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Small Business Mentoring, Not More Rules

By Peter Smith

Doing business in the UK obviously comes with a certain set of rules that prevent things from getting out of hand. But there comes a point when rules alone are not adequate for governing the direction a business takes. Moving forward is not about more rules; it is about mentoring decision-makers. It is about helping those decision-makers learn how to make wise decisions in light of existing rules.

As an expert in small business coaching, I have first-hand experience in how excessive, crippling rules can destroy productivity, morale, and business success in general. While rules are necessary, they are not the be-all and end-all. Small business mentoring goes above and beyond black and white rules to teach the nuances of running a business in the most efficient and productive way possible.

How Rules Can Be Crippling

It may have never occurred to you that excessive company rules can be crippling to the work environment. Let us explore this by referencing a piece published by in mid-August. The piece detailed some of the most ridiculous rules found in UK workplaces.

According to the article, CV-Library conducted a study among 1,000 workers willing to talk about the most onerous rules they face at work. The responses were divided into categories, of which the top five are listed below:

Toilet Use – Survey respondents complained about strict rules for using the toilet including time limits and having to ask a manager’s permission.

Dress Codes – Dress codes have long been a problem in UK workplaces. Survey respondents say that dress codes can be so strict that employees are sent home for even trivial violations.

Verbal Communications – Believe it or not, there are some UK businesses that restrict verbal communications among employees. They are told when they can and cannot speak to one another.

Late Policies – Companies must have late policies in place for obvious reasons. But some of the policies revealed by the CV-Library survey go a bit too far. For example, how would you like to be docked a quarter hour of time for being late by two minutes?

Beverage Consumption – The last of the top five categories relates to beverage consumption. Some companies limit their workers’ beverage choices, while others place restrictions on when and where beverages can be consumed.

From the prospective of small business coaching, it is easy for me to see how these rules can create a toxic environment. Too many rules can make employees feel as though they are always being watched. Unnecessarily restrictive rules make those same workers feel as though they are not trusted. This does not make for a productive workplace.

Small Business Mentoring Is Better

Rather than implementing an endless number of rules meant to control the workplace, why not consider small business mentoring instead? Mentoring is the process of learning from other business leaders how to succeed in all aspects of business management. This includes helping staff members succeed, as well.

Sources: –

By Peter Smith.

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