Possibly the most frustrating, emotionally bankrupt and redundant four words you’ll ever hear in the workplace.
I recently had the displeasure of hearing these words. Not, thankfully, said to me however. What made the whole situation worse was the person who uttered this charming sentence had allowed the policy to be bent only the day before.
“Policy” as described by the OED is:
a course or principle of action adopted or proposed by an organization or individual
“Policy” as described by most companies is:
a rule which we can use to bash you over the head in order that you do our bidding.
Policies are usually created as a sledge-hammer answer to a walnut sized problem. In the past, someone (or many someones) have done something which was bad for the company (or, another company) and this has resulted in their being a policy.
As a general rule, humans work for, or with you. As we all know, each human is a unique a beautiful snow flake. Trying to apply a “policy” to govern the actions of behaviours of your workforce as a whole is pointless and demeaning. Take the time to understand the people who work with you instead of putting your fingers in your ears and going “lalalalcompanypolicylalala”.
The only policy you should have is one of common sense and decency. Treat your staff like the people that they are, not the resources that Taylorism would have them be.
“OH HAI, THE 1950s CALLED, THEY WANT THEIR IDEAS ABOUT HOW TO WORK BACK”
(Also, beginning the statement with “sorry” is also disingenuous – if you really were sorry, you wouldn’t have to say it in the first place…)