How An Overdose of Rules Creates a Stagnant Work Environment
Every company needs structure and authority; both are necessary in order to create direction and accountability.
With this in mind, there is such a thing as too much structure. In fact, many companies have a number of unnecessary rules. In these instances, it is important that they identify which rules are outdated or arbitrary. Not only will doing so reduce employee turnover, but it will improve office morale.
With that in mind, there are a few key reasons why companies should aim for concise, clear and limited protocol.
Slows Down Productivity
In some companies, protocol involves scores of rules for every project; in these instances very little gets accomplished. Although this gives employers complete control of each task, it won’t increase productivity.
Employees need guidance, but too much hampers creativity. Also, people tend to find inventive ways to speed projects up on their own. Alternatively, their process may not be quicker, but it might enhance quality.
Regardless, companies that micromanage every move an employee makes won’t find doing so beneficial. These rules prevent people from being present in the moment, making informed decisions based on current knowledge.
Fosters Wilful Disobedience
Not unlike an overbearing parent, an overbearing boss may entice rebellion. Similarly, employees are more likely to break policy they deem unnecessarily restrictive.
For some, they feel these rules convey a lack of trust, which translates to a lack of respect. For others, rules that seem illogical may insult their intelligence. They may question an employer’s agenda, and even deem them obtuse.
If a company has a endless number of rules to enforce, then odds are high that many of them won’t be. Employers may find it difficult to keep track of who is doing what.
Creates a Toxic Work Environment
Although some employees are toxic by nature, even an extremely positive, hard-working individual may develop a poor attitude. Working in an environment where people constantly worry about rules creates fear. In turn, people may start actively protecting themselves, and this often comes at the expense of camaraderie.
For example, an employee that breaks too many rules may feel an extreme amount of pressure. In turn, they may pass blame onto a colleague under fear of reprisal.
Of course, some rules are extremely important, and vital for a company’s success. Eliminating rules that hinder productivity and create a negative workspace increase the likelihood that important ones are followed.