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Is There Conflict In the Business…

Between what you ask your employees to do and company policies?

Can you relate to this story?

Each employee was asked to take at least 25 hours of professional development training related to their field of expertise each year. Much of the training that related to their expertise (financial in general) was held during the work week. However, company policy did not permit time off for developmental purposes. Any time off would have to be taken as vacation or personal time. Sick time could only be taken if the employee was legitimately sick. So…the company required 25 hours of professional development training that had to be taken as vacation or personal time. Although it was mentioned numerous times by a number of employees, no changes were made because “it’s company policy.” Hmmm…definitely an issue here.  And to this day, nothing has changed.

Don’t get me wrong. Twenty-five hours of professional development training is a fine idea. However, shouldn’t you let your employees have time off to take that training without having to use precious vacation or personal time?

This is common in many organizations. Policies are put in place, or requirements are made of employees, or we even encourage our employees to do certain things (such as attend conferences, engage in social media on behalf of the company, etc.) without taking into consideration possible conflicts within the organization that make it difficult for them to do so.

As a best practice, be sure that company policies and procedures are updated regularly. As the business changes, policies and procedures may need to change also. Or…maybe certain things are just not possible due to certain policies that must be held to. When you offer incentives to employees, or enable for them to have opportunities for development, check to be sure that what you are offering is not in conflict which what is permitted within the business. If it is, make some changes! Nothing like giving your employees a benefit with one hand and taking it away with the other! Start by surveying your employees. How effectively do you support their initiatives and professional development?

How about you? What conflicts do you see in your business or in the organization in which you work? Consider how you might go about making some changes to benefit both the employee and the business. Please share your thoughts and ideas in the Comments field below. Thanks!

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