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The Worst Company Rules Ever

Topics: Work Culture
From lack of parental leave to counting key strokes, some companies have some pretty terrible rules and policies.
company rules
Matthew Henry/Unsplash

Do you disagree with some of the policies that are currently in place at your company? It can be awfully frustrating to work within a system that feels too authoritative, insensitive, demanding, or otherwise constrictive.

Some rules and regulations are definitely worse than others. Are any of these in place at your office?

1. Forced/stacked employee rankings

We’ve known for years that forced, or stacked, employee rankings crush morale. Yet some employers still utilize them. Employees are ranked on a bell-curve, and only the top performers are given the best bonuses and salary increases. Companies use this method to help manage salaries. But, many people, managers and workers alike, think it’s harmful to label valued employees as “second-tier.”

2. A strict dress code

No employee wants to feel like they’re in high school again (see rule No. 5). Oppressive or otherwise incredibly strict dress codes fall squarely in that category. Sometimes these rules just go too far, restricting the kinds of makeup people can wear, or having rules about facial hair, for example.

Of course it’s understandable to have some type of standard for dress. But, is a formalized policy best? Employers might be better off setting some guidelines and then trusting their workers. They can always have personal one-to-one conversations as needed.

3. No paid parental leave

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 13 percent of private industry workers had access to paid family leave as of March 2016. Paid parental leave isn’t exactly the norm, at least not in this country. (Many European countries have policies that might seem almost unimaginable to American parents.) Still, offering no paid parental leave to employees is a terrible policy. Companies that truly care about their workers should do more.

4. Ridiculous vacation time/personal days policies

Some companies offer a good amount of vacation time and personal days, but then they also put a lot of restrictions in place along with them. The main problem here seems to be requiring a ridiculous amount of notice before personal time can be used. So, a company might expect three weeks’ notice to take a day off, or even more. And, even with notice, the boss can say no to the request for any reason. What’s the use in offering time off if employees can’t really take?

5. Limited Bathroom breaks

Employees feel more than a little disrespected when bathroom breaks are monitored or limited in any way. Workers should be able to take a trip to the bathroom whenever they like, and they shouldn’t need to ask for permission like schoolchildren.

6. Employee monitoring

Employee monitoring is becoming quite widespread. Some companies keep track of workers’ keystrokes, read the emails they send, and check the websites they visit. The monitoring industry is already worth roughly $200 million, and that is expected to more than double in the next few years.

“It’s like being the ultimate micromanager,” Scott Simpson, a partner at Cambria Consulting Inc., told the Boston Globe. “And no one likes to be micromanaged.”

7. No having fun

If you ever find yourself getting into trouble at work for laughing or enjoying yourself too much, it might be time to look for another job. Workers need to be respectful and get their jobs done, of course. But, they should enjoy themselves along the way, too. Beware any employer who gets angry or upset when their employees seem happy.

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