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Ten management practices you should avoid

Tom Lovelace, In Preparation, Flowers Gallery

On BusinessWeek.com Liz Ryan highlights the vicissitudes of management philosophy and selects ten management practices to avoid. These are:

1) Forced ranking. Don't evaluate employees against one another – instead, evaluate them against written goals.

2) Front-loaded recruiting systems. Dispense with unnecessary checks, tests, questionnaires, sample work assignments and other mandatory drills and simply give hiring power back to your hiring managers.

3) Overdone policy manuals. Ryan recommends dispensing with an unnecessary or outdated policy every week and making it a requirement to have the CEO approve any that are added.

4) Social media thought police. Don't take issue with employees using social media during work providing they're getting their work done. If the work isn't done then that problem needs addressing on its own.

5) Rules that force employees to lie. Don't make new rules (for instance, sick-time policies) that reward employees for withholding information.

6) Theft of miles. If your employees are travelling around the world to do your business, let them have the benefit of the air and hotel miles themselves rather than keeping them for the company.

7) Insensitive layoffs. If you have to lay people off, don't treat them like criminals by escorting them out of the door immediately. Aim for non-immediate departures, with dignified discussions.

8) 360-Degree feedback programmes. Teach your employees and managers how to give one another constructive criticism instead of "sneaky group feedback mechanisms masquerading as career development tools".

9) Mandatory performance-review bell curves. Ryan argues that forcing performance-review distributions into a bell curve "exalts and institutionalises mediocrity".

10) Strict timekeeping. Don't manage white-collar knowledge workers like assembly line employees. Set goals and leave the people to manage the "how-and-where issues" themselves.

Ten Management Practices to Axe
Liz Ryan