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Posted by Beverly Kaye, Founder, Career Systems International.
Beverly Kaye is a bestselling author on career development and workplace performance, and the Founder of Career Systems International, an employee engagement and career development company.
Here’s the story of a manager who questioned the status quo and ended up supporting a talented employee.
My company had never allowed telecommuting, and I believed it probably never would. One of my top employees asked me if she could work from home two days a week, and my immediate response was no. A month later she sadly handed in her resignation and said she had found an employer who would allow her to telecommute. I simply could not afford to lose her, so I went to my boss and asked if we might bend the rules on a trial basis, offer her telecommuting two days a week, and see how productive she was. She stayed with us, increased her actual productivity by 10 percent and is a grateful, loyal employee. Since then we have loosened our policy substantially and consider telecommuting on a case-by-case basis for any employee who requests it.
Rules are necessary to some degree, especially to effectively operate large, complex organizations. But rules often take on a life of their own. And sometimes they end up stifling productivity and creativity. If your employee comes to you with a request that goes against a policy or rule, are you willing to hear their point? Give it a try? Go to bat for them? Employees who feel they can come to their manager with a solid request for a new way for work to be done deserve to be listened to. Motivation and commitment will increase if you keep that door open.
Adapted from: Love -Em or Lose -Em; Getting Good People to Stay . Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans have co-authored Love -Em or Lose -Em: Getting Good People to Stay (Berrett-Koehler, 1999), now available in 17 languages and recognized as the world’s best-selling employee retention book. Their latest book, Love It, Don’t Leave It: 26 Ways to Get What You Want at Work (Berrett-Koehler, 2003) offers “anyone who works” easy-to-implement strategies for increasing job satisfaction. Beverly is the founder and CEO of Career Systems International, and Sharon is the president of the Jordan Evans Group.