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Five Workplace Rules To Follow — And Five To Break

Source | Forbes : By Liz Ryan

Most if not all of us were raised to follow rules and to be obedient. If I had to pick one word to describe my earliest training, the word would be “obedience.” When I was a kid, teachers were scary. Parents were a lot scarier back then than most parents are now. Following the rules was a really big deal.

When we leave school and go to work, we are given new rules to follow. Some of the rules make sense, like rules concerning safety and security. Some of the rules make no sense.

It is curious that in the business and institutional worlds, there are a lot of restrictions on money.

Not just anybody can sign a purchase order or even buy donuts for the team’s Monday meeting. Spending money is a big deal and it requires a lot of approvals in almost every organization. Yet almost any supervisor at any level can enact and install a new policy or rule whenever they want to.

The policies and rules cost the company a lot more money than the donuts did — but no one pays attention, because they do not see that cost! There is no cash involved. The cost of all the excess rules and red tape goes unnoticed.

Every new rule and policy costs your company money, in the form of lost time and lost momentum. Who can care about their job as much as they’d like to when they’re not allowed to take a step without getting a manager’s permission?

If we dig into the typical corporate Employee Handbook, we will see that at least fifty percent of the rules in the handbook are pointless. They are control-based rules.

They have nothing to do with safety and security, or helping people do their jobs more effectively. They have everything to do with reinforcing the crusty, ineffective Godzilla structure of power and control in place in most organizations.

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