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4 Laws to Crush Ineffective Company Policies
Are your company policies falling flat and being ignored by your remote team? In this blog post, you'll find the four elements needed to crush ineffective policies and ensure they are effectively introduced and applied in a remote team. Keep reading to fi
As a manager or business owner, you've likely encountered the frustration of creating company policies that your team ignores. Maybe you've put a lot of time and effort into crafting a new policy, only to have it be met with indifference or even resistance from your employees.
It's a common problem, but fortunately, there are ways to address it.
In his book Atomic Habits, author James Clear outlines four laws of behavior change that can help you create policies that your team will follow. Using these laws during policy development ensures that your policies are effective and have a higher chance of being adopted by your team.
1) Make it obvious
The first law of behavior change is to make the desired behavior obvious. When it comes to company policies, this means communicating why it's essential and the consequences of not following them.
Use simple language and avoid jargon or confusing terminology.
Make sure the policy is visible and easily accessible, such as by posting it in a shared document or on a bulletin board.
2) Make it attractive
The second law of behavior change is to make the desired behavior attractive. In the context of company policies, this means making the policy appealing to your team. One way to do this is to involve your team in policy creation. Ask for their input and feedback, and take their suggestions into account. When your team feels like they have a say in the policy, they're more likely to be invested in it and follow it.
3) Make it easy
The third law of behavior change is to make the desired behavior easy. Remove any barriers or obstacles preventing your team from following the policy.
For example, if your policy requires a specific process, ensure the process is simple and easy to follow. If your procedure requires particular tools or resources, ensure they are readily available and accessible.
4) Make it satisfying
The fourth law of behavior change is to make the desired behavior satisfying.
Provide positive feedback and reinforcement when your team follows the policy.
Acknowledge when your team does things right, and provide rewards or recognition when appropriate.
This will help reinforce the behavior and make your team more likely to continue to follow the policy.
Voxloud's company policies: the Friday-Off
At Voxloud, we have a policy that asks each employee to take at least one Friday off every month. We still don't offer unlimited holidays (I discussed it in a past issue). As a remote-first company, we understand that policies to prevent burnout are crucial.
By encouraging our team members to take a regular long weekend, we hope to help them recharge and return to work feeling refreshed and more productive.
Our team has well-received this policy. We believe it has contributed to a positive work culture.
We structured the policy to reflect the 4 Laws of Behaviour Change:
Make it obvious We communicate the policy clearly and repeatedly to employees through regular company-wide communication and individual discussions with managers. It helps ensure that employees know the procedure and how it benefits them.
Make it attractive A Friday off every month is desirable for employees, especially since it helps prevent burnout and promotes work-life balance.
Make it easy The policy is easy to implement and follow, as it only requires employees to take a single Friday off each month.
Make it satisfying The Friday-off policy gives employees a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment, as they can take time off and recharge without worrying about work.