by Liz Ryan

How can it be that no one thought to abolish an old law prohibiting women from changing their hair style without their husband’s permission?  We need to learn this lesson: it’s easier to enact rules than to remove them, even years after our old rules have ceased to serve us.

We do the same thing in our organizations. We have brainless and insulting policies that don’t help our businesses in any way, yet they remain in place. When I was an HR leader, I asked our employees to let me know about stupid policies they ran across so we could update them. Our employees obliged!

“I don’t understand why I need a doctor’s note after three days of being sick,” said one of my teammates. “I’m an adult. I know when I have the flu. What is the doctor going to say to me except ‘You have the flu. Go to bed and take fluids’?”

Of course, my teammate was right. Most companies have goofy, pointless and insulting HR policies on the books because we don’t review our handbooks and manuals as often as we should.

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