why policies don’t work and is spot on.
Here is my favorite quote from the article.
If you don’t have policies, then two things happen. You actually have to teach people what to do and how to do it. But wait, you’re supposed to do that anyway.
I strongly believe good management eliminates the need for most policies but there are far too many weak and poorly trained managers. They rely heavily on the HR Department and HR policies rather than do the hard work of effectively managing their people.
I always resist the request from a manager to write a policy to address a situation they are dealing with. I strongly encourage them to actually train/coach/develop/manage their people. In other words. to teach them what to do and how to do it as Heather Bussing says.
This brings me to another excellent quote from the article.
…you have to take responsibility for your decisions. Somebody has to say, “I looked at the situation and made the best call for the employee and the company based on the circumstances.” It may be the line manager, or the VP of HR or the CEO. Maybe everyone involved. But that is the right thing to do.
Fire people who don’t work out for the reasons it’s not working out. Reward people who are doing a great job.
Managers need to have the confidence and courage to take responsibility for their decisions and not lean on a policy for every conceivable situation. We pay our managers to deal with these difficult management situations and we should expect them to act like managers.