into account should never relax any policies that protect the employee from any potential harm.

6. Consider your Salaried Employees

If your employees are staying late to wrap up projects, don’t be the boss or manager that reprimands them for arriving 5 minutes late to work. Think about it. Your employees are going above and beyond to make your business succeed. If they arrive a few minutes later, grant them that luxury. 

7. Remove Policies Related to References

If your managers are not allowed to write glowing references to employees who move on, consider the rationale behind this? What are you, as the employer, afraid of? Far too often, companies are slow to trust their leadership team. What happens if a manager writes a horrible review? The company could be sued for defamation.

While this is a valid concern, a larger concern remains. Hire competent, mature, and trusting managers who are capable of writing references that benefit your prior employee. You just can’t afford to distrust those closest to you.

As the New Year approaches, why not take the time to revisit your employee manual. Remove any and all antiquated systems to send a clear message to your employees: you’re happy they’re here and hope they stay.

These seven tips were originally found in a recent article published on, “Ten Obnoxious Company Rules To Kill In 2017”.

To learn more about the work that Stephen Koppekin offers, visit his website or say hello on Twitter.