A wide shot of a man with a mustache and goatee working on an open laptop in an office. Rolled up papers sit on the table next to the man, who looks at the laptop with concentration. In the background, another person sits facing away from the viewer, facing toward a large computer monitor.
In a digitally connected world, making employees come into the office five days a week is often unnecessary and can even be counterproductive. — Getty Images/monkeybusinessimages

Bad business practices will hurt your business and could cause you to lose talented employees. Here are five outdated business practices you should get rid of.

Requiring employees to be in the office full time

A recent survey shows that 50% of leaders plan to have their employees return to the office full time within the next year. However, this is a disconnect from what most employees want — most employees prefer working remotely and don’t want to commute to the office five days a week.

The desire to have employees in the office full time often comes from the outdated idea that if you don’t see your employees, they aren’t actually working. This belief makes it harder to manage a hybrid or virtual team and provide employees with the flexibility they want.

What to do instead: Work with your employees to embrace hybrid and remote working policies. Let go of the idea that being in the office 40 hours a week equals being productive and start focusing on the results instead.

[Read more: How 1-800-Flowers Changed Its Corporate Gifting Strategy to Monetize the Remote Workforce Trend]

Forced ranking

Forced ranking is a workplace practice that evaluates employees and ranks them from best to worst-performing. It’s also sometimes called stack ranking and was pioneered by General Electric in the 1980s.

However, forced ranking can create a toxic work culture where employees fear feedback and don’t trust their employers. It can also hinder creativity and innovation and lead to higher employee turnover.

What to do instead: Recognize that all of your employees are unique and don’t line them up and compare them to one another. Focus on the strengths of your employees, not their weaknesses.

[Read more: Leading a Hybrid Team? Here’s How to Create and Maintain Your Culture]

Some employers still operate on the outdated idea that you shouldn’t bring your personal life into the workplace.

Back-to-back meetings

Most executives spend between 40% to 50% of their workday in meetings, and most employees attend an average of 62 meetings per month. And many of these meetings are irrelevant and eat away at the productivity of your employees.

When employees spend the majority of their day in meetings, they have little time to accomplish the truly important work on their agenda. And attending multiple meetings each day is exhausting and drains creative thinking.

What to do instead: If you have to schedule a meeting, make sure it has a purpose. Make sure there is a clear agenda, keep it to a scheduled time frame, and give everyone an opportunity to contribute.

[Read more: 7 Best Practices for Hybrid Staff Meetings]

No personal activities during working hours

Some employers still operate on the outdated idea that you shouldn’t bring your personal life into the workplace. This type of thinking will make your employees dread coming to work each day.

For instance, some workplaces frown on employees checking the internet for personal reasons or chatting with coworkers. And some companies still ban social media at the office.

What to do instead: Work on trusting that your employees know how to manage their time effectively. Taking breaks and balancing their time between personal and work activities will make them more effective at their jobs, not less.

Not being transparent with employees

In the past, leaders often resisted being honest with their employees. They hoarded information about the company and weren’t honest about the challenges the company was facing.

The problem is that your employees can’t be innovative or make good decisions if they don’t have relevant information about the company. And hoarding information discourages teamwork and teaches employees it isn’t okay to make mistakes.

What to do instead: Create systems and policies that promote transparency throughout the company. A culture of transparency has to start with the company leadership.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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Published May 04, 2022