Lawyers love to tell you about all the things you need to do. HR professionals are experts in compliance. Employee handbooks are mind-numbing tomes of legal drivel.
To most of us, the word "policy" is on par with "taxes" and "contracts" as one of the lowest expressions of business tedium. To a wise few, however, the word "policy" signifies opportunity.
A policy is a rule that governs your business. What kind of business do you want it to be? Sure, there are laws out there. We need to adhere to them. But policies can help to do more than define the requirements for jury duty and worker's comp. They can help define your culture.
The clever few who have realized this are reaping gains. Their policies are recruiting tools. They increase retention. They improve performance.
You know better than I the specific company culture you are striving to maintain. You'll likely know better what specific policies would work for your organization. But the following four categories of corporate guidelines illustrate how great companies are thinking differently about using policy to inspire better workplaces and better results.
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Adam, nice artice! And great to see your byline.
Great article Adam. Lots of sound advice... Thanks!
Brant... thanks for your POV. Makes sense since I run a US-based agency. I tried to include examples from companies like Starbucks and Netflix to show the universal effectiveness of such policies on company culture. Love the 3M example. Thanks!Ken, there were so many great examples to choose from—decided to stick with these categories—but maybe a follow-up blog post would be a great idea listing many of the policies out there.@adamkleinberg
Nice to see the focus back on corp. culture, which in my experience is often a vital but excluded element of brand building and development. This is written from a US and agency perspective I must say though... no bad thing, but I think clothing policies are a thing of the past in European company headquarters. Interestingly, the Google 20% approach came from 3M who developed it back in the 70s. It directly led to the development of postit notes, which has generated billions of dollars for the company over the years. So it does work.
Love the topic but would have liked more of a compilation of all the various, innovative company policies. This article seemed to give a short list
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