The Changing World of Work: Is the Policy Going to Die?

You all know I hate policies for the sake of policies. Rules follower I am not, so when I see that one of the potential trends in the way work is changing is a swing away from policies, I get excited. Now throwing policies out the window isn’t being adopted by all, case in point this experience I had recently but with the need for innovation and adaptability in order to attract and retain talent and therefore meet customer needs, trends are arising to simplify or scratch policies all together.

For example, companies like Netflix have scratched vacation and sick policies all together. Revolutionary? Maybe not. Let people take what they need, knowing if you’ve got motivated and engaged people they won’t take enough of what they need, and it builds two things:

  1. Trust in your work place.
  2. Money to do other things that contribute to your bottom line besides paying someone or some system to police your workforce.

In fact, some companies are doing away with traditional performance review all together, here are some great reads on the movement: The Crowd Sourced Performance Review and Is It Time to Put the Performance Review on a PIP?”.

If you are considering getting rid of some of your policies then:

  1. Review all policies in place now against business needs. Do this in writing.
  2. Dialogue with colleagues and industry peers about what does and doesn’t work for them. Set the scope for industry standards in writing.
  3. Make decisions with your leadership team based on business needs and industry standards. While I hate a policy for policy sake, I’m not advocating for the wild, wild West. Most of the time, we need to consider everything from the scope of moderation. It’s like food, don’t eat enough and it will kill you, eat too much and it will kill you. What is your health dose of policy given your business needs and your industry standards? In answering this, consider where you can be an industry leader in innovative policy structures that can push you to be the talent leader.

What policy would be the first to go at your organization?


Mary Ila Ward