For employees, how much they like their workplace is a huge factor in their ultimate job satisfaction. Much is made of companies like Google, where there are games to play, creative spaces for people to talk and work together, and a designated part of the day for passion projects. Not every company can operate like that, but most offices can do a better job of maintaining a positive culture that makes employees, if not love to come to work, at least not hate it.

So what are you doing that might be ruining the culture in your office?

Broad rules instead of specific conversations

I once worked for a boss who absolutely loathed confrontation. We had a person on our team who absolutely did not pull their weight. Instead of addressing that person directly about the ways in which they were not meeting their job requirements, she used an approach that is all too common. She would send out emails stating that all employees needed to stay on schedule, reminding everyone that when they slacked off they threw off the entire team, and entreating everyone to see her if they needed help with anything.

You can guess what happened. The employees who were already working hard were frustrated about the tone of the email, and the employee who wasn’t doing their job was oblivious. Nothing changed.

So then the boss instituted new rules, new quotas, and new processes, all to try and keep the one employee on track. This, again, frustrated everyone who was already meeting standards—we had more to do—and the one employee continued to not do what they needed to do.

Instead, this boss should have met with the underperforming employee. The boss should have helped the employee identify what factors were keeping them from doing their jobs, and either supported them in improving their performance or managed them out. Instead, those of us who were doing our work eventually left the company, frustrated with the culture that had been created on our team.

Lack of trust between employees and employers

When you look at your policies and office rules, what motivates them? How many of your rules are about not really believing that your employees are going to do their jobs unless you make them? Do you have intense restrictions on Internet use, even on breaks, rules about cell phones on the floor, and punish salaried workers for being even 5 minutes late for work despite their regularly working late on nights and weekends?

If you want your employees to do the best they possibly can for your company, they need to believe that you trust them. You have to believe that they’re committed to what’s best for business, at least while they’re at work. If you don’t trust them that much, then you shouldn’t have hired them, and you probably need to either look for some new employees or revisit your trust issues.

If your issue really is that you don’t trust one, or more, of your employees, then you need to talk to the relevant employees about what’s going on. In order for a business to succeed, it’s not only about taking care of customers, but it is (also) about employees. You need to be clear what the issues are, and what you need them to do to regain your trust. But whatever you do, don’t punish an entire team or business because of one person’s mistake or lack of concern, unless we’re talking about actual illegal behavior. People are much more responsive when they are able to express themselves and be themselves—without verging into hostile workspace concerns, of course.

You don’t follow your own rules

If there’s anything worse than an employer can do to undermine their own rules and policies than this, I don’t know what it is. If you want to be a successful boss who upholds the very best standards, you need to do more than meet the standards you set for your employees.

This means that if you have a zero-tolerance policy on lateness, that you are always ten minutes early for work. If you expect your employees to work long hours, that you’re right there in the trenches with them. If you expect them never to shop online, don’t let yourself get away with it, even when it’s an emergency.

Whenever you’re creating a new policy in the office, ask yourself how this will benefit employee morale, compliance with existing policies, or retaining new employees. Ask yourself if the problem that you feel necessitates the new rule can be solved by talking to the one employee that’s not meeting standards. Ask yourself how you’d feel if you were in an office, and this rule was implemented.

When you put yourself in your employees’ shoes, you can better understand how they’ll feel about the different decisions and rules that you need to put in place, and over time, you’ll create a more positive employee culture and workplace.