7 Outdated Management Practices Businesses Should Reconsider
The COVID pandemic, technological advancements, and the push for diversity and inclusion are just some of the factors that have changed how organizations operate over the past few years. However, sometimes management practices lag behind, and businesses maintain outdated practices because “this is the way we have always done things.”
Instead, turn that question around and ask, “Should we continue to do things this way?” Is it time for a change? Here are seven outdated management practices that businesses should reconsider.
Employees who have worked for the organization the longest are first to be promoted.
In traditional management, tenure was a key factor in promotions. But sometimes exceptionally talented newcomers can surpass their more experienced counterparts. Managers should determine who is the best person for a role, no matter how long the employee has worked for the organization. That means that sometimes individuals who demonstrate superior performance and potential will be advanced ahead of those who have been with the company longer.
All employees receive an annual review.
If your company operates at a rapid pace but performance reviews only take place annually, it’s time to reexamine that business practice. Explore ways to provide employees with feedback on a regular basis. Consistent, ongoing feedback empowers team members to make changes quickly. You may see improvements in employee engagement and productivity as a result.
Employees must work on-site to maximize productivity.
The modern workplace can allow employees in many roles the flexibility to work from virtually anywhere. Unfortunately, many leaders still cling to the outdated notion that physical presence equates to productivity. In today's workforce, many employees consider the ability to work remotely as a standard benefit. Managers should shift their focus toward evaluating tangible results rather than fixating on physical presence.
Everyone needs to work from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
In addition to enjoying the flexibility of working remotely, employees should also be able to embrace flexible work hours. When team members can start or end their days to meet their unique responsibilities and needs, their work-life balance is enhanced, which can lead to improved productivity and higher employee morale. However, leaders should ensure that working flexible hours doesn’t turn in to working around the clock. Everyone needs time away from work to rest and rejuvenate. Answering emails at all hours can lead to employee burnout.
All team members must attend mandatory weekly meetings.
Managers often schedule meetings with the good intention of ensuring that everyone is informed and working collaboratively. But the average employee is overloaded with them, with most attending more than 60 a month.1
Some meetings are necessary. Unfortunately, many meetings are unneeded and ineffective. Instead, project management software can help team members communicate progress and assign tasks, and an intranet can serve as a centralized resource for information. If a meeting is deemed necessary, the meeting leader should create, share, and follow an agenda and stick to a time limit.
To avoid panicking anyone, only senior leadership should know about company struggles.
Upper management often hesitates to inform employees about challenges. Leaders assume that employees don’t need to know that a new initiative is failing, a competitor is taking away a significant amount of business, or that profits are falling. But if employees don’t know what problems the organization is facing, they can’t contribute solutions. Hoarding information is a bad business practice that hinders collaboration. It also sends a message that making mistakes is unacceptable—which diminishes the opportunity for innovation. Instead, champion transparency across the organization. A culture of openness must begin with a company's leadership.
We need full consensus from all team members.
Bringing everyone together to agree on a course of action seems like a good idea. But if everyone feels obligated to agree, differing viewpoints aren’t shared. New ideas are stifled. Creativity suffers. Encourage discussion and disagreement. That will prompt team members to think critically and defend their viewpoints. A robust discussion will lead to a decision that has been rigorously examined from multiple angles. Maybe everyone won’t agree. But everyone will know they had a chance to share their opinions.
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