Oldies can certainly be goodies, but that’s not the case when it comes to corporate policies and how these mandates impact staff. Antiquated thinking and approaches to employee management damage organizations – talent departures, staff burnout, and lack of innovation. And because the landscape of corporate America is ever changing – the influx of Millennials, geographically dispersed teams, and increased competition over great talent, to name a few – it’s critical that leaders evolve company policies to better manage and empower their teams.

If it’s been a while since the Corporate Policy Manual has been dusted off – that means six months or more – then here are three policy dinosaurs that absolutely must change.

Modern “Office Hours” – Evolve from “9 to 5” to Flex Time.
With dispersed workforces operating across multiple time zones, along with major advances in technology, the old “9 to 5” office-hour policy has lost all relevance. Start by recognizing that individuals work best at different hours of the day and can actually be more productive in certain aspects of their job working from home. More and more organizations are moving to a flexible work schedule, and building strong cultures of personal accountability, in which team members meet their goals regardless of time of day.

Employee Reviews – Progress from Yearly to Real Time. Organizations that want to retain talent need new approaches to performance reviews. Old-school, yearly reviews are simply dead. They’re tedious, relate little useful information, and are dreaded by both the manager and the recipient. Instead, progress to a culture of real-time conversations that allows workers to course correct quickly. These ongoing performance conversations will improve morale, as well as individual and organizational performance.

Internal Advancement – Recognize that Managing Projects Is As Important As Managing People. The traditional career-advancement path typically involves managing more and more people. An insightful new approach is starting to take hold, recognizing that an employee’s value may not be simply assessed by the number of people managed. Equally valuable are the individuals who can completely own a strategic initiative, network among various teams, and accomplish goals. Such an environment allows staff members to advance because of their unique ability to see projects through and work within fluid environments, not simply the number of people assigned to their section of the org chart.

As with all things, time can dull the sharpest blade, and sometimes lead to necessary extinction. Because something worked 20, 10, even 6 months ago, doesn’t mean it’s still the best way forward, and this is most definitely the case with the three policies referenced above. Dust off that Policy Manual and evolve how your organization conducts its business this year. If it feels risky, you’re on the right path.