Why do you sign in at work? I know it’s a system for accountability for the latecomers. But what percentage of employees come late? The minority. So why design policies to punish the majority who are responsible?
Employees are adults, but once they walk through the workplace gate, we transform them into children, forcing them to wear identification badges, bring in a doctor’s note when they have been ill, and get checked on their way out to make sure they did not steal any Company supplies.
Sadly, most employees want to do all things to prove their innocence. If you hire adults and treat them like children you are stripping them of power. And when people believe they are powerless they become irresponsible. “Sudesh what if we give them freedom and they abuse it?” I would rather have a few people abuse the freedom than have policies based on mistrust. Control is another way of saying, “I don’t trust you to be responsible”
One of the policies that I find disgusting is the dress code policy of most Companies. We don’t have a dress code policy at Sudesh Int’l Consult because I want my team to be comfortable and I fully trust them to use choose their clothing based on the occasion. Every responsible adult knows how to dress correctly. Actually, we banned the same colour t-shirts in the name of banding. Everyone chooses the colour of the t-shirt they want and in future, they will also choose the print.
Just before you think we are crazy here is what Ricardo Semler of SEMCO (biggest Energy and Gas Company in South America) says about policy, “We simply do not believe that employees have an interest in coming in late, leaving early and doing as little as possible for as much money as their union can wheedle out of us. After all, the same people raise children, join the PTA, elect Mayors, governors, senators and the President. They are adults. At SEMCO we treat them as adults. We trust them. We don’t make our employees ask for permission to go to the bathroom or have security guards search them as they leave for the day. We get out of the way and let them do their jobs”
The way you design policies sends signals of trust or mistrust. Design policies for the majority not the minority. When you do that, you are saying, “I trust you” When you have trust everything thrives at the workplace; engagement, creativity, productivity and profitability.