Why Less is More with Policies

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“If you need a screwdriver, don’t use a mallet. The more comprehensive the policy, the less flexibility there is to deal with people. Pretty soon, the plan defeats the purpose.” - Heather Bussing

 

Many employment policies are giant sledgehammers

 

If you need a screwdriver, don’t use a mallet. Many employment policies are giant sledgehammers. Large companies often require standardized procedures and systems to run efficiently. This thinking usually extends to personnel policies. After all, everyone needs to know what the rules are. Also, blanket policies, consistently enforced, prevent claims of favoritism or discrimination. These are valid and important considerations in having employment policies.

 

As exceptions and new policies are created, your policy manual becomes a rabbit warren of rules that are often contradictory and inconsistent. – Heather Bussing

However, the more comprehensive the policies, the less flexibility there is to deal with people. Pretty soon, the plan defeats the purpose.

 

Policies spawn exceptions

 

People, departments and offices do not function in a “one size fits all” manner. So every time you create a policy, you will have to make and justify exceptions when new situations arise that don’t

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