It’s been said that employees are less loyal than they used to be. Perhaps, but when you look at some of the outdated and ill-conceived policies and practices that companies are using today, it’s more likely that the finger should be pointing at us in management. Here are three of the big mistakes we’re making:
1. Zero or restricted access to the internet
God forbid that someone should be able to Google something or go onto a LinkedIn or Facebook page. As long as your employee is getting his (her) work done, why do you care? So the 20 minutes people used to spend around the water cooler are now spent on Facebook – so what? Concerned that people might be surfing the net for jobs or tweeting bad things about your company? If that’s the case, then you have much bigger problems to worry about. It’s time to stop trying to micromanage your employees and start trusting them.
2. Say one thing and do another
While you might be concerned about doing things right, your Gen Y employees are more concerned about doing what’s right. The world is too transparent these days to use unethical business practices. If you don’t believe this, you clearly haven’t heard of a thing called “Wikileaks.”
3. Focus on a time instead of productivity
This might sound a little far-fetched, but Timothy Ferris, author of The 4-hour Work Week, hit the nail on the head. The world is very different than the one us dinosaur-brains grew up in. We continue to be more interconnected with the world around us than anyone would ever have imagined. Yet we seem intent on trying to make today’s workplace look exactly the same as it did 100 years ago. If you have an employee who can be just as productive working three days a week from home and it would save him three days of daycare, travel cost and travel time, what possible justification could you have for not enabling this?
Today’s workforce is one that responds to genuine leadership, respect and trust. If you’re looking for employee loyalty, the command-and-control approach just won’t cut it any more.